Butter Lane Vanilla Cupcakes

Some ingredients I try to limit to special occasions and special recipes, like these moist, just-sweet-enough cupcakes I learned how to make at a cupcake cooking class at East Village bakery Butter Lane (a very fun grown-ups night out activity).

1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz sour cream
1 tbs baking powder
1 pinch of salt
3 cups of cake flour (I use King Arthur unbleached cake flour, carried at Whole Foods)

Mix butter and sugar until they form a cream. Crack eggs into a separate bowl, add a splash of vanilla extract to the eggs, then add the eggs to the mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Combine baking powder and salt with flour. Add half of the flour mixture, followed by sour cream, and then add the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until combined, but be careful not to over-mix. Scoop cupcakes into lined or greased cupcake/muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes at 300 degrees or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Makes 36 cupcakes. Wait until cool to frost.

Chocolate Frosting:

3/4 lb (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 oz cream cheese
2 cups confectioners sugar
6 oz melted bittersweet chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla Frosting:

1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 oz cream cheese
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract Mix butter and cream cheese in mixing bowl on medium speed for 5 minutes. For chocolate frosting, add melted chocolate and mix for one more minute. While mixing at a low-speed, add sugar. Once combined, add vanilla extract and mix on a medium to high-speed for 3 minutes or until smooth and fully combined.

Mix raspberry preserves, peanut butter, cinnamon or whatever your heart desires in the frosting for tasty variations.

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