You probably know I celebrated my birthday last week. I had an awesome day! Okay, so it was freezing out, but with the sun shining, I stayed inside and pretended it was sixty. It kinda worked!
The day was spent with Mom – my favorite person in the world. I can’t imagine anyone else I’d rather spend my birthday with. It began with oatmeal, a celebratory phone call from Dad, another call from my aunt and uncle, and some email checking and magazine reading. Not a bad way to start the day!
Then, Mom and I made Funfetti Cupcakes (more on those in a bit) before cozying up on the sofa and watching About Time. Not the best movie ever, but it was cute. A surprise delivery of flowers later – bright, happy yellow lilies and peach roses – and Dad arriving home from work meant it was time for dinner.
Mom and I have been ordering fresh wild Alaskan king salmon from the famous Pike’s Place Market in Seattle since the weather has made it tough to trek across town to our favorite market. I could get addicted to this fish, though; the quality is unparalleled. I want to order it all the time . . . but I’ve been trying to resist because overnight shipping . . . yikes! Mom and I had salmon and a salad (Dad had chicken – he won’t eat fish . . . unless it’s fried!). We all enjoyed some cupcakes and then it was time to open presents!
I’m in love with my Chanel credit card holder and I can’t wait to watch Despicable Me 1 and 2 again. We watched them over the holidays and I fell in love. It was a great day, and I know it kicked off my 24th year just right!
So, now, about those Funfetti Cupcakes. Mom was all sprinkles aren’t my favorite and you don’t have to put any on top of mine. But birthdays need sprinkles, so it was sprinkles all around
These cupcakes are just what I wanted them to be. A soft, moist vanilla cupcake heaped with vanilla frosting. I topped them with Vanilla Bean Italian Meringue Buttercream because it’s my favorite and it was my birthday, but feel free to use whatever vanilla frosting you love. I do highly recommend trying this one – you’ll fall in love with it too. Yeah, birthdays and sprinkles definitely go together!
Don’t miss my awesome Peanut Butter & Company Giveaway!
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)
1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 large egg whites
½ + ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
Rainbow sprinkles, for topping
Make the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between. Add the vanilla and beat until once again light and fluffy.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.
Stir half the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Stir in the milk. Then stir in the remaining flour until just combined. Quickly stir in sprinkles, so the colors don’t bleed into the batter. Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop batter into prepared pan and bake 20-23 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool cupcakes completely in pan.
Make the frosting. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once this happens, stop stirring, attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and allow the mixture to come to 240 degrees F on the thermometer. In the meantime, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high until foamy. Once foamy, add the cream of tartar and continue beating on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Be sure not to over whip the egg whites or they will become dry.
Once the eggs are whipped and the syrup is at 240, turn the eggs to medium-low, immediately remove the syrup from the heat, and begin slowly and steadily drizzling it into the eggs. If the syrup is ready before the eggs, it can be turned down or removed from the heat while the eggs finish, before being replaced on the heat to bring to temperature. If the eggs are ready before the syrup, stop mixing them until the syrup is almost ready. Turn them back to medium-high briefly before turning them back down and adding the syrup.
Once the syrup has all been added, turn the mixer back to medium-high and beat the frosting (what is basically marshmallow crème and is delectable all by itself) for 10-13 minutes until the bottom of the bowl is barely warm or at room temperature. It is important for it to not be too warm or the next step will not work.
Once cooled, add the butter a couple tablespoons at a time, allowing each addition to incorporate before adding another. Scrape down the bowl occasionally. Once all the butter is incorporated, add the vanilla bean paste and mix to combine. Remove the bowl from the mixer and mix briefly by hand to make sure there are no clumps of butter. If the frosting is a bit soupy (because it was too warm when the butter was added) stick it in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, beat it again with the stand mixer. It should come together.
Assemble the cupcakes. Frost each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting and sprinkle with additional sprinkles. Cupcakes may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for about an hour.
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is