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It was a surprise birthday party for my friend Jes and I volunteered to make the cupcakes. With some super stealthy help from her cousin, I found out her favorite was gold cupcakes with white frosting. I did not have a go to yellow cupcake recipe so I did some copious research and decided on the Taste of Home recipe.

It was simple to put together and the cupcakes had a moist and tender crumb. They held up well to frosting and the cake went well with the vanilla frosting, as well as a Nutella frosting I created.

The vanilla frosting is from Cook's Illustrated and is super simple to put together. The frosting was thick and creamy, with enough vanilla flavor. The secret is let your stand mixer do all the work. I hope you have better decorating skills than I do. Thank God for sprinkles.



As for the Nutella frosting, I don't have a recipe - I just winged it. I beat together equal parts softened butter and Nutella, added Confectioners' sugar till I got a thick frosting and drizzled heavy cream in until it was the right fluffy texture. I generally don't recommend winging it, but I was feeling experimental and it turned out amazing. Let's hope I can replicate it for next time.




Happy Birthday, my old friend!

Taste of Home Gold Cupcakes

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling YIELD:24 servings
Ingredients
• 2/3 cup butter, softened
• 1-3/4 cups sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1-1/4 cups 2% milk
• Frosting of your choice
Directions
• 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 22-24 muffin cups with paper liners.
• 2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
• 3. Fill prepared cups three-fourths full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Spread with frosting. Yield: about 2 dozen.

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/yellow-cupcakes

Cook's Illustrated's buttercream frosting (from Baking Illustrated)

Ingredients:
• 16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 lb Confectioners’ sugar
• 1/8 Tbsp table salt
• 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
• 1 Tbsp whole milk

Directions:
1. In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
2. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds.
3. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and milk, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

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