I love living in Colorado, really. As some of you know, I used to live in Boston when I was in college, and I’m so happy to be back in home state, even though its been a few years since coming home. That being said, I really wish I could just pluck any recipe off Pinterest and bake it up perfect. Like, altitude really screws things up sometimes. (By sometimes, I mean nearly all the time).

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Baking cakes in a high altitude is tough. I can’t tell you how many cupcakes I have baked that have tasted really eggy, or been duper dense, almost like bread somehow. 

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That being said, it was my goal for many years to find the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe, and I found it! Actually, if I’m being honest, I found it like 4 years ago, and I’m just now sharing it. Whoops. 

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Anyways, I think the key for vanilla cake in a Denver altitude is finding the right balance between adding the flour that you need for structure, and still keeping the cakes moist. I’m using two different kinds of flour here- self rising and cake. The self rising flour just offers a good ratio of baking powder built right in, and the cake flour makes the crumb very tender and pretty fantastic. 

P.S.- did you see this epic baking dish my brother got me for my birthday??? 

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On the other end of the spectrum, I use sour cream to add moistness to the cake. It’s thick enough that it doesn’t mess with the structure too much, but it gives us the texture that we’re looking for in a great, simple cupcake. 

Vanilla cake is my favorite. I know chocolate is probably the main winner for most people, but I’ve never been a huge fan of chocolate cake. I still make it for lots of family and friends, like this chocolate bundt cake I made for my dad last year. But vanilla is my jam. 

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Usually I actually prefer vanilla frosting as well, but this chocolate buttercream is too good to pass up on a perfect vanilla cupcake. It’s fluffy, super chocolatey, and not too sweet. 

I hope you enjoy this one!

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Yield: 12 frosted cupcakes

Ingredients

  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbs. milk
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbs. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 3 tbs. heavy cream

Instructions

  • For the cupcakes:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a 12-cup muffin tin
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
  • The mixture will be slightly lumpy.
  • Add in the self-rising flour, cake flour, and salt. Mix until combined, it will be a thick batter.
  • Mix in the milk until combined.
  • Scoop the batter evenly into your 12 muffin cups.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before frosting.
  • For the frosting:
  • Beat together the butter, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder until thick and smooth.
  • Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate and mix until combined
  • Add in the heavy cream, and beat until fluffy.
  • Frost the cupcakes liberally.
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Summer just gets me in the mood for lemon. I want lemonade, lemon desserts, everything lemon is on my craving list right now. There’s just something about the sweet, sour, freshness of lemons that always gets me. 

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Lemons + Cupcakes = LOVE. 

We’ve had some family in town the last few weeks, and everyone always wants something sweet at a get-together, so I put together these triple lemon cupcakes! The cake is lightly flavored with lemon, and it’s filled with a beautiful lemon mousse. Top it off with a fluffy lemon buttercream, and you’ve got a perfect cupcake in my book. 

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For this recipe, the batter is very dense, so it’s important to separate the eggs. Folding in the whipped egg whites lightens the batter, and helps lift up the cakes while they bake. So, when you’re mixing up the batter initially, you’ll notice it’s very thick. After folding in the egg whites, you’ll still have a relatively heavy batter, but it should be smooth and silky, and much lighter. 

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Once the cupcakes are baked off, remove some of the cake from the middle to make room for the filling. If you’ve got a handy-dandy cupcake corer, it’ll be perfect. Otherwise, you can just use a knife. As for filling the cupcakes, I recommend using a piping bag, or simply cutting off the tip of a plastic bag with the filling inside- it’s much easier to use this method to actually get the filling inside. 

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The frosting is whipped up with a little heavy cream for a super light, fluffy frosting that still holds a lot of sweetness. The flavors and textures really work for this cupcake- the cake itself is dense, and with sweet, light filling and frosting, it’s a perfect bite. This recipe calls for lemon curd in every piece of the cupcake- make your own lemon curd here!

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Enjoy!

Triple Lemon Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd

For the frosting

  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon curd
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line your muffin tin.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg yolks.
  3. Add in the sour cream, lemon curd, lemon extract, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix until fully combined.
  4. Add in the self-rising flour and the all purpose flour, and mix until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until incorporated. The batter will be thick, but very smooth.
  7. Scoop into the lined muffin tin, and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, and the cakes are slightly browned. Allow to cool completely before filling or frosting.

For the filling

  1. Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Then, add in the lemon curd, and whip until incorporated.
  2. Cut out a hole in the center of the cooled cupcakes, and pipe in the filling.

For the frosting

  1. Beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the lemon juice, zest, and lemon curd. Mix until incorporated.
  3. Add in the heavy cream, and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Frost your cupcakes!

After a long time without blogging, I’m hoping to back regularly now! Since our wedding feels like it’s just around the corner now, (it’s still 8 months away but…) I’ve been working on wedding details like crazy the last couple of weeks. PLUS, I started a wonderful new job!

Apple isn’t one of my favorite flavors- I pretty much never eat apple pie or variations thereof, but if you put it in cake form, pretty much anything can become delicious. I’m going to share three awesome recipes with you today that I really love, that pull together to build a delicate, not-too-sweet frosted cupcake!

Lately I’ve been obsessing over estate sales. They’re only frequent during the summer months, so I’ve been hunting them down every weekend for the last two months. I’ve found some serious gems this year, including this pretty little mini hutch cabinet, which I refinished to something I seriously love, and just about everything inside of it. That includes a rustic aluminum-cast eight-cup muffin pan, and a ton of beautiful vintage dishes.

 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but for good reason. I finally moved out of my tiny kitchen in Boston and back into my parents huge house. It doesn’t sound that glamorous, I know, but you could put me on the streets in Colorado and I’d be happy. But don’t worry, I imagine in a couple of months I’ll be moving into another small kitchen, hopefully at least big enough for my new gift:

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