Spring is here! According to the calendar, anyway. However, I still had to put on mittens this morning and defrost the car. Mother nature, where you at? Your earth children are cold! Sure, there have been some days here and there where the weather has been nice (and by days I mean nice spans of about 5 minutes). But, in this neck of the woods its been raining. All day. All the time. Its always wet. Like the tears that are going to start running down my face if I don’t get some warm sun on my pale skin. Its really putting a damper on my springy mood! I’m sure i’m not the only one that can only be truly productive if it’s nice outside. The birds chirping are like a nice little cheering squad telling me “clean your room, do some homework, eat some cookies. And then when you’re done, come outside and play.” Thanks, little birds. I hear you. Rainy cold weather makes me want to do nothing more than stay at home all day in the onesie I stole from Lauren, eating junk food, forcing my pets to cuddle with me and spending too much time scrolling through Netflix trying to find something to watch. Seriously. Why is it so hard to find something to watch on Netflix? There’s literally a million options. But anyway. That’s a frustration for a different day. Just because it may not feel like spring outside, I like to do what I can to make it feel like spring inside. Cue the Bath and Body Works spring candles. Too many. I have way too many. I don’t know why. I only have one nose. I don’t need 20 different candles that are just slightly different variations of one another. I really don’t. However, the obsession will never stop. Light up one of those bad boys and in a few minutes the house will smell like a flower patch. The desire for spring is where the inspiration came for these cupcakes. I wanted to make something festive and fun with a touch of adorable. So lets get into it, shall we?
First thing you’re gonna wanna do is make some cupcakes. I decided to make vanilla for no specific reason at all other than the fact that they’re delicious. To make these you are going to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In your electric mixer you are going to cream 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter. Once the butter is all smooth and dreamy looking you’re going to slowly pour in 2 cups of white sugar and beat for about 5 minutes. The butter and sugar will mix together and get really fluffy and white. While this is whipping up take a small bowl and add 2 3/4 cups of all purpose flour and mix in 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside. Once the sugar and butter are nice and fluffy you are going to add 4 large eggs one at a time- mixing between each addition. The final step is to start adding the flour mixture, alternating with the milk and vanilla. You will need 1 cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. You will first add about 1/3 of the flour mixture into the sugar and butter mixture. Combine. Then, you will add 1/3 of your milk and vanilla and combine. Continue doing this until all ingredients have been added! FINALLY, you’re ready to put the batter into the cupcake tins and bake them. This recipe made 27 cupcakes. So line some tins and fill about 2/3 of the way with batter. If you over fill them the batter will go everywhere. And the cupcakes will not look appealing. Bake these puppies for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
*NOTE: do not try to double this recipe all at once. We have tried multiple times and the cupcakes come out looking very flat and ugly. Trust me. Just don’t do it.
Once out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes and then remove them from the pan. Let them cool completely on a wire rack.
While we wait for them to cool, lets talk frosting. Frosting is the best part of the cake in my opinion. It sits on top all pretty and delicious. Practically looking you in the eye and telling you to eat it. It doesn’t ever have to tell me twice. Ill eat it. And then ill eat it again.
We use this buttercream recipe for so many different things. It’s very versatile and many variations can be made to completely transform the flavors. AND its healthy! Just kidding. Its got a whole lot of butter and a whole lot of sugar. You’ll have diabetes in no time. You’re welcome.
All you need to do is put 2 sticks of room temperature, unsalted butter in a mixer and beat it. Just beat it, beat it. (Michael Jackson reference. Did you get it? No? Ok, lets move on). After the butter is creamy, slowly add in 4 cups of confectioners sugar,1 teaspoon of milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Side note-If you have to use salted butter because you don’t have unsalted and you are too lazy to put on real clothes and go to the store (guilty), you can. Just don’t add in the extra salt. Once all ingredients are added just whip it for a few minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally to make sure everything is getting incorporated. If you feel like the frosting is a bit too thick, you can just add a little more milk.
Now comes my favorite part. DECORATING.
First things first, put your frosting in a piping bag with some sort of decorator tip. OR, what we always do is just get a large zip lock bag and cut one of the edges off, then you can screw on your piping tip and it works like a dream. I knew I wanted to make little egg nests somehow so I decided to try it out a couple different ways. The first method I used was toasted coconut. I just spread a thin layer of sweetened coconut on a foil lined tray and baked it at 350 for about 5 minutes. Warning-your house is going to smell AMAZING. You’re going to want it to smell like that forever. Watch it carefully though because it will burn in like 2 seconds if you aren’t careful and then it wont smell good anymore…
The second method I used was just plain old chocolate sprinkles. In the end I think the coconut worked a lot better. It looked better, and was easier to work with. The chocolate sprinkles just went everywhere. The counter, the floor, onto the dog. Everywhere.
Next just plop some candy eggs on top and TA-DA, you have adorable spring cupcakes you can take to a party or just sit at home and eat by yourself. One in each hand (its more efficient that way).