The Perfect Yellow Cupcake

Notes about the recipe: I did this for my wedding cake so that cutting would be easy (there's none to do!), sending people home with leftovers[ would be easy, and I could squirrel away a few for us to have back at the hotel after the wedding as well as freeze for our 1 year anniversary. It also made it fun for all the kids there and is quite impressive looking. I pulled lavender sugar tendrils and blew large sugar pearls too to decorate the cupcakes with. That may be a little ambitious for you and for me as the bride was a bit much those last few days of planning a wedding. null There is clear or white vanilla extract if you prefer the butter cream to be vanilla flavored or you can use any extract or alcohol like Grand Marnier for flavoring. For the decorations you can choose a color of ribbon that echoes the colors in the wedding. The cake charms set can be bridal or just reflect the couple's interests.]

Total Time:
3 hr 20 min
Prep:
2 hr 45 min
Cook:
35 min

Yield:
24 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • White Buttercream:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 pound butter, cut up and softened slightly
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • Regular or silver cupcake paper liners
  • Decorate and Assemble:
  • Edible pearlized fondant balls (in 3 sizes)
  • 3 to 6 graduated glass cake stands
  • 12 Victorian cake pull charms
  • Vari-colored ribbons to tie around cup cakes
  • Flowers, for cake top
  • Equipment: Several muffin tins
Directions

Make the White Buttercream: Put the sugar in a saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer and pour the water down the walls of the pan to moisten the sugar without letting sugar crystals wash up on the walls of the pan. Run your finger through the center making an X to allow the water to seep into the sugar if it hasn't already. Bring the sugar to a boil over high heat and continue cooking to the "softball" stage (234 degrees F.).

Meanwhile, in a standing mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites to soft peaks and hold them on low speed until the sugar is ready. When the sugar syrup is has reached the softball stage, turn the mixer up to high and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the mixer. Let it continue to whip to cool down. When it's feeling somewhat cooled but still a little warm, start adding the butter a few pieces at a time until you have a smooth, whipped butter cream. Add the almond extract. Use right away or cover and chill. Re-warm or let sit out to warm up to room temperature to use.

Make the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer with a whip attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to cream. Gradually add the vanilla and eggs and mix in well. Sift together the dry ingredients; then mix into the butter mixture alternating with the milk. Pour batter into cupcake paper-lined muffin tins filling them 3/4 full. Bake until puffed and firm in the center and light golden brown on top, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool. (Freeze at this point, if necessary.)

Decorate and Assemble the Cupcakes: Using a small spatula, frost the tops of the cooled cup cakes with the buttercream. Decorate each with a few pearls of fondant.

Tie the cake pull charms to the ends of the ribbons.

Arrange some of the cupcakes on the largest cake stand, leaving the center empty for the base of the next cake stand. Tuck some of the cake pull charms under some of the cupcakes, dangling the ribbons off the edge of the cake stand. Place the next cake stand in the center and repeat. Make as many tiers as you need. Finish the top with flowers, if you'd like.


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