As many of you know, we recently celebrated our marriage with a big party at my parent’s house. Okay, yes, it was almost a month ago, but hey, at least I’m telling you about it! The party was a lot of work, and everything was put together with the huge help of my family. My poor husby was sick for several weeks (with bronchitis – though we didn’t know it until after the party), so we had to work extra hard to pull it all off. And just so you know…the hubs and I made that cupcake stand. Pretty bad ass, right!?
The day before the event was pretty crazy and I was putting everyone to work, including my 2-year-old niece and 5-year-old nephew. Here’s a quick peek at everyone:
The most adorable niece, Grace, and my big brother, Matt.
THE BEST dad and coolest nephew, Carter.
The cupcake czar and insanely great decorator, my sister-in-law, Colleen.
My poor sick hubs, Nate.
And by far, my right hand woman, the boss, flower artist, and so much more, my wonderful mom!
The party was in my parents’ front yard and was held as an open house, so people could come and go as they please. We provided a taco bar, a chip and salsa bar, beverages, and cupcakes for dessert. I made toffee as favors, which was a HUGE hit. Everyone seemed to love it. And if they didn’t, they didn’t tell me about it 😛
Because they have an enormous amount of land, we invited our friends to camp and stay late with us. This led to a tournament of flip cup, which I must say, I’m pretty good. Though, I have to admit, it did take a while to settle in, but once I got the hang of it, Team Doily, aka, Lace Gangstas, were unstoppable!
I made the cupcakes for dessert – two kinds of cake with two kinds of frosting. Both the chocolate cake and frosting was a no-brainer, as I love this chocolate cupcake with caramel ganache frosting. Being a chocolate freak, the vanilla was not as easy. These cupcakes took a few practice batches, but they were perfectly moist and bouncy (I’m not really sure if that’s a proper food description word, but it was bouncy and springy, like you’d want a cake to be).
The frosting on the other hand was a chore. The first recipe I tried was an Italian meringue buttercream. I liked it because it was not too sweet, but most others who tried it weren’t big fans. So I enlisted the direction of my sister-in-law, who rocks at baking! She suggested using the Wilton buttercream recipe, so I tried it out. The original recipe was far too sweet for me, but seemed to please others. I ended up going with it, but reduced the sugar by a skosh, so it wasn’t overly sweet. The result was excellence! I cannot at all take credit for frosting these pictured cupcakes – my aforementioned sister-in-law graciously frosted all 12 dozen cupcakes for our party. I couldn’t have done it without her!
Golden Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream
For the buttercream:
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp milk
For the cupcakes:
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1. Make the buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together shortening and butter. Add vanilla and gradually add sugar one cup at a time on a low speed. Scrape down sides to incorporate all sugar. Icing will appear dry at this point. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
2. Keep bowl covered with damp cloth until ready to use. Icing can also be refrigerated in an airtight container and stored for up to 2 weeks.
3. Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
5. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, cream together sugar, eggs and vanilla until smoothed and slightly thickened. Add butter and oil and mix until well combined. Add dry ingredients and milk in three alternating batches, beating well inbetween additions. Pour batter into muffin liners, filling about 2/3 full.
6. Bake cupcakes on center rack for 18-20 minutes. Mine took exactly 18, but every oven is different. Let the muffins cool slightly in the muffin tins, about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
7. Frost cupcakes with chilled buttercream.