Instead of one birthday cake, why not make a "parade" of cupcakes -- there won't be any battles over the biggest slice. Cream cheese frosting is given texture with sprinkles and nonpareils; raspberries and blueberries add a burst of color.
- Yield: Makes 24
Source: Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1998
- 3 cups cake flour, (not self-rising), sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 cup nonfat buttermilk
- Cream Cheese Frosting for "Parade" Cupcakes
- 1/2 pint blueberries, for decorating
- 1/2 pint raspberries, for decorating
- White sprinkles and nonpareils, for decorating
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two twelve-holed muffin pans with baking cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale, light, and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer running, add the eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract; beat until combined.
With mixer on low speed, add 1 cup reserved flour mixture; mix until combined. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk; combine. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, ending with flour, until all has been incorporated.
Fill each baking cup with 1/4 cup batter; batter should almost reach tops of cups. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer tins to a wire rack to cool.
Remove the cupcakes from tins, and frost with cream-cheese frosting. If desired, use a pastry bag fitted with a plain writing tip to pipe letters or designs onto cupcakes. Decorate with berries, sprinkles, and nonpareils.