Grand Slam Baseball Cupcakes
These adorable baseball-style cupcakes with red licorice laces are sure to be a hit with kids and adults -- and you'll be spared the task of slicing equitable pieces of cake for a crowd of waiting guests.
- Yield: Makes 12 extra-large or 24 standard-size cupcakes
- 3 cups cake flour, (not self-rising), sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Classic Seven-Minute Frosting
- Red licorice laces, cut into 3/8-inch-long pieces
Adjust oven rack to center of oven. Heat to 325 degrees. Line muffin pans with baking cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With mixer running, add eggs and vanilla 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 each has been entirely incorporated.
Divide batter evenly between baking cups. Bake until light-golden brown and a cake tester inserted into middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through baking. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool.
Frost cupcakes with frosting. Immediately after frosting cupcakes, lightly press the edge of a 4-inch-diameter bowl into frosting to mark one curve on each side.
Using the curves as a guide, decorate cupcakes by placing licorice pieces on top of marked curves to form arced V shapes that simulate the stitching on a baseball.