perfect party cupcakes

. . .

Sometimes, when you are extremely important and busy, you forget stuff. I forgot to tell you about these cupcakes. I’ve made them a couple of times, and they are awesome. But I made them back in the summer. Remember summer? It was warm and sunny and stuff? And all those months ago, I planned to tell you about these cupcakes. But then I forgot. And I’m right sorry like.

These cupcakes were made using Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake recipe. I made the cake, and it was the bomb. And then I was all like, let’s make this sucker portable. Portable portions that can be sucked into one’s face. So I adapted the recipe just a wee bit (read: used muffin tins instead of cake pans), and voilà! Face stuffing magic.

Also, I was thinking, what if Dorie Greenspan is reading my blog? She’s going to be all offended if I don’t post some sort of tribute to her genius. Especially because I tell everyone I know that she’s the best thing to come along since garlic presses. Oh, and I’ve told everyone I know that if they don’t buy her books they are stupid, and if they refuse, I don’t want to know them anymore. That’s loyalty, people. (To Dorie, not my real-life friends.) So, yah, you could say I’m Dorie’s best friend stalker relatively harmless super fan. And then I was thinking, I’ve posted two variations of David Lebovitz’s recipes. What if I’ve sparked some sort of rivalry between the two? Maybe they are both reading my blog. Crying over their fancy European coffee drinks. Wearing berets? Yes. They are wearing berets. And they are weeping. Don’t worry guys! There’s enough movita love to go around! Let’s get on a ferris wheel! (When I was in Europe, I noticed that they – like, all the people on the continent – are really into ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds. I’m sure Dorie and David would feel better if I took them on a randomly placed circus ride in the middle of Paris.)

So, here’s the thing about these magical face stuffers. The cake is light and airy. A hint of? Lemon. Yes, that’s right, you’re tasting a little lemon there. And the frosting? It’s as light as kitten fur. Delicately flavoured. Perfect for a high falootin’ event. (Hey! Spell check just suggested that I change falootin’ to fallopian. Spell check just doesn’t get me.)

You know the drill. Drop what you’re doing. Make these cupcakes now.

. . .

Perfect Party Cupcakes – adapted, only slightly, from Dorie Greenspan (Baking: From My Home To Yours) – print and bake for your high fallopian friends

 For the cupcakes:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

For the buttercream:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/2 cups), room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 large lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the garnish (optional):

  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 24 muffin wells with cupcake liners.

Begin by making the cupcakes. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place the sugar and lemon zest in the large bowl of your stand mixer and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.

Add the butter to the sugar mixture. Beat the mixture at medium speed, until the butter and sugar are very light (about 3 to 5 minutes). Next, beat in the lemon extract, and then add 1/3 of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.

Next, beat in half of the milk-egg mixture. Then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is smooth. Then add the last of the dry ingredients. Beat the batter for 2 minutes.

Divide the batter between the muffin wells.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes are golden – a cake tester inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cupcake pans to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from their wells, and cool to room temperature.

Next, make the buttercream. Put the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl. Fit the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly, until it feels hot to the touch (about 3 to 5 minutes). The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Working with the whisk attachment of your stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg white mixture on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.

Beat the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6 to 10 minutes. During this time, the buttercream may curdle or separate – don’t fret! It will come together again.

Finally, on medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.

Top the cupcakes with the buttercream. Then top with coconut if using.

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PS  Have you thought about entering Pumpkin Carve-Off 2011? No? Okay. Picture me wearing a beret, crying over a fancy European coffee drink. Now are you thinking about entering? Thought so.

34 Responses to perfect party cupcakes

  1. frugalfeeding October 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Yet another great post – what a delightful looking cupcake. I shall have to bake some on Sunday I think.

    • movita beaucoup October 19, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      Yes. Bake them on Sunday. You must!

  2. Lynne October 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Well, Movita – you may have started something. David Lebovitz posted this link just about an hour ago on Facebook:

    http://tiny.cc/dofgl

    I shortened the ridiculously long URL.

    The link is to a news article about a Chicago woman who was charged with domestic abuse after pelting her husband with cupcakes. I kid you not.

    Coincidence? Perhaps…

    Or maybe David is secretly reading your blog.

    I’d lock my windows and doors, just in case. And hide the cupcakes.

    • movita beaucoup October 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      Okay, I actually laughed out loud when I read this comment. 2.0 should be safe though, as I would never use a cupcake as a weapon – I’d rather eat it. And also, you’re probably right. David obviously loves me. That’s what you meant, right?

  3. Anonymous October 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    These look light and delicious. Can’t wait to try them!

  4. emma schultz October 19, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    I noticed European carnivals, such as those featuring fallopian-less ferris wheels, also enjoy some sort of purplish plummy-scented smoke. This is based on a sample size of n=1 though, so I cooould be biased.

    • movita beaucoup October 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

      I guess in Europe, they are very advanced. We’ll probably be riding fallopian-less ferris wheels in a purplish haze here in Canada in a few years. And I, for one, can’t wait. Though, truth be told, I have a great fear of ferris wheels. I figure one could break free (with me on it) and roll throughout a city causing a great deal of damage. I’m told this isn’t too likely, but I avoid ferris wheels just to be safe. (An exception would, of course, be made for Dorie and David.)

  5. EveryBookandCranny October 19, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Alright now, are we going to have to go head to head for title of Dorie’s biggest fan? Cause seriously I’ll arm wrestle you over it.

    But can I have a cupcake first?

    Is that not the. best. buttercream. ever!?!

    • movita beaucoup October 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

      Let’s BOTH be her biggest non-threatening best friends fans. AND eat cupcakes to celebrate this union. Win-win!

      • EveryBookandCranny October 20, 2011 at 9:21 am #

        Agreed. Treaty signed. In honor of our agreement, I’m going to go for the jam-filled variation this weekend.

        P.S. I think that last cupcake looks darn near angelic. Way to go with the lighting!

  6. Joy October 19, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    What a great blog. Thank you for coming to mine. I’ll be back to visit you often.

  7. Party Depot October 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    Yummy cupcakes! I can’t wait to try this recipe, my nephews will surely love this!

    • movita beaucoup October 20, 2011 at 6:12 am #

      Yesterday, I made cupcakes using the recipe I posted for Oliver’s cake. They were scarfed back by a group of students in under 30 seconds. Turns out kids really like cupcakes…

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Dee at Deelicious Sweets October 20, 2011 at 12:16 am #

    OMG! I totally love your writing style. Will you be my BFF? We could hang out with our cats and drink wine and bake face stuffing magicness!

    • movita beaucoup October 20, 2011 at 6:10 am #

      Yes. We are obviously MFEO (made for each other). Perhaps on holidays, we could craft tiny outfits for our cats. (They would look totally awesome when we’re drinking wine.) I love your blog – and have subscribed so I can stalk you get closer to you in a non-creepy way.

  9. A Plum By Any Other Name October 20, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    Oh my. You had me rolling with this post. David and Dorie are definitely stalker-worthy. And thanks for the plum puns. You made my day.

    • movita beaucoup October 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

      You’re welcome – those plum puns were just dyin’ to get out!

  10. Devaki @ weavethousandflavors October 20, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    It’s my first time here and I am swooning. You have such a hand on desserts. Fantastic and ofcourse I’m using your cupcake recipe next week for my sons pre-school event!

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  11. emmalina73 October 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    By the Power of Greyskull those cupcakes look fabulous. I can just imagine myself now, sat atop Big Wheel (in England we have to spend 2 hours a week riding on one whilst wearing a suitable hat and reading something improving), my straw hat keeping the sun out of my eyes while I survey the majestic landscape of my mother country and simultaneously stuff cupcakes into my mouth two at a time.

    Oh Canada, what you possess in mountains and moose and such, you lack in excessively large fairground attractions of unproved safety. My heart mourns.

    • emma schultz October 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

      You… have…. the POW-WERRRRRR!

    • movita beaucoup October 21, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

      For the honour of Greyskull! I am She-Ra! (Princess of Power.) Wait. What’s happening? RIght, I’m learning about England. Once again, you’ve shed light on what seems to be a very mysterious and magical place. I bet Wills and Kate are on a ferris wheel right now. They are so cool.

  12. Savannah@HammockTracks.com October 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Oh my! These cupcakes put me over the edge. I was hungry before I came to this recipe and now I am craving these. Thanks for sharing them. I would be just delighted if you considered adding them to link party I am hosting today. Here is the address – http://www.savannahssavorybites.com/2011/10/sweet-potato-custard-with-ginger-snaps.html#idc-container

    • movita beaucoup October 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

      Thanks! (And I’ve added my link to your wild par-tay!)

  13. Ashley@bakerbynature October 21, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    Oh the Parisian life – I want to live it, too! These cupcakes look like a little slice of heaven.

    • movita beaucoup October 22, 2011 at 7:19 am #

      Let’s eat cupcakes on a ferris wheel. That’s taking Parisian living to the next level!

      • Lynne October 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

        I love these cupcakes
        Yes I do

        I’d bake enough
        for me & you

        But no, I do not like this thought
        I do not like this, not a lot

        For your idea
        that of the wheel

        Is jsut enough to make me squeal

        I’d squeal and squeal and squeal again!
        Enough to bring some tears from men

        My squeal would not be happy, see
        I would not squeal from joy or glee

        I’d squeal from fear
        I’d squeal right here
        I could not eat and squeal, my dear

        I would not like these on a wheel
        I would not like to eat a meal
        For twirling up amongst the birds
        Would turn my stomach into curds

        So if Parisian style is this
        I’d have to give it all a miss.

        • movita beaucoup October 22, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

          Lady, you are the shiznit! (Let’s eat cupcakes on the ground, shall we?)

  14. Grace@ FoodFitnessFreshair October 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Classic. These are beautiful!

  15. slim1one January 12, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    I made Dorie’s party cake into cupcakes and my liners completely separated from the cupcakes. I couldn’t serve them like that so I had to remove them. any ideas why? this has happened to me before, usually if I know I’ve walked away from my kitchenaid and the batter is over beaten. I didn’t do that this time though. Regardless, the cupcakes were outstanding! Light and fluffy, I could have eaten three at a time.

    • movita beaucoup January 13, 2015 at 6:57 am #

      It could be the combination of ingredients with the type of liner you used – though this is a guess at best! I’ve never had a liner pull away from a cupcake, but I know it happens to lots of people. I’ve read that if you don’t fill the liner high enough (about 2/3 full), they will sometimes pull away. Other people say it’s the pan’s fault (don’t grease the tin), and still others say it’s how long you leave the cupcakes in the pan (let them cool a few minutes and then take out of the pan to fully cool). Who knows! I tend to use foil liners (Wilton) or paper (Reynolds). Some of the other brands I’ve tried – often the ones that have fancy designs printed on them – have proven to be thin and grease laden during baking, and don’t hold their shape. If I’m baking for someone else, I always use the Wilton foil liners! I wish I could be more helpful – so glad you liked the cupcakes!

  16. movita beaucoup June 2, 2015 at 7:21 am #

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in October 2011. Happy baking!

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