Cupcakes may be trendy, but they’re also quite practical for special occasions. They require no plates or forks, so they’re easy to serve and eat. They can be easily customized in flavor pairings, in that you can bake a batch of almond cupcakes and frost half with vanilla buttercream and the other half with chocolate to meet the varied preferences of your guests. Cupcakes can also be decorated very simply to look fun, whimsical, or elegant, whatever you choose.
These cupcakes were baked for a friend of a friend who is hosting a baby shower this weekend and were very simple to make, requiring one batch of almond cupcakes and one batch of vanilla buttercream. And, as this shower is celebrating the impending arrival of a baby girl, they are also very, very girly.
When tinting your frosting, keep in mind that gel food coloring yields bolder colors than liquid food coloring, so you probably don’t need as much as you think in order to get the color you want. You can always make a color darker, but it’s next to impossible to make a color lighter once you’ve tinted it.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 3/4 sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 egg whites
- 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 recipe vanilla buttercream
- Pink gel food coloring
- Leaf green food coloring
- White and yellow flower-shaped sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat shortening and sugar together until creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined, then add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively, starting and ending with the flour, beating until just combined after each addition.
Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop batter into prepared tins, filling no more than half-full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until tops are light golden and a cake tester inserted in the middle of a few cupcakes comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack before frosting.
Prepare vanilla buttercream.
Reserve about 1 cup of frosting to tint green. Tint the remaining frosting light pink and frost each cupcake, creating a relatively smooth surface.
Add more pink food coloring to the pink frosting to darken the color. Fit a 12-inch pastry bag with a star tip and pipe flower shapes on each cupcake; mine were off-center to look more whimsical.
In the center of each dark pink flower, place a white or yellow flower-shaped sprinkle.
Tint the reserved frosting green by adding a very small amount of leaf green food coloring. Fit an 8-inch pastry bag with a plain tip, then pipe on flower stems. Remove the plain tip and replace with a small leaf tip; pipe on leaves.