Happy Independence Day, Americans! I’m grateful to be an American, even though our country has astonishing problems yet to fully acknowledge, let alone solve. Today I’ve made some patriotic flower-themed cupcakes to celebrate, which will go to work with Mike on Tuesday. They’re a classic yellow cupcake with almond buttercream, a request from one of his colleagues.
One skill I acquired during quarantine was the ability to pipe buttercream flowers, and I used that skill with varying degrees of success for these cupcakes. I piped various blossoms and other shapes, but my favorites are actually the plain, sort of hydrangea-looking ones that I made with a medium closed star tip, like the red cupcake at the bottom center of the photo above.
For the yellow cupcakes
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 1/3 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
- 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons sugar cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
For the almond buttercream
- 12 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- Red, cornflower blue, and moss green gel food coloring
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line two muffin tins with paper liners; you’ll need 15.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for one minute. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined, then add egg and beat well. Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, beating until combined.
Using a two-inch cookie scoop, scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, filling about half-full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before frosting.
To make almond buttercream, in a mixing bowl, beat butter for about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until all of the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter; this will take a few minutes. Add vanilla extract and almond extract, beating well to combine.
To frost, divide your frosting into portions of red, blue, green, and white and tint to your desired shades. Use whatever tips you like to create your flowers; I used a medium closed star, small open star, petal tip, plain tip, and leaf tip.
Store in an airtight container at a cool room temperature for 2-3 days. Makes 15.