Spectacular Cupcakes

I bake a lot of cupcakes. I really enjoy it. When I saw the Cupcake Spectacular blogging event, I knew I had to participate. I had a hard time deciding what my favorite cupcake flavor is… I have a few favorites that I’ve already made, but I wanted to make something special for this event…

I decided to make these vanilla raspberry cupcakes. They turned out perfectly light and fluffy. I am usually a big fan of chocolate, but sometimes a dessert can be spectacular without it. This cupcake is just that.

Hubby has turned into a cupcake connoisseur. As my primary taste tester, he has tried quite a few combinations of cupcakes over the past year. He often helps me make the final decision on how much frosting or what filling to put in a cupcake. He said these were the perfect ratio of cake to filling to frosting. He said they’re definitely one of his favorites!

(And yes, that is pink wood paneling in our dining room that matches the frosting perfectly. Hence the kitchen renovation that will be starting soon).

Vegan White Cupcakes (from Crazy about Cupcakes) – makes 20
1/2 cup vegan margarine, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups unbleached cane sugar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups soy or rice milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat over to 350F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.

In a large bowl cream together the sugar and margarine with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the soy or rice milk. Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.
Raspberry Buttercream – from A whisk and a Spoon – originally from Baking Illustrated – makes 2 cups
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) sugar
1 t vanilla extract
pinch of salt
8 oz unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into pieces
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam, loosened with a squirt of lemon juice
1/4 t cinnamon
Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a medium saucepot. In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Set the bowl over the simmering water (making a double boiler). Whisk gently but constantly until the mixture reaches 160°F. It should be thin and foamy.

Transfer the bowl to the mixer and whip until light, airy and room temperature. This should take about five minutes. Reduce the speed and whip in the butter, piece by piece. If it looks curdled halfway through, it should come together as you add the remaining butter.

Once all the butter is incorporated, beat on high speed for about a minute until light and fluffy. Add the raspberry jam and cinnamon and beat until just incorporated. You can refrigerate, covered, for up to five days.
Cupcake Assembly
Once the cupcakes have cooled, fill with about 1 tsp seedless raspberry preserves. I like to use the Cone Method.

Frost with a big dollop of raspberry buttercream.

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30 Responses to “Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake”

  1. #
    1
    CB — March 30, 2008 at 4:57 am

    I love the idea of perfect party minicakes!! They look delish! Great job! That flour picture is so funny. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that – flour on the counter, on my KA, in my hair, on my face!
    Clara @ I♥food4thought

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    Nemmie — March 30, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Yum! Love the raspberry/lemon combo, and the mini cakes are adorable 🙂

  3. #
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    Morven — March 30, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Well done – what an innovative variation. They look so cute!

  4. #
    4
    Maryann — March 30, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I can totally relate to the slippery effect.
    Your cake looks beautiful!

  5. #
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    Sheltie Girl — March 30, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    You did a lovely job on all your mini cakes.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

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    slush — March 30, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Adorable! Your KA and mine would be best friends. ‘Chuck’ is always filthy. Poor guy. He gets cleaned up, just to be coated again. 😉

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    Ben — March 30, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    How cute! Making mini-cakes is a great idea. Next time I make this cake I will try that, I still have a HUGE cake in the fridge I need to eat :-/

    Cheers!

  8. #
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    ~Amber~ — March 30, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Great idea on the mini cakes. They are really cute. Great job. To the next challenge we go.

  9. #
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    Carrie — March 30, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    beautifully done!!! love it!!!

  10. #
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    Jerry — March 30, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    I love the little cakes! Plus the raspberries! Yummy!

  11. #
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    L Vanel — March 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    The mini cakes look really amazing!

  12. #
    12
    Allergy Mom — March 30, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    The minicakes are wonderful! Now, you’ll need my address to send one…Libby 😉

  13. #
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    Butta Buns — March 30, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Love the idea of the mini cakes, that’s so adorable!

  14. #
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    Bridget — March 30, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Mini-cakes are definitely more work than one large cake! They’re so cute though.

  15. #
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    Nikki — March 30, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    What a cute idea! They look adorable!

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    Gail — March 30, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    I love desserts in miniature and your mini cakes look beautiful. I think I will most definitely be making mini cakes sometime in the near future – thank you for the wonderful idea!

    ~gail

  17. #
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    Claire — March 30, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    I’m loving the mini versions! The cake looks fantastic. Mmmmm!

  18. #
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    Peabody — March 30, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    I made mini ones too. I hate to tell you but it is way easier to frost a whole cake than mini ones. 🙂
    Looks great.

  19. #
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    Beth G. — March 30, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Beautiful!! You did a gorgeous job :O)

  20. #
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    Namratha — March 30, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    These individual cakes look pretty…well done!

  21. #
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    Lesley — March 31, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Really cute idea to make individual cakes, I love that. Great job!

  22. #
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    jasmine — March 31, 2008 at 12:58 am

    I adore your minicakes. V lovely.

    j

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    leafy bombshell — March 31, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Oh! the minicakes are just the best idea ever. I probably should have done that with my oh-so flat cakes. How great.

  24. #
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    Ritsumei — March 31, 2008 at 3:57 am

    Mini cakes -what a great idea! I think I’m going to have to try that here pretty soon. Looks like a delicious lot of fun. Especially the part where you get to eat the scraps. I think this cake was some of the best I’ve had.

  25. #
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    ruthEbabes — March 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    What cute little mini cakes! Aren’t things just better when they’re mini?

    Great work!

  26. #
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    Gabi — March 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I love the little cakes and the picture with the raspberry and lemon zest is so enticing!
    Perfect!
    xoxo
    Gabi

  27. #
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    Jenny — April 1, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Another messy baker here! And I love the mini cakes – I’m nice to see its as low-tech as cutting circles out of larger pieces rather than trying to bake a bunch of cakes in miniature pans.

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    creampuff — April 1, 2008 at 1:55 am

    Jen,

    Your little cakes are gorgeous! I too love swiss buttercream … congratulations on a job well done!

  29. #
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    JMom — April 1, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    wow, that takes some patience, putting all those cakes together! They are just the cutest though. ~ JMom

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    Big Boys Oven — April 2, 2008 at 8:54 am

    so petite and cute!

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