December 1, 2008

Birthday Cupcakes: Vanilla, Chocolate and Black & White Cupcakes with Pomegranate Buttercream Frosting

We were invited to an 18th birthday for a beautiful, sweet girl who we have known since she was little. (Her sister and my cousin went to school together since first grade. All the while, we've gotten to know her and her parents and they have become part of the family.) When I RSVP'ed, D. and I offered to provide cake for the party. The party will be at a restaurant and her sister said there will be about fifty people invited so discussed with her maybe to make cupcakes for convenience and avoid a cake slicing fee.

Her sister never requested specific flavors and such; she left it out for me to decide. The party invitation was my inspiration, it had zebra stripes with pink dots and came in a pink envelope -- it was the cutest thing! Right then I knew the cupcakes will have chocolate and vanilla flavors. And they will be flavors everyone will enjoy. Perfect!

I didn't want to use artificial colors and wanted something tart for the frosting so that's where the pomegranate jelly came in. It was also an excuse to use the jelly my husband just made from fresh pomegranates. It was delicious!

I made a dozen vanilla, another dozen chocolate and three dozen black-and-white cupcakes--the best of both.

Cupcakes Three Ways
adapted from Everyday Food, Issue #45

makes 12 cupcakes

8 TB (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake baking pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

  2. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until combined. On low speed, beat in half of the flour mixture, followed by sour cream; end with the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated (DO NOT OVERMIX). Batter will be thick.

  3. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. (A medium-sized ice cream scoop is useful to get equal amounts on each cup.) Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcake comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost with Pomegranate Buttercream.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Reduce flour to 1 1/4 cups and add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Makes 12.

Black-and-White Cupcakes

Prepare both vanilla and chocolate batters; fill muffin cups with 3 tablespoons of each, side by side. Makes 24.

Pomegranate Buttercream Frosting
makes 1 1/2 cups

8 TB (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 - 4 tsp. pomegranate jelly

With an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, beat in sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl as necessary. Mix in vanilla and jelly. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.


The Food Librarian said...

What a precious gift for the birthday girl! These look lovely.

Melissa said...

These are so pretty!

Rosie said...

Those cupcakes are stunning and such great piping skills! Such a lovely gift for a birthday girl :)

Rosie x

Mallory Elise said...

what pretty cakes, pomegranate frosting! mmm! and what a cute little one!

honestly though--i clicked on your photo at foodgawker because i saw the word feijoada in your blog title and said, ahk brazilian hooray! i love feijoada!

Anonymous said...

that buttercream frosting looks amazing. what beautiful cupcakes!

Jude said...

I'll use the pomegranates as an excuse and call this health food. Love the color it gives.

Caroline said...

Thanks, everyone!

Hi Mallory, my husband is Brazilian, does that count? :) We love feijoada, too! We have it at least once every 2 weeks.

chocolatecup said...

veryvery awesome cupcakes:)

dannah5 said...

Caroline, they are just wonderfull!

I would like to know if I can use another jam insted of pomegranate jelly, cause here in Brazil isnt common, wont be easy to find.




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