The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Vanilla Cupcakes

Yesterday Maddie told me about a cupcake she had at daycare. It was sooooooooo good (according to her) that she wanted to make some today. I got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman site. They are E-Z and yum-ee. The directions below are taken almost verbatim from her site except for small notes & tweaks.

You need these ingredients for the cake part:

1 cup vegetable shortening
1-¾ cup sugar
2-½ cups cake flour
1-¼ tsp salt
2 whole large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-½ teaspoon vinegar (I used white)

**NOTE: You won’t make the icing until the cupcakes are completely cooled BUT you might want to take this time to set the stick of butter and 8oz package of cream cheese out to soften at room temp.**

Preheat oven to 350. Line 18 muffin cups with cupcake liners.

Aren’t these cute?

In a LARGE bowl, cream shortening & sugar together until fluffy. I used a medium bowl and I paid for it later.

In another bowl sift flour & salt together.

Look at those hands -somebody send me my AARP card, pronto!

In yet ANOTHER bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda & vinegar. I actually used 2% milk here b/c my buttermilk was gnarly having been over a week past the “enjoy by” date. You can also easily make your own buttermilk but I was racing against Bea’s nap clock & feeding Maddie lunch and couldn’t spare the time needed to give myself a refresher on how to do that.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the reason for the large bowl will be illuminated (Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer – which incidentally, I did NOT yet read.) right NOW! Start mixing the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately into the shortening mixture until fully combined.

Creamy good!

Before pouring them, we added food coloring to half the batter to make some pink cupcakes. Ooo la la! Have you noticed that some little girls like pink?

Spoon or pour (mine was a little too thick to pour) into cupcake liners.

Note: this recipe is for 18 cupcakes but I think you could make 20 cupcakes as I had batter spillage. We live and we learn. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely.

1 stick butter, softened
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
4 c sifted powdered sugar
¼ teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

**Note: Although I laid it on thick (the icing that is) I was left with a little over a cup. You can probably cut this icing recipe down some but only if you’re REALLY good at math(s)!**

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl completely. Ice cooled cupcakes.

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