Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

Get information here about her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Vanilla Cupcakes For Any Day

Many of you probably know I'm writing a cookbook which means I'm doing a lot of recipe testing, especially baking. One of my favorite desserts is a good cupcake. I finally created a delicious, scrumptious vanilla cupcake. It was quite the hit with the adults and 5 year olds.

Well, I'm saving that one for the cookbook. It's pretty special. It's also one that takes a bit more time and patience. What I also needed was a good, quick cake/cupcake recipe that was approachable and wholesome. Everyone is busy and wants something easy. And I prefer to make my own over a boxed mix.

What I'm learning is that most kids don't really care. It's usually the adults that like the cake. Even though my children are much more into the frosting, I still like to make my own. Making cake from scratch is less expensive and uses fresher ingredients. So, enter this recipe. Pretty darn good and easy enough to make during the week. Give it a try. And if you want the super yummy vanilla cupcake, look for it in the cookbook.

Vanilla Cupcakes or Cake
Makes 12-15 cupcakes or one 13"x9" cake

1 ¼ cups flour
¼ c cornstarch (the cornstarch replicates the texture in cake flour)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

2 lg eggs at room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c sugar
6 Tbl melted and slightly cooled unsalted butter
2/3 cups butter milk (put 1+ Tbl vinegar in a large measuring cup; add milk and fill to 2/3 cup. Let stand 5 mintues)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 1 standard-sized muffin pan with baking-cup liners, possibly a second one.
2. With a whisk, mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl until combined.
3. Whisk eggs and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. In steady stream, pour sugar into eggs, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in melted butter, then add buttermilk.
4. Add one-third of dry ingredients to bowl with wet. Using whisk, gently combine; a few streaks of flour should remain. Repeat twice with remaining dry ingredients. Continue to gently stir batter with whisk until most lumps are gone. Do not overmix.
5. Fill cupcake liners only 2/3 full or else cupcakes might overflow. Place cupcake pan on the middle rack, until cupcakes just begin to color and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18-22 minutes. Cool pans on wire racks for 5 mins then remove cupcakes from pans, place back on rack, and cool to room temp before frosting, about 1 hour. Before icing the cupcakes, put them in the fridge before frosting but use frosting at room temp.
6. For cake, bake in greased 13"x9" pan for about 30 minutes.
7. If you need 24 cupcakes, make this recipe twice; do not double.

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