Wednesday, November 10, 2010

October's Cupcake of the Month: Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes

I know, I know, it hasn't been October for awhile now. But in addition to having an overwhelming October I have a good excuse: I have two occasions for which I need to make cupcakes in November. This occasion: my birthday. In the interest of sanity, I kept it simple by choosing Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat.

Much like September's Cupcake of the Month: Devil's Food Cupcakes, the cake part of the cupcakes baked up with beautiful, even, dome tops. Unlike the Devil's Food Cupcakes, the Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes aren't so amazing that you'd eat them without frosting, but that may be an expression of my bias towards chocolate baked goods. The buttermilk flavor isn't noticeable. They're pretty much like a store bought box yellow cake mix. This isn't a bad thing. People spend hours of their lives trying to perfect the homemade yellow cake that tastes like a box cake. But after nine months of interesting cupcake flavors, I'm jaded. Like the preamble to this recipe states, I'll probably end up making these cupcakes again and again because they're a safe bet especially for younger pallets. Also, they'd be a great base for frosting experimentation as they don't impose their flavor too strongly.

The frosting that Martha Stewart's Cupcakes pairs with the Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes, Fluffy Vanilla Frosting, is as basic as you can get: butter, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla extract. That said, my cake decorating guru/coblogger Rebecca uses something like this instead of Swiss Meringue Buttercream as her go-to decorating frosting as it takes color well and holds up to intense piping. It serves as an excellent base for sprinkles, as shown above. Much like the cupcake, the frosting isn't anything to write home about, but it will certainly not offend a wide range of pallets.

Two quantity caveats: First, the cupcake recipe says it yields 36, but I only squeaked by with 30. Second, the frosting recipe is probably insufficient to frost 36 cupcakes. I'd double or maybe even triple it, just to be safe. I can't tell you for sure how many cupcakes the frosting recipe can cover because our dogs ate most of the cupcakes as they were cooling on the dining room table . . . but I can tell you the frosting recipe will amply cover five cupcakes with plenty left over.

Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat


  • 3 C cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 2 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 C plus 2 T (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 C sugar
  • 5 large eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 C buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 t pure vanilla extract
  • Fluffy Vanilla Frosting (recipe below)
  • Candy sprinkles for decorating (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add yolks, and beet until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cupcakes onto rack and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature or frozen up to 2 months in airtight containers.

4. To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers. Bring to room temperature and decorate with sprinkles before serving.

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat

  • 1 1/2 C (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 lb. (4 C) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 t pure vanilla extract

1. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

2. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 C at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.

3. Add vanilla and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Previous Cupcakes of the Month:
January's Cupcake of the Month: Streusel Cupcakes
February's Cupcake of the Month: Martha's Meyer Lemon Cupcakes
March's Cupcake of the Month: Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes
April's Cupcake of the Month: Tres Leches Cupcakes
May's Cupcake of the Month: Strawberry Cupcakes
June's Cupcake of the Month: Flock of Sheep Cupcakes
July's Cupcake of the Month: Lavender-Iced Brownie Cupcakes
August's Cupcake of the Month: Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes
September's Cupcake of the Month: Devil's Food Cupcakes

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Rebecca said...

I can't believe that the dogs ate all those cupcakes!

LEAH said...

just wanted to stop by and say thanks for entering in the cup of jo giveaway today!

i made some brownies the other night, but i need to make cupcakes more often.. these look awesome!


Melanie Schoenhut said...

It looks pretty and this is perfect for birthday party. My niece likes cupcakes same as yours. Sprinkles and some chocolate chips are her favorites. I should make some of this for her birthday.

Melanie Jungle said...

I love the sprinkles. My kids will surely love these cupcakes of yours. Thanks for sharing this recipe. We should better try this one by weekend.