Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bird's Nest Cupcakes and Fluffy Yellow Cupcakes

Easter is just a few days away!  I have always enjoyed making holiday goodies to share with everyone, but now that Spencer and I have a little one of our own making those goodies to share with him and his friends is just that much more fun.  There is nothing better, or more rewarding than the look on Tucker's face when he spots the different goodies I have made for him.  His reaction was no different with these cupcakes.

While I in the process of baking and decorating these cupcakes for Tucker's class Easter party, he walked in the kitchen and immediately said "those are Tucker's cupcakes" and had the biggest smile while saying so.  He then proceeded to say he needed one...isn't he the greatest, my own little quality control department!  After he approved the cupcakes he walked away, then came in a few minutes later once the decorations were coming into place.  I picked him up and he said "oohhh, little birdies, chirp chirp chirp".  Then continued to say "cute, momma".  I would say these little bird's nest cupcakes got Tucker's seal of approval; both in the look and taste department.
Every pretty, topped cupcake has to start out with a delicious base.  I already had the decorations for the cupcake nailed down, now I just needed to find the best cake to put these cute decorations on.  Since she has never let me down before, with all of her wonderful and completely honest recipe comparisons, I turned to the way the cookie crumbles blog to find the best yellow cake recipe.  I know yellow cake is nothing mind blowing, or extroidinarily out of the norm, but it's hard to beat a perfectly buttery and moist yellow cake.  Plus, I was giving this to a room full of two-year olds so yellow cake fit the bill perfectly!  I have to say, she did it again, she led me to the most perfect yellow cake I've ever put in my mouth.  The cupcake came out just as she described; light, fluffy, extremely buttery, moist and full of flavor...the tops were even a tinge sticky but still oh so good.  Alone, they are delicious, but once they are topped with a simple vanilla buttercream (or chocolate would be yummy too) they are oh, so good!  I have been on the search for the perfect yellow cake, and thanks to the way the cookie crumbles I have found the perfect, and my new "go to" yellow cake recipe!        

Be sure to come back tomorrow because I have another fun and easy treat you can make with your family, friends and kiddos!

Fluffy Yellow Cupcakes

2 1/2 Cups sugar
1 1/4 Tsp baking powder
1/4 Tsp baking soda
3/4 Tsp salt
1 3/4 Cups sugar
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 Cup buttermilk, room temperature
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tsp vanilla
6 Large egg yolks, room temperature
3 Large egg whites, room temperature


Position oven rack to the center position.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line cupcake tin with liners and set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  In a 4 cup liquid measuring cup, or small bowl, combine the melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and egg yolks and whisk to combine.  Set aside.

Pour the egg whites in a clean bowl of a stand mixer; using the whisk attachment beat the eggs on medium-high for about 30 seconds.  While the mixer is running, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to bowl and set aside.

Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment.  Transfer flour mixture to mixing bowl, turn mixer on low, slowly add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and mix until almost incorporated.  Stop mixing momentarily, scrape down the sides of the bowl and return to mixer.  Turn mixer on medium-low speed and beat until smooth and ingredients are incorporated.

Remove bowl from mixer.  Add 1/3 of the egg whites, using a rubber spatula gently fold them into the cake batter.  Add the remaining egg whites, gently fold into batter until completely incorporated.  Spoon batter into prepared cupcake tin.  For regular cupcakes bake for 18 minutes (for mini bake for approximately 11 minutes), until golden and tops are springy to touch, and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Immediately remove from cupcake tin and transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Click here for buttercream frosting recipe.

For the bird's nest cupcake-
Toast 1-1 1/2 cups unsweetend coconut.  Allow to cool.

Prepare the frosting of your choice.  Place 3 tablespoons of frosting in a small bowl and tint with yellow food coloring.  Place yellow frosting in a piping bag fitted with Wilton tip number 65, set aside.  Place 1/4-1/3 frosting in a separate bowl and tint with blue food coloring.  Fit another piping bag with Wilton tip number 11, fill with blue frosting and set aside.

Using an offset spatula, spread a layer of frosting over the top of each cupcake.  Ensure the entire top of the cupcake is covered in frosting.  Roll the edges of the frosted cupcake in the toasted coconut.  Sprinkle the top outer edges of the cupcake with toasted coconut, leaving a small circle in the center of the cupcake.  Repeat process with remaining cupcakes.

Using the piping bag with blue frosting, pipe 3 bluebird heads.  Once the heads have been piped, use the yellow piping bag to pipe beaks on each bluebird.  For the eyes, melt chocolate and use a toothpick to place chocolate eyes on each bird.

Store cupcakes in an airtight container.

Recipe sources:
Fluffy yellow cake, Cooks Illustrated via  The Way The Cookie Crumbles
Frosting, a Lynsey Original
Nesting Bluebird Cupcakes: Martha Stewart


Anonymous said...

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Cookaholic Wife said...

Such cute cupcakes!
I'm also awarding you the Versatile Blogger Award because I think your blog is great. :) Check out the award here:

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