Monday, January 14, 2013

A birthday celebration and cupcake clearance...

Tomorrow they are celebrating Liam's birthday at school, he will be 4 years old. I can't believe how fast the time has gone, one day he was a little baby and today he's this big boy, but he will always be my little baby! I was given permission by his teachers Mrs. Felicia and Ms. Lara to make the cupcakes and both Liam and I were very excited. Liam requested chocolate cake and I used one of my favorite recipes and a perfect vanilla buttercream to go with it.

The best advice I can give anyone baking either home baker or professional is to always read through the entire recipe before starting, use high quality ingredients, scale all ingredients, and start with room temperature butter and eggs. I pull mine out the night before baking.

This cake and buttercream recipe is one of my all time favorites. We used both at a place I worked at in Chicago, very classic and oh so delicious. The star ingredient here is the cocoa is not the time to cheap out here, I use Cocoa Barry some of the best!

Start by sifting all dry ingredients together and set aside. Next melt the butter with the water, paying attention to not boil it, you're just melting the butter. In a separate bowl, mix eggs with the buttermilk.
Now combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together, being careful not to over mix. Once everything is combined let batter sit for at least 15 minutes to mature.

The buttercream can be a little tricky, but with a little patience and the right mindset you can pull it off easily. Once again start with room temperature butter and eggs, I cannot emphasize that enough.

Separate the whites from the yolk and add the cream of tarter and egg whites to the mixing bowl fitted with the whip attachment. On low speed slowly start to add 1/4 of the sugar to soft peak. In a small saucepan add water and the remaining sugar and cook to 248 Degrees Fahrenheit. This is the time to get the kids and pets out of the kitchen, put shoes on, and be ready for awesomeness.

There maybe times when the temperature stalls, but it will get to where it needs to be; just be patient and very careful. A burn from scorching hot sugar is not something you want, speaking from experience here. Once it reached temperature, slowly pour mixture down the side of mixing bowl with speed on low. After its all in crank that baby up to full blast and watch a beautiful meringue appear before your eyes. Mix on high until mixture fully cools. Now is the time to start adding butter and flavoring. You want to use high quality butter and vanilla here, I use Plugra unsalted butter. Mix until nice and fluffy. Once this is complete you will understand why I want to be buried in vat of vanilla buttercream, simply amazing!

Chocolate Cake 

  • 160 grams cake flour
  • 105 grams cocoa powder, preferably Cocoa Barry or some other higher end chocolate
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 315 grams pure cane sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 ounces unsalted Plugra butter
Sift all dry ingredients together and set aside. 
Melt butter with water and add to dry ingredients.
Mix eggs with buttermilk.
Mix everything together, being careful not to over mix. And let sit to mature for at least 15 minutes.
Bake in a 350 Degree preheated over for 14-16 minutes, rotating half way through cooking time. 

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 pound unsalted Plugra Butter, room temperature
  • 200 grams pure cane sugar
  • 60 grams water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 150 grams of egg whites
In a very clean mixing bowl add egg whites and cream of tarter, start mixer on low and slowly add 1/4 of the sugar (just sprinkling).
In a small sauce pan heat water and remaining sugar to 248 Degrees Fahrenheit.
Slowly pour down side of mixing bowl and mix to cool.
Once cool, add butter small amounts at a time. mix until fluffy and add vanilla. 


  1. Can't believe this is your first post! You seem like a professional from the get go to me!


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