Super-Duper Vanilla {or Funfetti} Cupcakes
Servings: 24 standard size cupcakes
Ingredients
For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup whole milk 237 ml, at room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites 120 g, at room temperature
  • 1 egg whole, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons 10 ml pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon 2.5 ml almond extract
  • 3 cups 350 g cake flour, sifted
  • 1-1/2 cups vanilla sugar 300 g
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder 19.5 g
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt 5 g
  • 6 tablespoons 85 g unsalted butter, softened but cool, and cut into cubes
  • 6 tablespoons 85 g vegetable shortening (I used Crisco)
  • 1/2 cup Rainbow Jimmies or Confetti Quins
For the Frosting:
  • 3 sticks + 2 tablespoons 375 g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 3.5 cups 400 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons 45 ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon 15 ml pure vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • a medley of sprinkles for decorating
Instructions
For the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two standard muffin pans with your favourite baking liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, whole egg, 1/4 cup of milk, vanilla and the almond extract. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients, including the vanilla sugar, together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the butter and shortening, and blend on low speed for about 30 seconds, then add remaining 3/4 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1-1/2 minutes.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg/milk mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition. If you're making Funfetti cupcakes, simply fold in the rainbow jimmies or confetti quins, until just combined.
  6. Divide the batter into your prepared pans (I always use a 50 mm cookie scoop for perfectly even cupcakes), no more than 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick comes clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake, about 16-18 minutes. Be so careful to not over-bake.
  7. Place hot baking pans on wire racks, then carefully (they're hot!) remove the cupcakes from the baking pans immediately, to let cool. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.
  3. Best used right away (for ideal spreading consistency). To get frosting super smooth (no air bubbles), use a silicone spatula and in an aggressive side-to-side motion, pushing the frosting back and forth against the sides of the bowl. You will hear a sort of paddling sound. Do this every so often while you use the frosting--it keeps it super smooth.