I've been spending most of my time on my professional life (aka "the day job") during the last few weeks. The project will be completed within the next few days and I hope to be back to my baking and blogging life very soon after that. I did have time to make cupcakes for a baby shower recently. I made four varieties for the shower. Three were tried and true, but this fourth one, the snickerdoodle cupcake, was a new recipe I created.
It's a cinnamon cupcake topped with a cinnamon-sugar crackle. The cinnamon-sugar mixture is sprinkled on top of the cupcake batter before they go into the oven and it bakes into a crispy, crackly, cinnamony shell atop each moist cupcake. I then frosted each with a swirl of Swiss buttercream and then sprinkled the buttercream with more cinnamon-sugar to add a bit of sparkle. They were a big hit.
3 cups cake flour
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 ounces (3 sticks / 1.5 cups) unsalted butter, softened at room temp
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz.) buttermilk
1 tbsp granulated sugar combined with 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 (4 fluid ounce capacity) cupcake wells with paper cupcake liners. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside flour mixture.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla.
Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Fill each well approximately two-thirds full. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon-sugar topping over the batter. (You might have some cinnamon-sugar leftover. That's okay. Just use it to sprinkle on top of the frosting.)
Bake cupcakes at 350F until a skewer inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean or when the top springs back after lightly pressed, about 20-23 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes then remove cupcakes and cool on wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
(enough to lightly frost 24 cupcakes)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp milk (I used low fat)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
To Make the Buttercream
Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream. Remove the bowl from the heat.
Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes. During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.
On medium speed, gradually beat in the milk, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla and cinnamon (if using). You should have a shiny smooth buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream if not using immediately.