Its birthday week in the Bly household, by Sunday we will have a 4 year old and a 6 year old. When they were born I was so happy they had summer birthdays, I have always loved having warm weather birthdays. All you need is a grill and a backyard and the birthday party is sorted. But now this is our third winter birthday here is Australia. The first time we had just arrived so it was just the 5 of us, last year I spent a month obsessing and working on their party only to realize that I broke my back for 3 hours of birthday party and a destroyed house. This year we are doing it at home again but Kindifarm is coming. I’m picturing the kids petting animals, running around, having cake, eating too much candy, and then heading on their way happy and exhausted. We’ll see how it goes…
One of my favourite parts of birthday week is brining cupcakes to their classes. This year with both of them in school that means 60 mini cupcakes will be delivered. Kellen has requested his frosting be green so it looks like slime (gross). Ella has chosen pink because she picks pink for everything. I love bringing the cupcakes in because it’s obviously fun to watch how happy they are to have their class sing happy birthday but I also love an excuse to accomplish little else all day and get to just make cupcakes.
I thought I’d share the recipe I use as it is so straightforward and always gets a ton of compliments. I found it on my trusty epicurious app that I use for everything. It’s an Amy Sedaris recipe and even though I’ve made them countless times her commentary makes me smile.
Now that I’ve accomplished my cupcakes and sampled way more frosting that I needed to it will just take me a few days to get that fine layer of stickiness off of absolutely everything.
Amy Sedaris’s Vanilla Cupcakes
Yield: Makes 24 cupcakes
by Amy Sedaris I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- Amy Sedaris’s Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Turn oven on to 375 degrees F.
Put butter in mixer and beat at medium speed until somewhat smooth. Pour in sugar and beat well. Add 2 eggs. I like to crack the eggs on the side of the bowl while it is moving, which can be really stupid. I like to take chances. Yes, I have had to throw away my batter because I lost eggshells in the mix. Yes, it was a waste of food and yes, I know how expensive butter is, but what can I say? I’m a daredevil. Mix well. Add: vanilla, baking powder, salt, flour, and milk. Beat until it looks like it is supposed to and pour into individual baking cups, until they are about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Should produce 24 cupcakes; I get 18 because I’m doing something wrong, although my cupcakes were voted second best in the city by New York Magazine.
Amy Sedaris’s Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Yield: Makes enough for 24 cupcakes
By Amy Sedaris Adapted with permission from I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence Warner Books
- 1 box confectioners’ sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract*
- 1/4 cup milk or light cream
- food coloring (optional)
- *Less than 1 teaspoon pure almond extract can be substituted.
In a bowl combine: one box of confectioners’ sugar, one stick of unsalted butter, one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup of milk or light cream and beat for a while. Really whip it, don’t be afraid to get in there. I occasionally add food coloring and sometimes substitute pure almond extract for vanilla.
If you do choose to add pure almond extract instead of vanilla, you’re on your own. I don’t know the measurement for it, but I do know it’s less than the amount of vanilla you would add.