rich yellow cupcake

What to do with The Girlfriend with Two Daughters, visiting from LA? I could have gone into the city and done some sightseeing, but since they already are having nine days of that, I thought that The Girls wouldn't mind the trip into Jersey to enjoy some baking time...

First up: cupcakes.
We made sure the butter was soft and at room temperature,

to be easily incorporated into the dry ingredients.

Emma enjoyed cracking the eggs open and whisking them.
They were successful with no shells breaking off- 
the secret is to tap the egg against the counter, not the rim of the bowl.

 After pouring them in, the batter is mixed just until it hits this curdled look.

Baked, cooled, frosted, then sprinkled.
Elizabeth aptly chose sanding sugars that matched her dress...

The Big Girl came home and joined the fun, decorating the remaining cuppies.

My fun was had in tasting the goods. They sure were tasty. Crumb was light and tender (thanks to cake flour), flavor was buttery and not oily. All in all, this recipe is excellent and certainly worthy to be included in America's Test Kitchen's The Best Recipe collection.

Rich and Tender Yellow Cake
from The Best Recipe by the editor's of Cook's Illustrated

4 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2¼ cups sifted plain cake flour
1½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, each stick cut into 8 pieces

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350ºF. Generously grease two 9 x 1½ in cake pans with vegetable shortening and cover pan bottoms with rounds of parchment paper or wax paper. Grease parchment rounds, dust cake pans with flour and tap out excess. (For cupcakes, line 22 cupcake tins with paper liners.)

Beat eggs, milk, and vanilla with fork in small bowl; measure out 1 cup of this mixture and set aside. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted wtih paddle attachment' mix on lowest speed to blend, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running at lowest speed, add butter one piece at a time; mix until butter and flour begin to clump together and look sandy and pebbly, with pieces about the size of peas, 30 to 40 seconds after all butter is added. Add reserved 1 cup of egg mixture and mix at lowest speed until incorporated, 5 to 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add remaining egg mixture (about ½ cup) in slow steady stream, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat on medium-high until thoroughly combined and batter looks slightly curdled, about 15 seconds longer.

Divide batter equally between prepared cake pans (or fill cupcake tins ¾ full); spread to sides and smooth with rubber spatula. Bake until cake tops are light golden and skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes (for cupcakes, 15-18 minutes.) Cool on rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around pan perimeter to loosen. Invert cake onto large plate, peel off parchment, and reinvert onto lightly greased rack. Cool completely before icing.


  1. oh how fun! those cupcakes look delicious! and what a fun "girls afternoon" :)

  2. Love the "Big Girls'" decorations! The Big Girl = The Daughter, right? She is is supremely talented!

    1. Yes Big Girl is The Daughter, and yesterday, The Lifesaver. I was knee deep in baked goods and she helped me out with butter cookies and brownies...

  3. Love this recipe. Your pictures are fantastic! Come and visit us on Friday. We are having a great giveaway. Flip flops that you will love.

  4. These are very impressive cupcakes. Looks like it was a lot of fun to make.

  5. Hi there!

    I'm hosting My Sweet Party and i would love you to join! The party is ongoing from 1-31 July and is themed. Please check it out and join!




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