What makes this recipe so delicious and addicting is certainly thanks to the vanilla butter & nut extract that McCormick makes! I discovered the cupcake recipe and the info about the extract on How To Eat a Cupcake. She had said that the extract was practically like yellow cake mix in a bottle! Yum! Even though I fully believe in baking from scratch, I do have a soft spot for the flavor of boxed cake mixes, being as that's what I grew up with. The extract really makes the cake, and while you could substitute with vanilla, it just won't be the same, so I suggest searching your store for this wonderful extract. Yes, it is imitation, but with all the processed foods we eat now anyway, I assume a tiny bit of extract in a cake recipe won't do much more harm. There were two bottles in just one store in my town and as soon as I made this recipe, I went back and bought the other bottle just in case they ran out and didn't restock!Also, the French Silk frosting is wonderful as well! French Silk refers to the light chocolate flavor like you get in a French Silk pie. It's an American buttercream (powdered sugar, butter, milk, flavoring), which usually I don't like too much because it's sickeningly sweet, but this recipe is actually great and not too sweet thanks to the unsweetened chocolate that you melt down and put into the recipe. It has a really great flavor and nice amount of sweetness. Now I've talked too long...on to the recipe!
(You could use better quality chocolate if you wish...but regular old Baker's chocolate works fine for me)
Yellow Cupcakes (Originally called Supermarket Yellow Cake for Strawberry Shortcake and adapted from A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman)
Makes 12 cupcakes
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar, finely pulverized (I actually didn't do this, and my cupcakes were still great. If you want to follow it though, just whir the sugar in a food processor for 1-2 minutes or you can use caster/superfine sugar, which has already been pulverized)
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla butter & nut extract (The original called for vanilla...but use vanilla butter & nut, I promise it's delicious!)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm milk (This last time, I accidentally let my milk get hot, but used it anyway...seemed like the cupcakes came out even moister!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard cupcake tin with 12 paper liners.
- In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla butter & nut extract and mix well.
- Add flour mixture alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until flour and milk are fully incorporated.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared liners. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes
- 1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) butter, softened (I always use salted for American buttercreams. If you only have unsalted, add a pinch of salt)
- 1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon milk