Simple vanilla buttermilk cupcakes come together with lemon buttercream pipped as hydrangeas in these Hydrangea in Bloom Cupcakes. Perfect for a special occasion, like your flower loving mom’s birthday, or just because!
The original recipe comes from Butter, a great cookbook (or should I say bakebook?) full of deliciously decadent recipes that originate from a bakery in Vancouver: Butter Bakery & Cafe. I’ve never been out exploring on the Canadian west coast, and when I do there is sure to be a pit stop at Butter. For now, I have the bakebook and my kitchen to taste some of their famous baked goods.
From the book, I’ve made the Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins: they are super amazing and dare I say more of a breakfast treat than an actual breakfast. Additionally, I’ve shared their Chocolate Espresso White Chocolate Cookies recipe with a friend that was planing the first homemade meal for her now boyfriend; the cookies were a hit and need I say that the cookies may have been a key player what solidified the budding relationship?! I guess we’ll never quite know.
Apart from the origins of the recipe, the reason for wanting to make my mom’s birthday cake/cupcakes was the accomplish a couple of things: finally get a good homemade vanilla cupcake recipe, conquer buttercream and to attempt some new icing tips.
Of course the cupcakes were stellar, their taste was light and not too dense – great for a dessert after a heavy birthday meal. The buttercream came together very nicely despite the freak out my friend and I had when we added the milk and lemon juice! Once added the buttercream looked like cottage cheese! But if this happens to you, just keep beating for another 10 to 15 minutes, it will come together again! BELIEVE IN THE BUTTERCREAM! LOL!
The only real challenge came from testing the new icing tips. Of course photographed are the Hydrangea in Bloom Cupcakes that came together quite well using a star tip and the yellow lemon butter cream (yellow is my mom’s favourite colour) and following the How to Frost Hydrangea Cupcakes Video by Sugar and Charm.
The other tips I attempted were Russian Icing Tips to get a flower in one step; I was successful in piping a whole cupcake once, my first cupcake. All others failed miserably, I’d only succeeded in forming half the flowers on an individual cupcake and therefore they did not come out picture worthy.
My problem: the icing was not sticking to the cupcake and thus the flour got ruined – the trick I’ve come to discover? Before piping the flowers, apply a thin coat of icing to the top of the cupcakes so that the flower icing has something to stick to – this was a genius discovery only discovered after opting to making the rest with the hydrangea technique. Next time, I’ll use my Russian tips for some flower power cupcakes!
Actually, Flower Power Cupcakes was the original title of this post. However, with the Russian Tips not working out right away, I opted for Hydrangea in Bloom Cupcakes. Fitting since Hydrangea in Bloom was the first jewellery class I took that launched me into wanting to learn more about jewellery making. Maybe this recipe will propel a reader into the love of baking? If it does, I’ll be one happy blogger.
Hope you enjoy!
Hydrangea in Bloom Cupcakes
Buttermilk Vanilla Cupcakes:
- 2 cups pastry flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Lemon Buttercream Icing:
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 cups icing sugar sifted
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2-5 drops yellow food colouring
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
Buttermilk Vanilla Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tin with liners.
In a large bowl, sift together: pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until flight and fluffy.
To the creamed butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time making sure they are well incorporated before the next addition.
In a liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk with the vanilla.
On a low setting, add the dry and liquid ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture starting and ending with dry ingredients (ie. add 1/3 dry, 1/2 wet, 1/3 dry, 1/2 wet, 1/3 dry).
Fill muffin tin 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full with batter.
Bake in preheated oven until a wooden stick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 - 25 minutes. Perfect time to make the icing!
Lemon Buttercream Icing:
In a bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
Meanwhile, sift the icing sugar.
On low, add the sugar in small batches.
Next, add the milk, food colouring and lemon juice. The buttercream may curdle and look like cottage cheese, don't panic!
After the liquids has been added, turn the mixer on high and beat for 10 - 15 minutes.
Once cupcakes have completely cooled. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip full of icing and pipe away!
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