I apologize in advance for this long-winded explanation. I am indecisive by nature, probably my biggest weakness. This indecision can lead to disproportional amounts of anxiety over such mundane decisions as “paper or plastic?” Obviously it’s going to cause a lot of problems when I’m baking.
So, we had two parties for Clara’s 3rd birthday this month. One as a family, which included piggy cupcakes and a trip to the zoo. The cupcakes were fun, I used this recipe I found at Martha Stewart and improvised a pink strawberry frosting.
The second party was a week later with her own little friends, no big kids allowed! This time I wanted to make a proper birthday cake. I had found some yummy looking lemon curd at the international store that I was excited about and I had fresh raspberries, so I knew I wanted to make something with the lemon/raspberry flavor combo. I searched and searched and although there were multiple options out there, none seemed just right. INDECISION! I ended up mixing and matching, and I’m still unsure about the results. I used the same vanilla cupcake recipe again, I really enjoyed the rich flavor the first time around. This time, although all three components (cake, lemon curd, frosting) were delicious on there own, something wasn’t quite right. Turning cupcakes into a three tier cake seemed to dry it out a bit and dilute the raspberry and lemon flavors. Next time I’d definitely use the same three components, but in cupcake form. I think they’d be really amazing and pretty too!
Well, most importantly, this cake was PINK for Clara’s birthday. Woohoo, 3-years-old…a final farewell to tantrums, diapers, the baby bed, and chubby little toddler hugs…gotta stop, I’m actually making myself a little sad.
As mentioned above, I would simply bake and fill the cupcakes according to Martha’s recipe next time, and so those are the instructions I am including. Then top with the oh-so-smooth raspberry cream cheese frosting below. Lemon and raspberry make such a tasty, tangy combo!!
Score – 7.5
Yields 12 generous servings as cake or 24 cupcakes (Calorie estimate: 770/slice or 520/cupcake)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
5 large eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 cup plus scant 1/3 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream (I used plain yogurt)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla; beat to combine. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together both flours, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. With the mixer on low, add flour mixture; mix until well combined. Add sour cream; mix until well combined.
In a clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
Fill each muffin cup half full with batter. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until a skewer inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely.
Using an apple corer, make a hole in the top of each cupcake, taking care not to push the corer through the bottom; remove cake from hole. Fill a squirt bottle with lemon curd and squeeze curd into holes.
Raspberry Cream Cheese Fluffy Frosting
In a food processor beat cream cheese, butter, and shortening till light and airy. Add preserves and pulse till blended.Adding the sugar till the consistency is where you want, adding more for decorating and less to make a smooth and creamy frosting or glaze if you prefer.
Happy Birthday, Clara!!!
I love this girl.