What happens when you put seven girls, seven bottles of Champagne, fully-charged cameras, and one big platter of white cupcakes with raspberry buttercream?
Insanity. Pure, unadulterated insanity.
I still have a headache from our Valentine’s Day party. Let’s just say that the morning after was NOT pretty. But the party was a blast. I haven’t had that much fun since grade school. Seriously. Getting together with a bunch of gals to laugh, moan, and scream about men/work/life is the best stress reliever. And, when in doubt, bake these cupcakes. They know how to rock a party.
While everyone in the world was devouring caviar and chocolate (not at the same time, I hope), we decided to feast on Martha Stewart’s White cupcakes and raspberry frosting. I tend to favor yellow cakes as they are paired perfectly with chocolate buttercream a la my previous birthday cake. But this time I wanted a pure white cake that is soft, moist, and tender. Since I purchased White Chocolate Raspberry kisses (really addicting), I decided to go for a raspberry buttercream frosting.
Honestly, the cakes are supremely easy. It might seem like a hassle to separate the egg whites, whisk them till they form soft peaks, then add them to the cake batter, you must try it out. Your cakes will be light and soft, reminiscent of angel food cake. While the original recipe called for whole milk, I went with buttermilk which added a flavorful tang and complimented the raspberry frosting.
I know many people abhor meringue frosting but it is my favorite frosting. Trust me, I’ve felt the same when I first started making meringue frosting. Hands down, it’s the most delicious frosting ever created and I thank Ms. Stewart for printing this recipe in her book. The biggest mishap that can occur with making this frosting is curdling. Once you add the butter in to the whipped egg whites, your frosting starts to curdle, looking like nasty cream cheese. But let me tell you a little secret: keep whipping. Seriously, keep whipping. After a few minutes of medium beating in a mixer, your frosting will become soft and silky again, like magic. I used to freak out when my frosting started clumping, and sometimes, your frosting won’t cooperate which is when you toss it out, down a shot of vodka, and try it again. While the original recipe called for strawberry preserves, I went the raspberry route and sadly fell short of the recommended 1 1/2 cups. But I still had enough to get a nice soft pink color which was what I wanted anyways.
I don’t know what I loved more about these cupcakes: that they looked adorable or that many of the girls loved them so much that they ate two of them. What can we say, these cupcakes provided just the right amount of sweetness in between our glasses of champagne and giggling fits.
White Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from: Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Yields: 24-30 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
8 large egg whites
For the frosting:
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) strawberry jam, pureed in a food processor
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.
In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.
Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each with a heaping 1/4 cup batter. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Invert cupcakes onto rack; then re-invert and let cool completely, top sides up. Frost cupcakes with buttercream, swirling to cover.
Cupcakes may be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Garnish with candy or fresh raspberries just before serving.
Raspberry Meringue Frosting
Adapted from: Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
Yield: Makes 5 cups
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
● 4 large egg whites
● 1 1/4 cups sugar
● 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
● 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
● 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) raspberry jam
In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir in raspberry jam with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.