I made these cupcakes last night for my friend Mark. He and his wife are about to have their first baby so we decided to throw him a surprise baby shower at work.
It was kind of awkward because when he walked into a meeting this morning, we had everything waiting for him in the corner but no one said anything. So I just yelled out, “Congrats!” He looked at me like I had four heads but then he saw the gifts and cupcakes, and all was right with the world.
It’s been a while since I’ve made cupcakes. Usually I go the cookie route, mostly because I like cookies more than cupcakes. But a baby shower practically screams cupcakes. They’re cute, relatively easy, and there’s lots of opportunity for decoration.
I made buttercream frosting and I divided it in half. Then, I mixed red food coloring into half the icing and blue food coloring into the other. Words to the wise: You’ll need less red food coloring than blue food coloring. A couple drops of red food coloring turned the icing a shade of baby pink. I had to use three or four drops to get the icing a baby blue color.
I sprinkled the tops of the cupcakes with shimmery sprinkles but you could use another kind. I thought about using small pearl sprinkles. Maybe they even make baby-themed ones, but I didn’t want to take it that far. I’m still new to the whole baby shower thing.
The cupcakes are a hit. We had fire drill right after the meeting this morning and a bunch of people told me they grabbed one on the run. I’m happy that they prioritized.
Here’s a song that reminds me of these cupcakes, and, I guess, babies. Stevie Wonder wrote it about his daughter.
Baby Shower Cupcakes
for the cupcakes:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
for the buttercream frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 tbsp whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
Add half the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Then add the milk and mix until incorporated. Then mix in the rest of the flour. DO NOT OVERMIX.
Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a stick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.
Allow the cupcakes to cool for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream frosting. Combine the butter and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until light and fluffy. Then mix in two cups of powdered sugar until it’s fully incorporated. Mix in the rest of the powdered sugar and beat on medium speed until the buttercream is smooth and light. Beat in the milk and vanilla extract and continue to mix until the frosting is smooth.
Use a spatula to divide the buttercream in half. Put one half in a bowl and leave the other in the bowl of the stand mixer. Place two drops of red food coloring in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat until it’s light pink. Transfer the icing to an icing bag or a plastic bag with the corner cut off (that’s what I used). Ice half the cupcakes.
Then place the reserved icing in another stand mixer bowl with a paddle attachment and beat in four drops of blue food coloring. Repeat the icing process.
Top the cupcakes with sprinkles. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They’ll keep for three days this way. Enjoy!