Today is July 18, which means that my son is one month old. This seems nearly impossible to me – I cannot believe he has been with us for a whole month now! I decided to make some cupcakes to celebrate this special day (and also, just because I wanted cupcakes :-) ) even though he will only get to enjoy them in the form of breastmilk.
Speaking of which, I am submitting this as my entry to Got Milk?, a food blogging event hosted by Linda at Make LIfe Sweeter! This event coincides with World Breastfeeding Week which is the first week of August. Entries simply have to be something sweet that has milk as an ingredient. Breastfeeding is known to be the best form of nutrition for a child and has many proven benefits. I was prepared for many of the challenges of new mommyhood, but I had no idea how difficult breastfeeding would be. Even though we didn’t have any actual problems, it is a huge and painful adjustment. It is the one thing I wish I had understood better before having my baby. At first it was incredibly difficult and suddenly I completely understood how so many moms give up quickly – it’s really hard! We stuck with it and at two weeks, it was easier. At three weeks – much easier. It continues to get better everyday and I am happy I can do this for my son. It is pretty cool to see how much he has grown in one month and know that I am the one responsible for that. Now I am very glad that I am breastfeeding, so I think this is a great event. Thanks, Linda, for hosting!
Anyway, on to the cupcakes! These are a wonderful classic vanilla cupcake topped with my favorite (and super easy) vanilla buttercream. The cake is perfectly moist and tender, and they bake up with little domed tops which I prefer for decorating. I omitted the lemon zest from the recipe. I’m sure it would be delicious, but I wanted a simple vanilla flavor. The recipe yields 12 cupcakes. I made half a batch of the frosting and was short one cupcake. So, if you are like me and use a lot of frosting in your decoration, you might want to make more than half a batch. If you just spread a layer on top, half a batch would be plenty. Enjoy!
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup milk
1-1 ½ recipes easy vanilla buttercream frosting
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Set pan aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest, if using.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Prepare frosting. Decorate cooled cupcakes as desired.