I can’t believe that the weather is no longer in the 90s. I have been so used to leaving work, getting in my car and immediately rolling down the windows to escape the sauna. It’s so nice to wear long sleeve shirts, and burn spicy candles when the weather is actually cool. The highest the weather has been lately is the mid 80s. I’m so spoiled by this weather right now…I wish Louisiana was like this for more than a few weeks a year!!
In fact, it was the most perfect night for trick or treating a couple of nights ago. We like to give out candy outside, because just one doorbell will make Millie go batty. It’s just not worth giving her the anxiety, so we dress her up (ha…she’s fine with it as long as it’s not a full sweater or something) and sit outside with the candy. The families in our neighborhood just love Millie, and she loves the attention (unless someone wore a mask…we found out this year that she’s scared of those).
If you follow me on Instagram (username: niftyfoodie), you probably saw this last night. The little hat eventually came off, since she kept trying to eat the string, but she was pretty much the cutest pumpkin in the neighborhood (in my HIGHLY unbiased opinion).
For our coworkers, I usually bake something festive for the day. These cupcakes were what I chose to make: a simple vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream. I had to make a double batch, so I wanted to keep things simple. I ended up throwing some sprinkles in the batter to give it a festive feel, and they were definitely well-received. This cake leans towards the denser side, but the flavor was definitely there. This chocolate buttercream is pretty addictive, too and it couldn’t be simple to make. It comes together in minutes, which could be trouble…I had trouble resisting after having a spoonful, but I promise I did!
Ingredients for the cupcakes:
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
Ingredients for the frosting:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp. heavy cream
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prepare your cupcake tins by placing a lining in each well.
- In a large bowl, add the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt and then whisk everything together. To that, add the softened butter and beat on low speed in a mixer, until the mixture resembles sand.
- Mix the milk and vanilla in a small bowl and add that to the butter mixture. Mix everything together on low speed for 30 seconds, and then mix on medium speed for another 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl down.
- Put the mixer back on low speed and add one egg. Once the egg is added, beat on medium for 30 seconds. Repeat this with the second, third and fourth egg, scraping the bowl down after each addition.
- After the last egg is added, beat the mixture on medium for another 30 seconds.
- Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners (about 3/4 of the way full), and then bake the cupcakes for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Once the cupcakes are done, place them on a cooling rack.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare your buttercream by placing your 2 sticks of butter in the bowl of a mixer and beat the butter for about 2 minutes until fluffy and light.
- With the mixer on low, add in the confectioners sugar, as well as the cocoa powder and mix well. Add in the salt, extract and cream, and increase the speed to medium. Mix the frosting, scraping the bowl down a couple of times, until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- When the cupcakes are cool, frost with the buttercream (and add sprinkles, if you’d like). Enjoy!