Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

15 Jan

So I’m not feeling very well these days.  I’m on Prilosec as of this morning, but it takes a day or two to take effect, so in the meantime I’ve tied myself into infinite Gordion knots worrying… Just worrying.  Not really about anything.  I haven’t been able to do anything today, so I thought I’d write about these cupcakes and listen to the Django Unchained soundtrack, because if that doesn’t help then what the hell would?

But hey, there’s good news.  School has started back up again and I’m enrolled in a class of two where we do research projects with faculty supervision for the whole quarter.  It’s pretty intense, since we need to write a 30-page paper of publication-worthy material, but it’s still very exciting.

And okay, let me just tell you about the professor, because I’ve told literally everyone I know at this point.  She is just the coolest person, all right.  Her own research is really interesting, and she writes a ton of articles for places like Asia Unbound, Huff Po, and Newsweek on Japanese politics.  Also, apparently she interviewed the guy in charge of Uniqlo once.  I know nothing more than that, but that in and of itself is awesome.  Also also, it is entirely conceivable that she knows everything about the Japanese political economy.

Okay, so anyway.  Cupcakes.

These are straight-up Joy the Baker, because the woman can do no wrong in the realm of baked goods.  I had to make some cupcakes for my sister’s birthday, and I saw that these only made 12, which was the perfect amount.  I hate having a ton of cupcakes left over, as there inevitably are.  They also only require one stick of butter for both the cupcakes and the frosting, which I was very happy about.


  • 1 cup flour
  • scant 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 5 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla


Beat together on low speed the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and butter.  It’ll be pretty dry, but do not panic.



Pour in half the milk and beat until just incorporated.  Then, mix together the rest of the milk, the egg, and the vanilla.



Throw that in and beat until it’s smooth.  Do not overbeat. Apparently, if you do that, you get tough cupcakes.  No one wants that.

Pour the batter into twelve regular sized cupcake tins, or mix it up with a few mini cupcakes.  Don’t fill the tins more than about a 1/3, because this batter balloons up like nobody’s business.  My first batch of these went nuclear in the oven and the tops all baked together.  So.  Be careful.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.



To make the frosting, beat together the powdered sugar and butter until well-mixed.  Stir the vanilla into the milk and slowly pour it into the sugar-butter mixture while still beating.  Whip that on high for about 5 minutes, or until it has the consistency you want.



I saw that Joy used a lot of pretty food coloring on hers, so I followed suit.



So easy, it’s almost criminal.

(I’ve been watching a lot of gangster movies/westerns)


Now I hate to disappoint, but the only things I’ve been reading have been articles on the effects of Japanese foreign direct investment on China’s environment (typing that makes me very happy though.  I don’t know why.  Too excited for research.)  Also Team of Rivals, but I’m still not done…

However, I very highly recommend seeing Django Unchained if I have not already recommended it, because it is the bomb shit, okay.

(That’s a good thing.)

First of all, I love Westerns beyond reason and always have.  Second of all, Tarantino.  Third of all, since my mom and I saw the movie we have such a thing for Christoph Waltz, and you will too.  Trust me.


4 Responses to “Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting”

  1. Kdogs 15/01/2013 at 4:14 am #

    Very tasty. Oh, the cupcakes too!

  2. ecm5420 16/01/2013 at 12:49 am #

    Love your posts Kate. Very witty and entertaining.

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