Friday, July 15, 2011

Sugar Cookie Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate our independence than with a tasty summer dessert!  Whether you're going to a party, hosting a party, or just want something sweet to snack on while you watch fireworks, there is no reason not to bake on this beloved day!  When I think of summer picnic-worthy desserts, I think fresh and light (see mini lemon curd cupcakes with lemon cream) treats, like strawberry shortcake, berry trifles, and angel food cake.

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house, and I remember eating a lot of angel food cake in the warmer months.  So, in honor of all things America, I decided to bake a patriotic version of my childhood favorite...and it ended in disaster.  Since I didn't own an angel food cake pan, I bought this one by Wilton.  Unfortunately, when I went to pull my cake, I found that it had sank through the spring form and was baking on the bottom of the oven.  I hate to blame this epic fail on a pan, but I really don't think it was anything I did!  I guess I'll find out if I ever get brave enough to try to use it again!

Since I had already used up the majority of my baking ingredients on the cake sticking to the bottom of my oven, I went searching for anything I could find that might pair well with fresh fruit.  I ended up making sugar cookie cupcakes with buttercream icing, and they were perfect!  The recipe below will make 12 cupcakes, so I only made a half batch of my grandmother's icing.   While I have sworn to never share her buttercream recipe, there are thousands of terrific versions out there.  One that I have tried and recommend is buttercream dream icing.

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with an electric hand mixer.  Add the eggs, one at a time and then add the vanilla.  Combine the flour and baking powder and continue to mix for about 2 minutes.  Stir in the milk at mix for 2 more minutes.

Distribute the batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan.  Bake for 20-22 minutes.  Allow pan to cool on wire rack for 5 minutes before removing from pan and leaving to cool completely.  Ice with your favorite buttercream icing and top with your favorite red and blue fruits!

Happy 4th!

[recipe courtesy of]