I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who loves their birthday more than I do. I know you're only supposed to love your birthday when you're young and I'll admit that I struggled with it when I turned 3-0, but I've gotten over that. I just love any excuse to celebrate and I'm not shy about being the center of attention (in case you missed it, this blog is all about me after-all).
"MeMe Month" is an idea that originated from my mother. I'm not sure when it started, maybe even before I was born, but for purpose of this blog let's say that it has been passed down for generations upon generations in my family. Some people get their dislike of mushrooms, their big butts, or their dance moves from their parents. My mom gave me a full-fledged obsession and fully dedicated vision for celebrating my birthday. As a December baby you've really got to be aggressive if you want to outshine Christmas and that baby Jesus! *not to mention my new niece and nephew who celebrate the day after me and want some attention of their own*
So to really drive the spirit of my birthday home in the new office (where they've never experienced my MeMe Month) I brought in cupcakes on December 1 and announced the commencement of TGK's MeMe Month. I told them it was a kickoff treat, but I was really trying to sweeten them up before I overwhelmed them with four weeks of birthday talk, and maybe a few shenanigans. And it worked! I have been wished happy birthday month by colleagues several times each week. :)
Almost everyone has a favorite birthday cake from their childhood. Mine is vanilla. Don't be fooled by the fact that these cupcakes are merely vanilla; I've worked for many years to perfect the ultimate recipe. Enjoy!
Very Vanilla FUNFETTI Cupcakes
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the racks in the center position. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, sour cream, and egg whites. Set aside.
Fit a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or use a hand mixer (I got a better dome with the hand mixer). Add the butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste to the bowl and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light. Scrape the sides as necessary.
Add the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture while beating on medium speed, again scraping the sides as needed. Beat in half of the sour cream mixture. Alternately add the remaining flour mixture and sour cream until all the wet and dry ingredients have added, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth.
Use a large ice cream scoop, evenly divide the batter between 22 lined muffin tins filling each about 2/3 of the way full.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool pan on wire rack for less than 5 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to the rack to finish cooling.
Vanilla Bean Buttercream
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (to maintain the bright white color) 1 ½ pounds (24 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted 2-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the butter and vanilla bean paste. Beat until fluffy. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the confectioners' sugar while continuing to beat. I add one cup of powdered sugar at a time.
Once well blended, add in the vanilla and 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk. Mix on low speed until well combined and moist. If desired, an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until your desired consistency is reached. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.