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Sour Cream Vanilla Cupcakes with Whisky Maple Buttercream

Recipe courtesy Cupcake Royale

Makes 18-24 cupcakes
start to finish: 40 minutes
from Edible Seattle March/April 2010

Creating the flat crown top of Cupcake Royale’s cupcakes involves filling the cupcake papers almost to their rim and smoothing the batter with a spatula, which can lead to occasional overflow problems in a home oven. The recipe is the same for either traditional pointy-topped cupcakes or with flat crowns, but you’ll end up with 18 finished cupcakes with the latter.

3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the milk, sour cream and vanilla. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Then, in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat together on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about one minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating at medium speed for a full 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour half the milk mixture into the mixing bowl, beating at medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add half the dry mixture, and beat for another 30 seconds, scraping the bowl once again. Repeat this process once more, until all the liquid and dry mixtures have been incorporated and the batter is thick and smooth.

For traditional cupcakes, fill each lined cup 2/3 of the way with batter (about 2 tablespoons batter per muffin cup). For flat “crown” tops, fill each cup nearly to the top of the liner with batter (1/3 of a cup batter per muffin cup). Bake for 22-27 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting with maple whisky buttercream.

Whisky Maple Buttercream
Frosts 24 cupcakes
start to finish: 10 minutes

This rich frosting isn’t too sweet and has a pleasantly boozy flavor. Using the more common Grade A maple syrup will lessen the maple intensity, but it won’t affect the texture.

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup Dry Fly or Jameson’s whisky
5 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer set to medium speed, beat butter, whiskey, syrup, salt and one cup of powdered sugar together until smooth. Add remaining sugar one cup at a time, until frosting is thick but still spreadable.

Spread generously onto cooled cupcakes.

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