So yummy!  Hanna said “Lisi, I never ever like cupcakes and I actually like these!!”  Sylvie and I agreed 100 percent.  And mind you – this tasting was w/out the icing.  Sylvie picked this recipe — eager to bake from this very pretty decorating book called Hello, Cupcake!  We were baking for My Sister’s Place again – and she wanted to make something a little more special and exciting.  And that meant decorating.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to let the girls decorate because I wanted the cupcakes to look just so – but soon remembered that they are very capable and creative 11 year olds!  Thank goodness we were all in it together because their help cut my time in half.  But don’t worry, these are super simple to make.  I promise.  The key is baking time (as usual) try to remove from oven when there is only a tiny moist crumb on a toothpick.  I know a pain, but worth the extra effort to check, and check again and again toward the end of baking time.

vanilla cupcakes (from Hello, Cupcake by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson):

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs

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

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine the milk, oil, and vanilla extract (I do this in liquid measuring cup).

With the paddle attachment of your electric mixer (or hand held beaters) beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the bowl after a few minutes and beat for a few minutes longer.  Around 6-7 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time and once combined, scrape again.  On the lowest speed, add the the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture in batches.  Begin, and end with flour.  Mix until JUST blended.

Fill the cupcake liners two thirds full. Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out JUST clean — 15 – 20 minutes. Once you are able to handle the cupcakes, remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar for the easiest treat – or many any frosting of your choice! Decorate and have fun – Enjoy –

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