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Since coming back from my blogging hiatus over the spring and summer months, I’ve been just a little back-logged on several posts.  Take the 4th of July for example.  This is a favorite holiday for us and one that I generally share on Main St. Cuisine and one that I normally share with you in July.

Not even the busiest bloggers will share a patriotic post with you in September.

Just me.

Here’s a quick look at a few things that were up in my home on the 4th.

1. Just a glass vase with a collection of small American flags in it.  2. Pleated patriotic paper decorations (as you can tell, I have no idea what they’re really called).  I picked these up in Target last year and hung them from both chandeliers.  3.  A vintage teapot filled with mini American flags and a glittered USA decoration (gosh, I don’t know what to call that item either.  By the way, it was from Target as well). And, 4. is another look at the vanilla cupcakes I made.

Cupcake Flag Tutorial:  I made cupcake flags by punching out the background shape and the stars, using scrapbook paper and using punches I already had.  I made two of each.  Place a small skewer on top of one flag add some photo adhesive and then place the other flag directly on top (right sides facing out).

Let’s begin the cupcakes.

First, you’ll need to beat a 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 2/3 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add 3 large eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 tsp of vanilla extract.  Next, whisk together the zest of 1 lemon, 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and a 1/4 cup of milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

To make the buttercream: In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth and well blended. Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add 2 tbsp of milk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add a little more milk or sugar, if needed to get desired consistency.

Line your 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and fill each cup with batter.  Place into the center of your preheated 350 degree oven for 17-20 minutes.

Here are the cupcakes after baking in my oven for about 19 minutes.    You’ll want to completely cool them before you frost them with vanilla buttercream.

These were so delicious.  Probably one of the better tasting cupcakes I’ve made in awhile.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Original recipe taken from Joy of Baking and may be found here.

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup granulated white sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest of 1 large lemon

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

Buttercream Frosting:

2 cups confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk or cream

Method

Vanilla Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon zest, flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 17 -20 minutes or just until set and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Always check a few minutes before the stated baking time. Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. If you want flat topped cupcakes then slice off the dome of each cupcake, with a sharp knife, before frosting.  Cupcakes are best eaten the same day they are made, but they can be covered and stored for a few days.

Buttercream Frosting:In an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth and well blended. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add a little more milk or sugar, if needed. 

Yield: 12 cupcakes

I hope you are enjoying your long weekend.  I’ll see you tomorrow.

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