My husband and I were having our friends over for a "feast"--yes, I probably need to explain that. Some years ago, we started calling any time the four of us (my husband, two of his best friends from elementary school, and me) get together for dinner, "feasts". It doesn't really have any rhyme nor reason, but since our first "feast" anytime we want to hang out and eat together we schedule a "feast." I am always responsible for making dessert for our feasts and this time, because we were having Mexican food (and my TexMex upbringing makes me think of cinnamon and sugar for dessert), I decided to make my snickerdoodle cupcakes.
I am more of a chocolate or tart girl so these aren't my favorite, but most snickerdoodle cookie lovers really enjoy them.
I'll start with the recipes and then show you my process and, of course, pictures that will hopefully make your mouth water at least a little bit.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 3/4 cup milk (I always just have skim on hand, but you could use a fattier milk for a richer cupcake)
- Some butter for topping with cinnamon sugar after baking
- 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar (I'll show you how I made this below)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon (or just mix together like I do). Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat sugar and cooled butter together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and milk and mix until well combined.
- Combine dry and wed ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Spoon into cupcake liners and bake for 18-35 minutes (I ended up with 15 cupcakes)
- After the cupcakes come out of the oven (and are still warm), brush the tops with butter and roll them in the cinnamon sugar.
- Allow to cool.
Cinnamon Vanilla Buttercream
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar (depending on desired sweetness and thickness)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbs milk
- Beat butter until light and fluffy.
- Add 2 powdered sugar and beat for 4-5 minutes (add slowly so it doesn't create a powdered sugar cloud)
- Add vanilla and cinnamon followed by milk and beat until combined
- Top cooled cupcakes with buttercream
Pictures with some tips...
Tip #1: Always at least skim the recipe before starting to bake.
This will help you ensure that you have all the ingredients as well as direct you to what you need to do first. For example, I put my dry ingredients in a smaller bowl and my sugar in a larger bowl because my plan was to add the dry ingredients to the wet ones. Also, I knew that my melted butter needed to be cooled so I did that first. When making the buttercream, I also had to allow time for the butter to soften before starting.
Tip #2: Try the "egg test" to see if your eggs are good.
Now I'm not going to swear by the fact that this works, but I tried it. I've always heard that the date on egg cartons isn't really a firm expiration date. My eggs were a little bit over that date so I put them in a large bowl of cold water for the "egg test." Apparently if your eggs sink to the bottom, they are still good. If it stands on one point, it is good but about to go bad. And, if it floats, don't use it! I'm still alive after eating the cupcakes so at least, anecdotally, I'll say it worked.
Tip #3: Crack your eggs in a separate bowl before adding.
The reason I choose to do this is that I have experienced a bad egg before. I'll leave the description at that, but it made me turned off from eggs for a while. Now, when I bake, I crack the eggs in a separate bowl first. That way, if I encounter a bad egg I don't ruin the whole mix and can just discard the egg.
Gathering the ingredients and getting started
I accidentally bought these smaller half sticks of butter and thought they were adorable. I took a picture of one for you next to a normal stick of butter for comparison. They seem like a great idea for the times you don't quite need a whole stick.
Ready for the oven
Out of the oven and coating with the cinnamon sugar
Yes, that mini spatula is quite cute! I find that using a stick of butter, rather than a knife, to apply the cinnamon sugar (like below) works best. Also, the cupcakes will be pretty warm at this point so work quickly to avoid burnt fingers. For my cinnamon sugar, I combined 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbs cinnamon. I had some leftover, but it made for easy dipping.
Making the buttercream and frosting the cupcakes
The finished product