Birthday Planning

My birthday is just over a month away. Last year I had a big party with lots of food and lots of people. I don’t think this year is going to be quite so big, but I have to have a cake (or perhaps cupcakes) so Mommy and I started brainstorming today. Mommy has a lot to live up after last year. She made this delicious monkey cake:

It makes even more sense if you know this is my best friend:

Since there were so many people at my party, Mommy also made cupcakes. The cake was chocolate with vanilla frosting and the cupcakes were lime with lime frosting. They were both delicious.

Here’s the recipe for the lime cupcakes:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose sifted flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I used regular milk with some lime juice to “create” buttermilk)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
grated zest of two limes

Place a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350. Place cupcake papers into a cupcake pan (this recipe will make 24 cupcakes. If you want to make a cake instead, butter two 8 inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Dust bottoms and sides of pans with flour, tap out any excess.)

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream butter on medium speed until softened, 1-2 minutes. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating on medium speed until lightened, 3-4 minutes, scraping down sides occasionally. Drizzle in the eggs, a little at a time, beating after each addition until the batter is no longer slick, about 5 minutes. Stop once or twice to scrape down the sides.

On low-speed, alternatively add the flour mixture and buttermilk, a little of each at a time, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat in the vanilla and the lime zest.

Spoon the batter into the cupcake papers, about 2/3 of the way full. Bake 10 minutes, then rotate the pans in the oven for even baking. Continue baking 10-15 minutes longer, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. (For a cake, bake a total of 10-15 minutes longer.) Transfer pans to a rack to cool, 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans, set on rack until completely cool.

For frosting:

Add one package (1 lb) of powdered sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Drizzle in, until the consistency of firm butter, fresh lime juice (a few tablespoons – juice of 2-3 limes.) If you add too much liquid, add more sugar. When it reaches the right consistency, add 1 1/2 cups butter (firm, but not too cold or too soft) and the zest of one lime. Pulse until blended.

Note: this frosting will be runny as it warms, so don’t mix it too long and refrigerate your cupcakes after you frost them.

 

So, for this year, we’re thinking a butterfly (farfalle) cake. We’re open to suggestions for flavor though. I do like chocolate…

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