3 1/4 c (13 oz) cake flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c - 2 T (7.5 oz) shortening
1 2/3 c (13 oz) sugar
10 oz (1 1/4 c) water
1 T vanilla extract
1 T cherry extract
1/4 t almond extract
5 egg whites (6 oz) beaten
1/4 c (1.25 oz) powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set the oven rack to the lower middle position.
Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. Spray lightly with (1)cooking spray.
Combine (2)cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a bowl of an electric mixer add shortening and sugar. Beat on high 3-4 minutes.
While this is mixing prepare the egg whites. In a medium bowl add the egg whites and powdered sugar. Beat with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
When the shortening and sugar are beaten, add vanilla, cherry, and almond (3)extracts and beat until incorporated. With the mixer running on low (4)Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, 1/2 the water, 1/3 more mixture, 1/2 the water, then the last 1/3 of the flour. Beat on high 30-60 seconds.
Gently but thouroughly fold the egg whites into the mixture. Immediately divide into the prepared pans (each cake 1 lb 9.75 oz before baking) . Bake 17 minutes until it (5)springs back gently. Place pan on a coolin rack and let sit 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes and place on a cooling rack. Cool completely. Frost and eat!
Rounded Cupcakes: Cupcakes look best rounded on top. The cake shouldn't actually be rounded or there is too much flour. Round the frosting on the top to give it an elevated look.
Swirl Top: Swirly tops are fun. Fill a piping tool with the buttercream. Fit with a jagged tip (sorry I don't know the actual name). Start on the outside and pipe frosting around the edge and circle into the middle in a single layer. Lift the tool. Begin again on the inside edge of the outer swirl. Cover and swirl around and upwards to a point. Top with sprinkles.
1 c (8 oz, 2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 c (8 oz)Crisco shortening (not butter flavored)
4 large egg whites
1 c sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
¾ t salt
1 c (4 oz) powdered sugar
1 T vanilla
1 T cherry extract
1/4 t almond extract
3-4 drops red food coloring
Cut the butter into 2-3 tablespoon pieces. Bring to (6)room temperature. Measure the shortening and set aside
Put an inch or two of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. In a large bowl add the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Whisk well. Place over the simmering water and whisk constantly. Heat to (7)160 degrees (about five minutes) The mixture should be doubled in volume and frothy. Remove from heat. Beat on high speed for five minutes until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and add the butter one piece at a time until each is incorporated. Add (8)shortening in 2-3 increments as well. Add the vanilla, cherry, and almond (3)extracts and beat on high an additional minute.
Cover and store at (9)room temperature until ready to use.
1. I like to spray the muffin liners so the cupcakes come out cleanly. Spray them lightly, or they'll taste slightly fried.
2. Cake flour creates a very fine, soft crumb. If you substitute with all-purpose flour do so by weight not volume. So still use 15 oz which is only 3 cups rather than 3 3/4 cups.
3. Pure extracts are always recommeded to imitation extracts. They aren't always available though, so substitute if you have to, but get the real product if you can.
4. It is a little tedious to mix it this way, but it will mix in more evenly.
5. Traditionally to tell if a cake is done a toothpick or knife is inserted into the center. I don't like to do this, it deflates cakes that aren't done. Gently touch the middle of the cake. If it feels jiggly inside it isn't done. If it just barely springs back or gives a little resistence it is done and should be removed from the oven. It may seem a bit undone, but will continue to bake while it sits. If it is very firm, it is overdone.
6. The butter needs to be at room temperature or slightly cooler. Cold butter won't incorporate and melted butter will curdle and ruin the buttercream.
7.160 degrees is the point where the eggs are pasteurized and safe to eat.
8. I tried a store brand shortening once and the consistency was awful. It may be fine to bake with, but it won't work very well for a frosting.
9. It’s best to keep this at room temperature because of the high butter content. Refrigerating it will make it hard. If you do refrigerate it soften it carefully in the microwave 5-8 seconds at a time stirring between each interval to make sure it doesn’t melt. Once it melts it’s ruined.