I always feel slightly guilty for so thoroughly enjoying July 4th. As a British girl should I really join in the celebrations with such gay abandon? I think enough water has flowed under the bridge (or across the Atlantic) to harbor any miffed feelings about being booted out of the Colonies.
July 4th parties seem to beg for cupcakes. These delectable creamy little cakes please everyone. There's nothing quite like lounging on a porch chair, licking the icing off a cupcake and watching the fireworks on a warm summer night.
6 oz of unsalted butter
1 ½ cups of sugar
3 large eggs (at room temperature)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
Pinch of salt
¾ cup of whole milk (room temperature)
Heat the oven to 350F
Line two cupcake trays with liners.
Mix together the butter and sugar until very light and creamy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Pour the milk and vanilla into a measuring jug.
Add half the flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and combine gently.
Add the milk and vanilla, combine, add the remainder of the flour mixture and combine.
Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners so that they are just over half full.
Place in the oven and bake for approximately 12- 15 minutes. The cupcakes are done when they are risen and golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to thoroughly cool before frosting.
4 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 tablespoon of best quality vanilla extract
¼ cup of whole milk
3 cups of confectioner’s sugar
Pinch of salt
Beat all the ingredients together until creamy. If the mixture is too thick add a little more milk. If it’s too runny, add a little more confectioner’s sugar.
Dollop a good sized amount on each of the cooled cupcakes, decorate with flags, sprinkles or berries of your choice.