March 10, 2011

Baby Cakes!

Today is baking day at The Maine House! I’ve found that one of the best ways to get through the winter (yes darlings, it is still winter up here in Maine) is to bake. So I have been looking over my collection of handwritten recipes and came across a cake recipe I used to bake for special family dinners. It was the most moist and flavorful Strawberry cake..such an old-fashioned recipe but often requested for Spring time and Easter! I had the concept of making all of our favorite citrus colors into cupcakes for our Spring fling table! Hence...citrus babycakes it shall be!! 

A Maine House Mosaic

Estelle's Orange Cream Babycakes
3 medium oranges
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Peel oranges (removing any seeds and as much of the white pith as possible) and puree in a blender or food processor. Measure out 1/2 cup of the liquidy pulp. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine orange pulp, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, orange extract, sugar, and vegetable oil. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Fill your cupcake containers  2/3 full and bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before  frosting.

Citrus Orange Frosting
1 cup butter, room temperature
6-8 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium-high speed until creamy. Add half of the sifted sugar, the vanilla, the orange extract, and the orange juice. Beat until combined. Gradually add the remaining sugar until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.

Estelle's Strawberry Babycakes
2 cups white sugar
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs (room temperature)
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry puree made from frozen sweetened strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line your cupcake baking pan with prepared liners.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared
cupcake containers, spooning 2/3 of the way full.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before tapping out to cool completely.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese,  room temperature
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature.
3 1/2 cups of sifted confectioners sugar
3/4 cup of fresh strawberries, rinsed, capped, and mashed to make 1/2 cup, then drained well
1/2 cup frozen grated coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the sugar and drained strawberries. Blend the frosing on low until the sugar has been incorporated. Then raise the speed to medium and mix the frosing another minute or until the frosing lightens and is well combined. Fold in the pecans and the coconut.

Estelle's Lemon Babycakes
3 cups all purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
Grated zest of 3 lemons (3 T.)
2 T. lemon juice
1 t. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together. Mix butter and sugar together at medium speed. Add eggs one at a time and wait until the egg is all mixed in before adding the next one. Add zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches with two batches of buttermilk and lemon juice in between. Beat until just combined after each addition. Place batter in lined cups filling about three-quarters full. Bake until golden, cake tester comes out clean or about 25 minutes. Cool completely before removing from the muffin tins.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners' sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon rind, and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar in 2 additions. Beat until creamy. Add more icing sugar or juice as needed for easy spreading. Makes about 3 2/3 cups.

"A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way
 that everyone believes he has the biggest piece!"
Ludwig Erhard

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