Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my loves!! As many of you know, I have a tendency to over-celebrate the holidays, even relatively tiny ones, like Valentine’s Day. It’s something I get from my mom. She would always decorate the house in sparkling red hearts, hang up streamers, and give each of us kids a special present to show how much she loved us. In my house, Valentine’s wasn’t really about romantic love, it was about all kinds of love, and it still is today.
That’s why I made these little babies for all my Valentines at work. I wanted to show how much I love and appreciate them, not just as co-workers, but as friends. And what better way to do that than with the world’s best vanilla cake recipe and a big dollop of strawberry buttercream?
How festive are these little guys? I love the color combination that these flavors produce. And those little red heart sprinkles? I bought them for a Christmas cookie party and fell in love with them. You can buy you’re own batch right here.
I also used these flavors because I needed to appeal to a large group of people. I already have two cakes sitting on my counter right now–I don’t need to bring home any cupcakes! This recipe is designed for bulk. This one batch produces somewhere between 2.5-3 dozen cupcakes in one go. Perfect, since I needed to make 60 cupcakes!
The best part about this recipe, though, is how easy it is to make. Those who frequent my blog know that I am a big fan of shortcuts as long as it doesn’t compromise the quality of the product. You still get all your bragging rights even if it is semi-homemade. This recipe uses a cake box mix as its base, but it’s fancied up a bit (I can never leave well enough alone). That being said, I am still very picky about my cake mixes. I prefer Duncan Hines, but will make do with Betty Crocker, but nothing else! Everyone else’s cake mixes are too mystery-meat-esque: you don’t know how much of what ingredient is in there.
Without any further ado, here is the world’s best vanilla cupcake recipe! Share it with someone you love.
For the cake:
1 box white cake mix (Duncan Hines)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1 cup cold water
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients making sure to break up and large clumps of mix, and then set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine water, eggs, yogurt and vanilla. Mix well. Slowly add wet mixture to dry mixture while beating on medium speed with either a hand mixer or stand mixer.
Once well-combined, divide evenly into cupcake liners or into 2 greased 8 inch pans. Bake from 20-30 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center of the cakes and it come out cleanly.
For the frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Few drops of liquid red food coloring
Strawberry flavoring (You can find bottles of these everywhere from Hobby Lobby to Michael’s, or you can get some here.)
* Milk or heavy cream, optional
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and confectioners’ sugar. Begin mixing on low speed until crumbly, and then increase to high and beat for 3 minutes.
Add vanilla extract and beat again for another minute until light and fluffy. Add the red food coloring in a little at a time until the desired pink color intensity is achieved. Add strawberry extract or strawberry flavoring oil.
Buttercream can come in a variety of thickness depending on what you need to use it for (piping, spreading, creating flowers and other cake decorations). If it turns out to be too thick, add a little milk or heavy cream slowly until you reach desired consistency.
That’s all I have for you today. Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!