Sometimes, you just can't beat a plain, but good vanilla cupcake. A friend turned 40 last week, and to celebrate, our group of friends went out to dinner and then to a show at Comedy Works.
After dinner, there were the cupcakes, vanilla, as he had requested. I had baked the cupcakes in simple gold foil wrappers, so I topped them with fondant 40s brushed with gold petal dust and gold sprinkles. Simple but elegant, soft, sweet and deliciously vanilla.
I had a few extra cupcakes left at home, so I dressed them up a little for Jamie to take to work. One got a luxurious filling of my homemade salted caramel, with vanilla buttercream topped with more salted caramel, crunchy toffee and coarse salt. This one, of course, was Jamie's favorite.
Another, I filled with a spoonful of my homemade red wine raspberry jam, peeking demurely through a simple swirl of vanilla buttercream.
And yet another, a filling of my homemade red wine chocolate cherry jam, topped with a buttercream rose and a bright red maraschino cherry.
Besides being delicious, vanilla cupcakes are so versatile, since there isn't a flavor you can't add to jazz them up a little. One of my personal favorite variations is lemon curd filling, for a cupcake that tastes like creamy lemon pie...