my biggest regret about my wedding reception is that i didn't get to enjoy our cake. the thing was a masterpiece of epic proportions. four tiers of alternating red velvet with cream cheese frosting and then the most divine white cake with strawberry and cream mousse. it was beautiful and delicious...and i took maybe five bites of it. partially because a little girl stole my fork as we were cutting the cake (seriously) and partially because brides are far too busy to sit and enjoy cake.
every future bride i meet, i give her the same advice: don't turn into a psycho planning your reception and eat your cake! and then have someone box you up some and send it off with you to your hotel. wedding cake is magic, and this recipe is as close to perfect as i've ever found.
the cake is dense without being too heavy and the subtle hint of almond adds just enough taste and dimension to keep it from being bland and boring. don't be put-off that it isn't 100% homemade; the box mix brings great flavor and the additions give it texture.
the real kicker that makes this the best white cupcake ever is the buttercream. it's a sprinkles knock-off recipe and it has changed my life. i am usually a cream-cheese-only frosting person, but this recipe is the bees-knees. it is heavy enough to pipe with and it lasts overnight without separating or getting runny. and it couldn't be easier to make.
vanilla almond cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs and 2 egg whites
1. preheat oven to 325 degrees. line cupcake tins.
2. stir together the cake mix, flour, sugar and salt until incorporated.
3. pour in the water, sour cream, vegetable oil, almond and vanilla extracts, and eggs/whites and beat with an electric mixer until batter is moist but some lumps still remain. approximately 4 minutes.
4. pour batter into prepared cupcake tins and bake until tops become slightly brown, about 25 minutes.
note: if you want your cake to be completely white, use clear vanilla extract and 4 egg whites instead of 2 eggs and 2 egg whites. i like my cake to be a little bit dense, and the egg yolks make it heavy.
best vanilla buttercream (sprinkles recipe)
1 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter, confectioners sugar and salt. beat until blended.
2. add the milk and vanilla and beat for additional 3-5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
note: double the recipe if planning on frosting cupcakes with a knife. triple recipe if planning on piping frosting on cupcakes.