27 November 2013

Not Quite White Vanilla Cupcakes & Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Let's say you want to make some vanilla cupcakes. Or maybe you want to try a sort of non-traditional recipe for the holidays... Well do I have the answer for you! I am loving the nearly perfected recipe for cupcakes I came up with and especially love how well they lend themselves to cranberry upside down cake. Here are the ways to make both with crazy photo-heavy instructions. Have no fear! There are easy to follow instructions at the end. :)

For the cupcakes you are going to need all this good stuff!

If you are going all the way to cranberry upside down cake, you will also need this stuff.

But let's begin with the cupcakes! I'm making a double batch in the photos because I'm going to two different Thanksgiving celebrations. The recipe at the end gives measurements for a single batch, but feel free to make two! Start with eggs.

Add in some salt.

And some baking powder because we want them to be fluffy!

Vanilla cupcakes would be worthless without vanilla, so don't forget to add some of that!

Now my secret weapon in these cupcakes is flax powder. You can absolutely omit this because it adds nothing flavor-wise. All this adds is fiber and possibly a little texture. So add it, or don't. It's your call!

But I always add it!

Then add some milk or soy milk. Whatever you have on hand.

How about some brown sugar?

Oh yes!

Then we need some flour.

And an electric or stand mixer to do the dirty work. I mean c'mon, it's the holidays! No one has time to sit around and mix batter by hand!

If you are making the cranberry upside down cake, you are also going to want to add a little bit of cinnamon and allspice. Heck, you could add them even if you aren't, but please add them if you are!

And finally.... Butter! I'm channeling Paula Deen with this recipe. "Hey y'all! Don't forget to add the butter before you mix it all up!"

If you are just making cupcakes, you would go ahead and spoon that batter into cups and bake them up. You would end up with something that looks like this.
My new go-to cupcake

But if you are shooting for the stars and making cranberry upside down cake, you are not done yet, so hang in there! (Good news: You are nearly done!)

Start with half a stick of butter.

Rub that sucker all over the bottom and sides of your pan.

After the sides are greasy, leave the rest in blobs on the bottom of the pan. This is going to be what cooks the cranberries, so don't be stingy.

Next we need some flavoring for our cranberries. I start with brown sugar, but you could totally use regular sugar. Either way we need to add some cinnamon and allspice. Gosh, allspice sounds so pretentious: "I'm every spice to everyone!" *sigh* ...Whisk it all up.

And sprinkle it over the butter lumps in the bottom of the pan.

Next you add your cranberries. You can use a little more than the recipe calls for, or less, depending on how cranberry-y you want the cake to be.

Then spoon in the luxurious and thick batter!

Spread it out to make it relatively even and bake it!

Once a toothpick comes out clean you can take it out of the oven. It might look something like this.
Cranberry upside down cake

Let it cool for about 30 minutes before you flip it out of the pan! You have to let it cool first so your cranberry ooze has time to absorb into the cake.
Cranberry upside down cake

Not Quite White Vanilla Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes or one cranberry upside down cake

½ cup milk (or vanilla soy milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/8 tsp salt
1 stick butter, room temp & cubed
2 eggs
2 tsp flax meal

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix eggs, salt, baking powder, vanilla, flax meal, milk, and brown sugar.
Then add flour.
Then add butter and cream the mixture with hand mixer.
Add to prepared cupcake cups.
Bake 19-23 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake
·      4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
·      1/2 cup sugar
·      1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·      1/4 teaspoon allspice
·      2 cups fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Rub the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan (or 9” square) with 2 tablespoons butter, leaving remainder on bottom in chunks.
In a small bowl, whisk together: sugar with the cinnamon and allspice.
Sprinkle mixture evenly over butter chunks in pan; arrange cranberries in a single layer on top.
Prepare a batch of not-quite-white vanilla cupcakes. Add dash of allspice and cinnamon to cake batter.
Spoon batter over cranberries in pan, and smooth top.
Place pan on a baking sheet; bake cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake; invert onto a rimmed platter.

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