cake is an old favorite, and the frosting is a new favorite! I am going to write this recipe out the long way for those people who may not bake cakes from scratch twice a week...
Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (like Softasilk cake flour)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (NOT IN THE MICROWAVE! this ruins everything!!)
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F and get your muffin tins ready. I lined muffin tins with liners, and when I ran out of tins (we have a big family) I put the foil liners on a cookie sheet. They have a big chance to become malformed this way, so be sure to give them room. They'll generally be a bit more spread on top, but they're still tasty :)
In small bowl combine two flours.
In large bowl (or pink stand mixer, whichever you have handy) cream butter until very smooth and shiny. How smooth and shiny you ask? Very. Then add the sugar slowly and beat until fluffy (about 3 minutes.)
Add eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly after each addition (until each is incorporated.)
**you should scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula now and then throughout the process to make sure that you get a smooth consistency at the end
Now! here's the neat part. combine your milk and vanilla, and bring it over to the mixing station along with the mixed-up flours. you're going to add these two things to the mixture in thirds--a third of the flour mixture (beat until thoroughly incorporated) a third of the milk/vanilla mixture (again, beat it.) Flour, milk, flour, milk.
Now taste it. It's heavenly isn't it? it almost tastes like frosting. and don't worry about the whole "raw egg" thing. That's never killed me and I've tasted more batter than you can possibly imagine.
Spoon batter into cupcake tins/liners and fill it to about 3/4. They don't rise a whole lot. You want the cake to come to the top of the liner, but you don't want it to spill over into "muffin top."
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, they're done when you insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. I check right at 20 minutes, and then stand by the door to check again every couple minutes (but I'm a bit compulsive about baking, so there's that.)
Let them cool completely before frosting.
Speaking of which!
Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 box (16 oz? 8oz? I can't remember-- it's the brick, you know.) Cream Cheese (Please don't use the reduced fat/fat free one. I mean you can, but why? It hurts my feelings.)
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla.
Combine cream cheese sugar salt. Cream these. Beat them until very very smooth. Smoother than the butter in the cake even. It'll be longer than you expect. 5 minutes maybe? (this is when the pink stand mixer comes in handy, but really any color will do)
Now you need another bowl to do the whipped cream. It helps if the beaters/whisk and the bowl are cold for this next step so pop them in the freezer for a few minutes before you put in the cream and vanilla. Whip until stiff peaks form. This means when you pick up the beaters out of the cream it forms a peak. It shouldn't flop over (like the top of a DQ cone) it should stand straight up. But!! Don't over beat here or it will turn to butter!
Then add the whipped cream into the bowl with the cream cheese mixture and fold in. Fold means mix lightly with a spatula. Fold is the opposite of beat in baking terms. The whipped cream is delicate and to keep it as fluffy as possible we "fold" :)
The frosting is really sturdy! It looks like it might melt a bit if put in direct sun, but it lasted about 3 hours out at room temperature. It might last longer too, but I don't know because they were all eaten by then.