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How was your Valentine’s Day? Did you stop and smell the roses and eat heart-shaped chocolates and write romantic poetry by candlelight? Or did you binge on taco bell and House of Cards while cursing Hallmark and everything they stand for? Both are perfectly acceptable options in my opinion FYI.

However, no matter where you’re at in your love life, any holiday that celebrates sugar is really one that should be loved by all – except maybe by Diabetics. Sorry, that was not very P.C. Next time I will shove a cupcake in my mouth to keep me from saying such inconsiderate things.

So these babies have a few steps and take a bit of time, but the sense of pride both you and your taste buds will feel when you are done is worth it. Get on it.

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Ingredients:

Makes Two Dozen Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 TB plus 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 12 TB (3/4 cup) butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup colored sprinkles

For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 26 TB butter (3 sticks plus 2 TB) at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 TB heavy whipping cream
  • 1 TB vanilla extract

Directions:

For the Cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners. Set aside.

2. In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the milk with the egg whites, almond extract and vanilla extract and whisk to blend.

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3. In the bowl of a stand up mixer, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix on low very briefly to combine. Add in the softened butter and mix on low to combine – about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

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4. Mix in the remaining 3/4 cup of milk and increase the speed to medium and beat for about 90 seconds.  Turn the speed back to low and slowly add the egg white mixture in 3 batches, mixing for about 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

5. Gently fold in the colored sprinkles.

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6. Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, filing each about 2/3 full. Bake for about 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before moving to racks to cool completely.

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For the Frosting:

1. Place the room temperature butter in the bowl of a stand up mixture with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed for about 1 minute until smooth. Add the powdered sugar to the bowl and mix on low until just combined.

2. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the bowl along with the salt. Beat on medium high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix on low until just combined. Increase the speed to high and whip until light and fluffy – about 4-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.

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3. Use a knife or piping bag to frost the cooled cupcakes and decorate with colored sprinkles.

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ENJOY!

Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats 

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