Good Olé Vanilla Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Swirl Frosting — More 90th birthday party fare

As I was selecting recipes for Mom's 90th birthday party, I immediately thought of recipes that had appeared in my monthly columns that used to appear in the Reflector Chronicle. Of course, I can't think of cupcakes without thinking of Nicki Danner-Anderson, a former Abilene resident who owns The Cupcake Café in Arizona. 
     I thought those Good Olé Vanilla Cupcakes would be mighty good topped with Dee Robinson's Strawberry Swirl Frosting.
     Lots more of Nicki's and Dee's recipe are still available in the Home Cooking cookbooks sold at the Dickinson County Heritage Center. (Dee's recipes are in the 2nd edition; Nicki's appear in the 10th edition.)
My cousin and Mom before the party started.
Niki's Good Olé Vanilla Cupcakes Yield: 26-30 cupcakes 
2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1½ teaspoons vanilla 
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake/muffin tin with paper liners.
2.  Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
3.  In a medium/large mixing bowl combine eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and sugar. Mix until well combined.
4.  Add dry mixture and mix until no lumps appear.
5.  Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full and bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Above: Ready to go in the oven.
Below: Just out of the oven. 
6.  Cool completely on wire rack before frosting

Dee's Strawberry Swirl Frosting   Yield:  Enough to frost a two layer 9” cake or one 10” tube cake
2 egg whites, unbeaten
1 cup granulated sugar
Dash salt
⅔ cup frozen strawberries, thawed & drained.
Garnish: fresh strawberries, if desired

1.  Combine all ingredients in top of a double boiler. 
2.  Beat 1 minute with electric mixer. 
3.  Place over boiling water; beat constantly about 7 minutes until frosting forms peaks.  Remove from boiling water. 
Above—Just beginning to beat the mixture over boiling water with a portable electric mixer.
Below—The mixture lightens, expands and becomes fluffy, and soft peaks form after 7 minutes.

4.  Beat until of spreading consistency, about 2 minutes. 
Stiff peaks indicate that the frosting is ready to ice the cupcakes
5.  Frost cupcakes.
I added the frosting to a large pastry bag, snipped off the end and then swirled the frosting onto each cupcakes.


THE CUPCAKE DISPLAY!
Other cupcakes for her party included:

Recipes without photos . . .
Niki's Good Olé Vanilla Cupcakes Yield: 26-30 cupcakes  
2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1½ teaspoons vanilla 
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake/muffin tin with paper liners. 
2.  Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. 
3.  In a medium/large mixing bowl combine eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and sugar. Mix until well combined. 
4.  Add dry mixture and mix until no lumps appear. 
5.  Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full and bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
6.  Cool completely on wire rack before frosting

Dee's Strawberry Swirl Frosting   Yield:  Enough to frost a two layer 9” cake or one 10” tube cake
2 egg whites, unbeaten
1 cup granulated sugar
Dash salt
⅔ cup frozen strawberries, thawed & drained.

1.  Combine all ingredients in top of a double boiler. 
2.  Beat 1 minute with electric mixer.  
3.  Place over boiling water; beat constantly about 7 minutes until frosting forms peaks.  Remove from boiling water.  
4.  Beat until of spreading consistency, about 2 minutes.  
5.  Frost cupcakes.

Luscious Lemon Cupcakes with Tangy Lemon Frosting— More 90th birthday party fare


Four types of cupcakes in all for Mom's 90th birthday and this is another outstanding recipe from Nicki Danner-Anderson, former resident of Abilene and owner of  The Cupcake Café in Arizona. This recipe, that she credits to her grandmother, appears in the 10th edition of the Home Cooking Cookbook available at the Dickinson County Heritage Center

Luscious Lemon Cupcakes  Yield: 26-30 cupcakes  
Note: This cake uses the same proportions and basic ingredients as Nicki's Good Olé Vanilla Cupcakes, except it changes out vanilla for lemon juice and zest.  
2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
4 teaspoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 ⅓ cup granulated sugar
Tangy Lemon Frosting (recipe follows)
Fun kitchen gadgets make lemon juicing and testing easy!
Above—a lemon squeezer.
Below—a microplane zester.
1.  Preheat oven to 350°.
2.  Line cupcake/muffin tin with paper liners.
3.  In medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
4.  Combine eggs, lemon juice, zest, oil, buttermilk, and sugar in a medium/large mixing bowl. Mix until fully combined.
5.  Add dry ingredients, and mix until no lumps appear.
6.  Fill liners ⅔ full with batter, and bake for 14 to16 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  
Above: Ready to go in the oven.
Below: Just out of the oven. 

7.  Cool completely on wire rack before frosting with Tangy Lemon Frosting.

Tangy Lemon Frosting     Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3 to 4 teaspoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed (add more as needed if you want it more tangy)
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 to 3 tablespoons milk (add more as needed)
4 cups powdered sugar (add more as needed)

1.  In medium/large mixing bowl beat butter until smooth.
2.  Scrape down sides of bowl and add lemon juice, lemon zest, milk, and powdered sugar. Mix until completely combined and no lumps appear.
3.  Frost cupcakes and enjoy! 

Other cupcakes for her party include:

Recipes without photos . . .
Luscious Lemon Cupcakes with Tangy Lemon Frosting  Yield: 26-30 cupcakes    
2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
4 teaspoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 ⅓ cup granulated sugar
Tangy Lemon Frosting (recipe follows)

1.  Preheat oven to 350°. 
2.  Line cupcake/muffin tin with paper liners. 
3.  In medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. 
4.  Combine eggs, lemon juice, zest, oil, buttermilk, and sugar in a medium/large mixing bowl. Mix until fully combined. 
5.  Add dry ingredients, and mix until no lumps appear.
6.  Fill liners ⅔ full with batter, and bake for 14 to16 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  
7.  Cool completely on wire rack before frosting with Tangy Lemon Frosting.

Tangy Lemon Frosting     Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3 to 4 teaspoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed (add more as needed if you want it more tangy)
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 to 3 tablespoons milk (add more as needed)
4 cups powdered sugar (add more as needed)

1.  In medium/large mixing bowl beat butter until smooth. 
2.  Scrape down sides of bowl and add lemon juice, lemon zest, milk, and powdered sugar. Mix until completely combined and no lumps appear. 
3.  Frost cupcakes and enjoy!

Not your ordinary Baked Beans!

Baked Beans are part of our casual supper menu following my mom’s 90th birthday party; they go into the slow cooker in the morning and will be ready by suppertime.
The recipe comes from a friend who always uses several different kinds of canned beans in this side dish, and picante or salsa instead of the usual ketchup. The recipe she shared with me states, “You can make whatever quantity you want with this and can also double any of the beans to feed more people.”
     When catering, I adapted this recipe using industrial sized cans of beans + I always sautéed onions and added bacon to the mix. I sometimes even added other varieties of beans. (Note: If using black beans—in addition to draining, I also rinse them.) They were always a hit and just a little different from the usual fare.
     Here’s the basic recipe with my additions of bacon and onions . . .

Jane’s Baked Beans
3 to 4 slices of bacon
1 large onion, diced
1 large (28 oz.) can baked beans
1 (15 oz.) can of butter beans, drained
1 (15.5 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained
3 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar (add some, taste & adjust, adding even more if you prefer)
Worcestershire sauce to taste.
Most of a 24 oz. jar of picante sauce, or salsa 
  1. Fry the bacon and crumble. Remove bacon from the skillet, leaving the rendered fat.
  2. Add onions to the bacon fat and sauté.
  3. Mix bacon and sautéed onions with remaining ingredients in a large Dutch oven or slow cooker.
  4. If using a Dutch oven—cover beans and bake for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour. If using a slow cooker—cook beans for low for 8 to 12 hours or until thick.
Links to the salads, etc. that were serving at the casual birthday supper can be found on our Celery Seed Dressing link.

Cupcakes for her party include:
Pineapple Upside-down Cupcakes, freezes well. The rest I'll make the day before her birthday  . . . 
   *Good Ole' Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Swirl Frosting (to be posted later)
   *Mom's Chocolate Cupcakes with French Silk Frosting
   *Luscious Lemon Cupcakes with Tangy Lemon Frosting 


My mom's Celery Seed Dressing for Coleslaw -- ready for her 90th birthday celebration!

This is my mom's recipe and it is our "go to" salad dressing. We always keep it in the refrigerator and use it on green salads, over cabbage for coleslaw and on fruit salads. 
It is similar to the Kirby House Celery Seed Dressing but because it contains mayonnaise, it says in emulsion and doesn't separated + it's easier to mix up, too.
     Since it can be made ahead it is ideal for next week's party -- Mom's 90th birthday celebration! Since I will be making LOTS of cupcakes and frosting at the last minute, my weekend goal is to do as much preparation as possible for the casual family supper that will follow her party. 
     This salad dressing will be used on Mom's Coleslaw (guidelines follow) + on Spinach & Strawberry Salad (I'll use celery seed dressing instead of the strawberry vinaigrette) . I'll also be making Salsa Pasta Salad, and Jane's Baked Beans (watch for this recipe later). Barry will smoke a pork loin (rubbed with Gates's Rub & served with Gates BBQ Sauce) + I'm making (and freezing) Slider Buns and Sourdough French Bread for the supper.

Celery Seed Dressing
¾ cup white vinegar                                                                
1 cup vegetable oil (canola)                                                                             
1 cup granulated sugar                                                                        
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 cup mayonnaise

1.  Combine vinegar, oil, sugar, pepper, salt and celery seed with a wire whip and mayonnaise.
2.  Blend thoroughly, whisking until mixture is smooth.
As you begin to whisk, the mixture looks like of "curdled," but just keep whipping and it will turn into a well-emulsified mixture . . .  
3.  Pour into storage container. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
We transfer our salad dressing to a squirt bottle, making it convenient to use.
Mom's Coleslaw guide . . .
     Right before serving, pour desired amount of dressing over finely shredded green cabbage blended with a little shredded purple cabbage and some grated carrots. Toss and serve.
     Note: We prefer crisp slaw; the veggies will soften slightly if the salad is held in the refrigerator but we like it that way, too.

In addition to food prep, I'm cleaning and getting things set up which includes arranging photos and setting up an usual guest book . . .


Each guest will be asked to sign their name on their birth date in the KANSAS! calendar. This will allow mom to not only be reminded of who attended the party, but she will have a record of their birth dates, too.
One of the cupcakes recipes, Pineapple Upside-down Cupcakes, freezes well. The rest I'll make the day before her birthday  . . . 
   *Good Ole' Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Swirl Frosting (to
     be posted later)
   *Mom's Chocolate Cupcakes with French Silk Frosting
   *Luscious Lemon Cupcakes with Tangy Lemon Frosting

Dressing recipe with out photos . . .
Celery Seed Dressing
¾ cup white vinegar                                                                
1 cup vegetable oil (canola)                                                                             
1 cup granulated sugar                                                                        
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 cup mayonnaise

1.  Combine vinegar, oil, sugar, pepper, salt and celery seed with a wire whip and mayonnaise.
2.  Blend thoroughly, whisking until mixture is smooth.
3.  Pour into storage container. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Other recipes on this blog that use Mom's Celery Seed Dressing include:

Birthday Party preparations include Pineapple Upside-down Cupcakes

Forty-eight cupcakes down,
LOTS more to go!
A SPECIAL birthday celebration is in the offing—my mom turns 90 on 4/28/15—so I’m gearing up for cupcake and party production. I plan to make LOTS of freshly-baked cupcakes on the day before the party but these particular cupcakes can be made ahead and frozen. That means that I’ll have time to also get ready for a casual supper following the party (on 4/28/15 we’ll definitely be eating dessert before supper).
In the next few days I’ll chronicle party preparation + include a post of the birthday celebration . . . as 90 is definitely a milestone.
My mom -- Phyllis Newell.
Pineapple Upside-down Cupcakes    Makes 14 standard sized cupcakes
I recommend silicon bakeware for these cupcakes -- see notes about its usage below.
For the batter:
   6 tablespoons (¾ stick butter)
   ½ cup milk
   1 cup all-purpose flour
   1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
   ¼ teaspoon salt
   2 eggs
   ¾ cup granulated sugar
   ½ teaspoon vanilla
For the pineapple topping:
   8 tablespoons butter
   ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
   8 maraschino cherries (or could substitute dried cranberries and chopped pecans for the 
   cherries)
   8 pineapple rings (about ⅞ of a 20-oz. can)

1.  Preheat oven to 350˚.
2.  For the batter:
a.  Place the butter and milk for the batter in a small saucepan over medium heat  (ingredients could also be microwaved).
b.  Warm the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts, then cool.
3.  Meanwhile, prepare the pineapple topping:
a.  Into each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan, add ½ tablespoon of unmelted butter, then evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brown sugar over the bottom.
b.  Place the pan in the oven until the butter melts, about 3 minutes.
c.  Halve each maraschino cherry, then cut the pineapple rings into quarters.

d.  Place a cherry half, sliced side up, in the center of each cup and lay a pineapple quarter on each side.

e.  Press the fruit gently down into the butter-sugar mixture, then set the prepared pan aside.
4.  Finish making the batter:
a.  In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir the ingredients with a fork until they’re evenly blended.
b.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla.
c.  Alternately add the flour mixture and milk-butter mixture, beginning with and ending with flour; combine the ingredients into a smooth batter.

5.  Pour the batter into the muffin pan, dividing it evenly among all the cups (about ¼ cup batter per muffin cup).

6.  Bake the cupcakes until they’re lightly browned and slightly dry around the edges, about 25 minutes.
7.  Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use a table knife to carefully loosen each cupcake from the edges of the pan.

8.  Transfer the pan to a coolingrack to cool for 5 minutes. Use a table knife to carefully loosen each cupcake from the edges and bottom of the pan, then place a cookie sheet over the top. Invert the pan, turning the cupcakes out onto the cookie sheet, place cookie sheet on a cooling rack and cool completely.
To depan slightly cooled cupcakes: Place a baking sheet on top of the muffin/cupcake pan that is sitting on a cooling rack . . . 
. . . then flip upside down and remove cooling rack. 
The beauty of using a silicon muffin/cupcake pans is that the cupcakes fall right out . . . and if they don't, simple press the bottom of those that are resisting.



ABOUT SILICON BAKEWARE — It is designed to be non-stick, which makes it an excellent choice for baking cupcakes and muffins. The bakeware is non-stick because it doesn’t absorb any oils or grease – it leaves them on the surface, which helps foods to simply lift out of the pan with the slickness of the oil. The oils cling to the silicone, which means that even after washing, a small amount of grease may remain, which causes a tacky, almost sticky feel. Consequently silicone DOESN’T need extra oil. 
In fact, it’s this adding of extra oil that makes silicone somewhat difficult to clean. So, how should it be cleaned?
 *Wash  silicone bakeware in hot water with a good quality dishwashing soap or liquid – one that’s designed to cut through  grease.
 *Don’t dry your bakeware – leave it slightly wet for now.
 *Feel around the pan with your fingers for any areas that are obviously still greasy, and apply a thick covering of baking soda to each oily area. Use a soft dishcloth to gently massage the baking soda, mixing it with the water that’s still in the pan to create a thick, creamy paste. Work this paste into the greasy areas of the silicone. Don’t be tempted to use an old toothbrush or anything that could scrape the silicone as this will remove the non-stick covering! While baking soda is technically an abrasive, it’s mild enough that it won’t do any damage to your bakeware. Leave the baking soda to dry completely on the pan – this could take a few hours depending on how thick a covering you’ve put on. Fill your sink with hot water and dishwashing soap once more, and give the bakeware a final wash, ensuring you remove all of the dried paste. Dry the pan and feel for any greasy leftovers; repeat steps as needed if grease remains.

Also, check out the salad menu  and the baked beans we'll serve for Mom's after-party supper for family.
Other cupcakes for her party include:
  *Good Ole' Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Swirl Frosting 
   *Mom's Chocolate Cupcakes with French Silk Frosting
   *Luscious Lemon Cupcakes with Tangy Lemon Frosting


Recipe without photos . . .
Pineapple Upside-down Cupcakes    Makes 14 standard sized cupcakes
For the batter:
   6 tablespoons (¾ stick butter)
   ½ cup milk
   1 cup all-purpose flour
   1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
   ¼ teaspoon salt
   2 eggs
   ¾ cup granulated sugar
   ½ teaspoon vanilla 
For the pineapple topping:
   8 tablespoons butter
   ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
   8 maraschino cherries (or could substitute dried cranberries and chopped pecans for the cherries)
   8 pineapple rings (about ⅞ of a 20-oz. can)

1.  Preheat oven to 350˚. 
2.  For the batter:
a.  Place the butter and milk for the batter in a small saucepan over medium heat  (ingredients could also be microwaved).
b.  Warm the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts, then cool.
3.     Meanwhile, prepare the pineapple topping:
a.  Into each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan, add ½ tablespoon of unmelted butter, then evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brown sugar over the bottom. 
b.  Place the pan in the oven until the butter melts, about 3 minutes.
c.  Halve each maraschino cherry, then cut the pineapple rings into quarters.
d.  Place a cherry half, sliced side up, in the center of each cup and lay a pineapple quarter on each side. 
e.  Press the fruit gently down into the butter-sugar mixture, then set the prepared pan aside.
4.  Finish making the batter
a.  In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir the ingredients with a fork until they’re evenly blended. 
b.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla. 
c.  Alternately add the flour mixture and milk-butter mixture, beginning with and ending with flour; combine the ingredients into a smooth batter.
5.  Pour the batter into the muffin pan, dividing it evenly among all the cups (about ¼ cup batter per muffin cup). 
6.  Bake the cupcakes until they’re lightly browned and slightly dry around the edges, about 25 minutes.
7.  Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use a table knife to carefully loosen each cupcake from the edges of the pan. 
8.  Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use a table knife to carefully loosen each cupcake from the edges and bottom of the pan, then place a cookie sheet over the top. Invert the pan, turning the cupcakes out onto the cookie sheet, place cookie sheet on a cooling rack and cool completely.