Elliana’s birthday was on Friday February 11. I made her special vanilla cupcakes with pink and purple frosting and sprinkles. She was so excited to have her birthday! This past year she has grown to be this fierce little lady who has started knowing her own mind.
She loves dresses, even though most of her closet does have t-shirts. Elliana just does not want to wear them; she wants to be a princess. Her favorite color is pink. Anything pink is her favorite thing. She likes to sleep and often still takes naps. She is cute, smart and nice. It has been amazing adding a daughter to balance the three sons!
Published February 24, 2022
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How is our little miss 3 years old?! I feel like just yesterday that we found out we were having a fourth baby, then she was a girl, her birth and now she is 3. If you have littles, like, your youngest is a toddler or you just had your first baby, do not blink because they grow up so fast! Our four kids are 12, 9, 5 and now 3. I am feeling all of the feels with a unicorn birthday party last weekend celebrating Elliana.
Are Vanilla Cupcakes a Tradition?
Tyler and I try to create new traditions with our family. One tradition is letting each kid decide the meal they want for their birthday dinner. Therefore, Elliana chose spaghetti with sweet peas and garlic bread and Vanilla Cupcakes for dessert. I think she wore more than she actually ate. And on birthdays one does not need to finish their dinner before dessert. Consequently, lot of rules get to be skipped on birthdays!
The day after, we had a small celebration with grandparents, uncle, aunt, cousins and a few friends. We all felt pretty safe and healthy as most of us survived the plague in January. And as for friends, it was literally fourteen people, so we were not breaking any isolation or social distancing restrictions. Do those still exist? Oh well. In other words, we did not all get sick after, unlike Christmas. But we do not talk about Christmas illness anymore.
Decorating for a Unicorn Party
The night before, our middle son Matthew, helped me decorate the house. We used crepe paper and had cute unicorn banners over the fireplace. I think it turned out so cute! As it turns out, Elliana’s birthday is literally one week before my birthday on February 18.
So, hindsight would have me pick a more neutral decoration scheme than unicorns, but I actually like them, so it works well in the end. Maybe next year I can convince Elliana to have a Harry Potter themed birthday party. Does a four-year-old like Harry Potter? Certainly, there is a full year to change her mind.
Our house is now decorated for a princess who loves unicorns! I really am so happy with how our living room update has turned out! The ceiling and walls have a fresh coat of paint and the greige and dingy walls are no more. Plus, the shelves that Tyler built and installed turned out better than I imagined! If you missed my blog about this process, check it out by clicking the link below.
Why are these Vanilla Cupcakes so dark?
Once I started making Vanilla Cupcakes, I realized that I only had 3/4 cup flour. As luck would have it, there was a stash of whole wheat flour in the pantry. To make these cupcakes, I used 1 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour. The end result, the cupcakes were still moist, delicious and super tasty. Despite the dark color, the cupcakes were not over baked.
Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe
Ingredients for Vanilla Cupcakes
1 3/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
Vanilla Cupcakes Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray and set aside. As these cupcakes were for just our immediate family, I did not find it necessary to bake them with cupcake inserts. Had they been for a gathering, cupcake inserts would have been the way to go.
2. Using a strainer or sifter, sift together the 1 3/4 cup flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Sift these dry ingredients on top of a piece of wax paper. This will make it easier to get fully ingredients into the wet later with little to no mess.
3. In the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer, blend together 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter cut into cubes, 1/2 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp milk at room temperature, 2 eggs and 1 Tbsp vanilla. Blend until smooth. If the milk is cold, the softened butter will clump right back up. Having the milk AND butter at room temperature allows the ingredients to fully incorporate and become smooth.
4. Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet. Mixing it in two parts helps keep the mess at bay and allows the dry to fully incorporate into the wet. As a result of sifting the dry ingredients, you can lift the wax paper and tip it into the KitchenAid mixer bowl into the wet ingredients. Likewise, if you sifted your ingredients into a bowl, just tip the bowl and dump the dry ingredients into the wet.
5. Mix until smooth. Make sure to start the machine on SLOW to avoid the dry ingredients flying out onto the countertop.
6. Use a large ice cream scoop and scoop mixture into the muffin tins or cupcake liners if using inside of the muffin tin. Then, use an ice cream scoop helps to accurately measure out each cupcake amount. Additionally, recipe gives twelve good-sized Vanilla Cupcakes.
7. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
8. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before removing from the tin.
9. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and rest on a cooling rack until completely cool before decorating. Elliana wanted pink and purple frosting. Today I cheated and whipped a container of ready-made frosting with 1 Tbsp milk. This made the frosting really fluffy and not as thick as store-bought frosting can become.
Then, I divided the frosting into two separate bowls and added a few drops of food coloring gel and mixed until combined. For an easy frosting hack, I dipped the cupcakes when they were cool into the frosting. Once all the cupcakes were sufficiently dipped into the frosting, they were topped with sprinkles.
Above all, Elliana had a fantastic 3rd birthday! She was blessed to have all four of her grandparents come and give birthday hugs and love. I will leave you here with a girl, some pink decorations, and awesome friends and family who came to celebrate with us.
Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe
Vanilla Cupcakes for Little Miss Elliana’s 3rd Birthday
- Cupcake Pan
- KitchenAid Mixer
- 1 3/4 Flour
- 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Butter softened
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Milk PLUS 2 Tbsp
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Using a strainer or sifter, sift together the 1 3/4 cup flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt.
- Sift on top of a piece of wax paper. This will make it easier to get the dry ingredients into the wet later.
- In the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer, blend together 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter cut into cubes, 1/2 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp milk at room temperature, 2 eggs and 1 Tbsp vanilla. Blend until smooth.
- Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet.
- Mixing it in two parts helps keep the mess at bay and allows the dry to fully incorporate into the wet.
- Mix until smooth.
- Use a large ice cream scoop and scoop mixture into the muffin tins or cupcake liners if using inside of the muffin tin.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before removing from the tin.
- Remove the cupcakes from the tin and rest on a cooling rack until completely cool before decorating.
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