I'm glad that this recipe only makes 8 cupcakes, because I had to make it twice! The first time around I made it into more of a traditional recipe - but it turns out I shouldn't have doubted the recipe. They turn out great if you just follow the steps as they are!
1 cup all-purpose flour
a little less than 3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
3 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Step 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In bowl of stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter with paddle on slow. When the mixture forms a sandy consistency (this will happen pretty quickly), slowly pour in half the milk. Stop mixing once combined.
Step 2. In a small bowl, whisk the other half of the milk together with the egg and vanilla (this will just take a few seconds.) Pour into flour mixture and mix until smooth (no more than a couple minutes.) Scrape the bowl as you are mixing.
Step 3. Pour into a muffin tin that is lined with cupcake wrappers. Each wrapper should be no more than 2/3 full. This will make 8 cupcakes. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 325 degrees F. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook's Vanilla Butter Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar (approximate)
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs milk (approximate)
Instructions. Beat butter for a couple minutes on high, using paddle attachment. Turn mixer to low and slowly add powdered sugar. Add vanilla extract and slowly add milk. Increase speed and beat for another minute or two, until fluffy. For thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar. For thinner frosting, add more milk. (Added: This is an Ateco 867 tip.)
Note: If you are adding fondant or gum paste decorations, wait to make and pipe the buttercream until the decorations are ready.
Decorations. These are fondant decorations, but a 50/50 mix of fondant and gum paste would also work.
Red. The red fondant was made with Wilton Red and a tiny bit of AmeriColor Yellow. For the red daisy, roll fondant out to 1/8 inch. Cut daisies using Large Daisy Cutter. To get smooth edges, run your hand or the rolling pin around the edges of the cutter.
The red fondant is also used to make the centers of the small white daisies. Make small balls of red fondant and use mold or mesh sieve (shown later) to emboss. Note: The mold shown here is only big enough for small daisy centers.
White. The white fondant is used to make the small daisies, using a small daisy cutter, and the flower centers for the large daisies. To make large flower centers, roll a ball of white fondant, then press it against a mesh sieve, just enough to emboss the lattice print.
Blue. Roll blue fondant to 1/8 inch and cut circles using a cookie cutter that is just larger than the small daisy cutter.
Let pieces dry. The pieces for the medallions can dry flat, and the red flowers can dry in cell formers. Once dry, assemble pieces using an edible adhesive - I used a mixture of gum paste powder and water.
Pipe buttercream and attach fondant decorations to the cupcakes!