Friday night was an awesome time for our youth group. I posted a few months ago about our youth pastor leaving to move to California. Once there, he thought he would not be able to come home for an entire year. I'd been telling the kids this since he moved. Though his amazing wife was able to come home for Christmas, he couldn't due to his new job. A few weeks ago however, he got the OK for a few days off work. He was coming home for a weekend! The kids knew nothing of this. At our event on Friday night, in he walked. It was so much fun to see their reactions. At first they were just stunned (except one of our girls who immediately ran across the room and, well, basically tackled him), then they quickly crowded around him.
I loved seeing them with him again. It's only been six months, but for a teenager, that is a long time (if we are being totally up front here, it seemed like a really long time to me too!). They played Ultimate Frisbee with him, then the gathered around and listened to him talk about his life and new job in California.
Sunday morning he led worship and then preached to our teens. There may have been a slight bit of bragging on his part, "I moved to California... and had NO snow". Polar Vortex here and he had 84 degrees and sunny. WHAT. EVER. Rude.
It's really amazing to see how much one person can change people's lives.
They all love him so much. And, eh, I think he's ok too.
Anyway, many cupcakes were consumed Friday night. I'd make about 78. Then, I made him another dozen and a half yesterday, because California is far and 6 months is long.
Since he told me my cupcakes were better than Casey's Cupcakes out there in LA, well... I kinda had to right? ( I made his favorite cream filled cupcakes .) Fact is, he and his wife have me wrapped pretty tight. You'd understand if you met them. ;)
These cupcakes are actually some they've not had. (However, you know if they ask when they come back in September, I will totally make them, right?).
I LOVE maple. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. So, yeah. Maple and brown sugar cupcakes seem like they need to be in this world, right?
And so it was.
Maple cupcakes with a brown sugar buttercream.
Because I said so.
Maple & Brown Sugar Cupcakes
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 16 pieces
Preheat oven to 350 F
Line cupcake pans with paper liners, set aside
In a large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, milk, and maple flavoring; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the butter one piece at a time, mixing until the dough comes together and looks sandy.
Add about 1 cup of the egg mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated, then increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add the remaining egg mixture, with the mixer on low speed, until incorporated. Scrape the bowl, if necessary, then increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 20 seconds. The batter will just barely look a little curdled.
Divide that batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. Frost with Brown Sugar Buttercream, then sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar.
Brown Sugar Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb. (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
With mixer, beat butter for 3 minutes. Beat in brown sugar. Slowly add powdered sugar and salt until well combined. Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Beat on high for 4 minutes. Add in vanilla. If too thick, add more cream 1/2 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency.
Cake & Buttercream adapted from Bakingdom