Happy New Year, Cupcakes! Can you believe it is 2012!!! CRAZY!!! We totally remember when we were little and 2012 felt like the future. We mean, duh, it is slash was going to be the future. But, you know, it felt like the future. Tele-transporting and flying cars and all that.
Hmph. Kind of a let down now that we're here, huh? There are iPads and solar panels, but it's otherwise sort of lame.
Oh well. Moving on.
In our opinion, the bestest part of New Year's (besides dressing up in sparkly clothes and wearing crowns) is the resolutions. We love resolutions. The type-A in us loves to envision a clean slate and starting over. A fresh start, so to speak.
Of course, keeping the resolutions is not so much fun, but we're not there yet. We're still in the joyful, hopeful perfect beginnings part. For example;
Resolution #1: Go on a diet and lose 100 pounds (side note: this is how every New Year's resolution list begins). So far, today, we did NOT eat chocolate or jelly beans. OMG. Resolution success. Only 364 more days to go.
Resolution #2: Spend less money, specifically, stop buying shoes. More specifically, stop buying gold and/or leopard haircalf shoes. So far, today, we did NOT buy shoes. Yessssss.
Resolution #3: Drink less wine. Well done, Katy & Abby. Today we did not drink alcohol. Wait, shoot. That's a lie. We had a lovely Pinot with our pizza. ARGH!!!
You see where this is going. It's basically downhill from here.
Personal resolutions (or future failures) aside, we do have some other to-do's for the blog that we are determined to keep...such as; give away more stuff, bake more delicious treats and start a Facebook fan page (it's 2012 after all and we think this Facebook thing is starting to catch on).
Unlike our dieting and money-spending (ooops, we mean not-money-spending, reminder, not money-spending not money-spending...) commitments, we feel we have nowhere to go but up.
For starters, this spangly New Year's Eve cake is the ideal way to start off 2012. Granted, it already IS 2012 but the beauty of this cake is that you can dye it pink, sprinkle it with hearts and call it a Valentine's Day cake. Just like our cake baking idol, Sweetapolita.
Also. Resolution #4: Use more sparklers in desserts.
Vanilla Bean New Year's Cake
Adapted from Sweetapolita
For the Cakes (makes 3 8" cakes):
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
9 large egg whites, at room temperature
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Buttercream Frosting:
5 large egg whites, very cold
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter 3 8 x 2" cake pans, line with parchment rounds and dust with flour, tapping to remove the excess.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. Combine the buttermilk, scraped vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract together in a small bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed and gradually add in the egg whites until they are fully incorporated.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry flour mixture and the vanilla-buttermilk mixture to the creamed butter-and-egg mixture until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans and smooth the tops with a spatula or palette knife. Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating once to ensure even baking, until the center is firm but sponge-y to the touch or a cake tester inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes in the pans and then turn them out on the rack to cool further until assembly.