Rick's suggestion for my first cupcake adventure is to color each of them for each ACC team because he thinks that the ACC teams are cupcakes (football here, obviously), but I used the McCormick's Neon food coloring to make cool colors for the icing (and ignored him ;) ).
For the cupcakes, I used the recipe for Basic White Cupcakes from myrecipes.com. For the icing, I used a recipe that I found on a blog that I recently started following, Pumpkin Tart, for Vanilla Cupcakes. The result was amazing!!! I am taking the majority of them to work tomorrow because I would probably eat them until I popped. I gave a couple to Rick to enjoy before he heads to the Masters with his parents this week. The recipe made 18.
Here's what I did....
Basic White Cupcakes
1 (18.25-oz.) package white cake mix with pudding (I used Pillsbury)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Vegetable cooking spray
Beat first 6 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer just until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium, and beat 2 minutes or until batter is smooth, stopping to scrape bowl as needed.
Place paper baking cups in muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter evenly into baking cups, filling each two-thirds full.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove cupcakes from pans to wire racks, and cool 1 hour or until completely cool.
Billy's Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk or half and half
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency. Seperate into bowls and color with food coloring.