It was my sister who taught me how to wear makeup and who has been there for me through every major life event. My sister who passed her sense of style on to me and who has imparted many words of wisdom like "you are the only person that can let life get to you" and "most wardrobe issues can be solved with spanx."
When I was little and my mom told me I was going to be an older sister, I told her that if it were a boy we would have to take it back to the hospital. Thankfully we didn't have to and what I ended up with not only a sister, but a best friend.
So, to one of my favorite people in the entire world, Happy Birthday Ilyssa Pizza! I love you. Hope today is a great start to a wonderful year and that all of your birthday wishes cone true!
For the occasion, Jesse and I wanted to make something special. Ilyssa has quite an addiction to white chocolate (when she comes to visit us, her first stop after dropping her bags is our baking cabinet to see if we have any white chocolate chips waiting for her arrival), so we decided to whip up, what else, White Chocolate Cupcakes a.k.a. the Ilyssa Special.
Let me tell you, I am not usually a fan of white chocolate, but these were pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. They are also the first truly successful cupcake I have ever been a part of making in my entire life since I usually get impatient and ice the cupcakes before they cool fully. Finally, thank you again to my bridesmaids who bought me a bad-ass stand mixer for my bridal shower. It is because of you these cupcakes were possible.
Anyhow, let's get started. Here's what you'll need:
For the Cupcakes
- 1 and 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup butter (5 and 1/3 tablespoons-your stick of butter will probably give you the measurement in case you are like me and can’t do math), softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped and melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 ounces white chocolate, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 6 teaspoons milk
- 4-6 cups confectioners’ sugar
Have everything you need? Good. Let's get started.
To make the cupcakes, preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line your cupcake plans with the cupcake liners of your choice. You can tell, but these liners are pink and black and have high heels on them - perfect for Ilyssa.
Next, whisk together your dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this bowl aside for now.
Next, use your standing mixer and the paddle attachment to cream together the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Next add in your eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then, take your melted white chocolate (we used the ghirardelli white chocolate baking squares) and add it to the mix, along with the vanilla, mixing well.
Alternately add in in your dry ingredients with the milk in 2-3 portions, mixing well after each addition and once you have finished, divide your batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pan, baking them until a tester comes out of the center of the cupcakes clean, about 20-22 minutes.
COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE FROSTING. I actually made myself wait the night to make the frosting so I wouldn't be tempted to frost them too soon. It worked.
Now for the frosting.... time to use the stand mixer again with the paddle attachment.
First cream together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth, about a minute.
Add in the melted white chocolate, vanilla, and milk.
Now, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the confectioners' sugar until you reach your desired consistency. I used 4 cups of sugar because I only had a 16 oz. bag on hand.
Finally, pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes and serve. We fancied it up by putting pink sugar pearls on top for Ilyssa. You're only 28 once after all! Then you are ready to celebrate. Enjoy!
What's Cookin' page. You can also see more pictures from Ilyssa's birthday weekend here.