Spache the Spatula

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons

Do you know what today is?

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons | spachethespatula.com #recipeChances are, no. And, I wouldn’t have either, until it was about something that actually affected my family. The green ribbons are not for St. Paddy’s Day, no, today, March 12, is National Brain Injury Awareness Day. Many of you know that my little sister, Rebecca, was hit by a car around Christmas in 2012. She had pretty severe brain hemorrhaging, and was in a coma for 2 weeks. Against all odds, she pulled through. But brain injuries aren’t something like a broken arm, that will heal and be as good as new. It leaves the person with a TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury.

TBIs are a different kind of wound, because they are invisible to the naked eye. Because we can’t see them, we often assume nothing is wrong, or that the person is all better. Most of the symptoms of a TBI are hard to understand for a lot of people. Of course we can wrap our minds around the fact that they often cause memory loss, but behavioral, social, and emotional effects are misunderstood much of the time. And it’s not just you and me, “regular people,” who misunderstand brain injuries, even doctors who have studied them for years find them unpredictable—no two are alike.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons | spachethespatula.com #recipe Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons | spachethespatula.com #recipeI think it’s unbelievably important that more people know what today is (and actually, all of March is Brain Injury Awareness Month), not only to better understand those with TBIs or other brain injuries, but to prepare themselves for something like this happening to a loved one or themselves. TBIs don’t just happen in terrible accidents like my sister’s, they can happen anytime a person gets a concussion, whether that be from playing sports, or a simple fall. TBIs can literally happen to anyone—they do not discriminate. I’m extremely passionate about the dissemination of TBI information because this is something that rocked my family to its very core. I wish we had known more about TBIs and brain injuries from the beginning, but we had (have) to kind of navigate this thing blindly.

But, on a more upbeat note, these cupcakes are awesome, and I’m so happy to have them as the poster sweets for my TBI message! The recipe (which I did slightly adapt) comes from the cookbook of my all-time favorite cupcake shop—Trophy Cupcakes.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons | spachethespatula.com #recipe Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons | spachethespatula.com #recipeThey are everything a cupcake should be. The have that slightly sugared outer crust, and the most tender crumb. The buttercream melts in your mouth. I used marzipan to shape the ribbons because I think it tastes better than fondant, plus, who doesn’t like vanilla and almond together?

I hope you will enjoy these cupcakes, and please, share the message with someone this month. Remind them (or inform them) that March is not only Women’s History Month (which is also super important), but it’s also Brain Injury Awareness Month. If you feel like doing a bit of research, the Wikipedia page is a great place to start. If you want to make a donation towards research, care, and the spread of awareness, you can do so online through The Brain Injury Association of America, or The Brain Trauma Foundation.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons | spachethespatula.com #recipe Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons | spachethespatula.com #recipe

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons

Yield: My batch made 13 regular sized cupcakes and 5 mini cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons

Ingredients

    for the cupcakes:
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup + 1 and 1/2 tbsp half-and-half
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • for the buttercream:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • to decorate:
  • prepared marzipan (I got mine at Ikea, no kidding)
  • green gel food coloring
  • green sprinkles

Instructions

    for the cupcakes:
  1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, half-and-half, and vanilla; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Add in the dry ingredients and wet ingredients, alternating, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the side of the bowl and make sure everything is combined.
  6. Let the batter rest while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs---about 16-18 minutes for large cupcakes, and 10-12 minutes for mini cupcakes. The cupcakes should still appear quite pale.
  8. Allow to fully cool before frosting.
  9. for the buttercream:
  10. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add in the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing on low speed until combined after each addition.
  11. Scrape the down the paddle and sides and add in the vanilla and salt. Mix until combined. Turn the mixer speed to medium high and beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  12. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and pipe cupcakes, or frost with an offset spatula. (I find that using a cookie scoop to put the frosting in the bag makes life a lot easier!)
  13. for the decoration:
  14. Work the marzipan with your hands just a little to warm it up. Add in a tiny drop of gel food coloring and knead it into the dough until the color is even throughout.
  15. Roll the colored marzipan out and cut in into tiny strips no more than 1 and 1/2 inches long and maybe a centimeter wide. Fold the strips like a ribbon, and using your rolling pin, lightly flatten the ribbons.
  16. Place a ribbon on each cupcake and decorate with sprinkles.

Notes

http://www.spachethespatula.com/vanilla-cupcakes-with-vanilla-buttercream-and-green-marzipan-ribbons/

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons | spachethespatula.com #recipe Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons | spachethespatula.com #recipeOh, and here’s a photo of my beautiful, strong, and amazing sister, Rebecca, on the day she finally got home from the hospital:

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12 Responses to “Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Green Marzipan Ribbons”

  1. Angie — March 12, 2014 at 11:30 am

    You are a beautiful person and a wonderful sister!

    • Rachael replied: — March 12th, 2014 @ 11:48 am

      You're so sweet, Angie <3

  2. John — March 12, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Awesome blog today…as always! Thanks for reminding us of the lives that are touched by these events. I pray for your sister to recover in the best way possible

    • Rachael replied: — March 12th, 2014 @ 2:05 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

  3. Lea JF — March 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    This is amazing. I remember reading about this on the blog back in 2012 and I think it's awesome that you're raising awareness. I would never have known about the day (month). Also the cupcakes look totally rad, too. 🙂 I have dozens of your recipes bookmarked to try make!

    • Rachael replied: — March 12th, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

      Thanks so much, Lea!
      I'd love to hear how the recipes turn out for you!

  4. Kim — March 12, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Wow they are Awesome! Love your Blog, you are an Awesome sister and daughter! Thank you for informing people about today! And TBI'S! Xo!

    • Rachael replied: — March 12th, 2014 @ 3:58 pm

      Thanks, Mom. I love you. Thank you for being you, and for taking on so much of the responsibility of this whole thing.

  5. huntfortheverybest — March 13, 2014 at 8:30 am

    What a great idea for your food blog. I didn't realize it's TBI awareness month. I am so sorry to hear about your sister, but I am glad that she is getting better. I can only imagine what this experience has been like for your family. I suffered a mild concussion last year and had post concussion syndrome, and you are right, unless you've experienced it, you really don't understand how debilitating a concussion can be. I'd love to repost this on my blog to get the word out too.

    • Rachael replied: — March 13th, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

      Thank you so very much! And I would love it if you could share the message! What a beautiful offer 🙂

  6. CakePants — March 16, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I had no idea it was National Brain Injury Awareness Day. What a lovely post to raise awareness, and what a sweet dessert idea (I love the marzipan ribbons!). Your sister is lucky to have such a supportive and caring sister!

    • Rachael replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 4:23 pm

      Thank you; you're so sweet!

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