Anyone who knows me knows I have a sweet tooth… or ten. I’m the person who’d rather skip a meal and get straight to the dessert. So understandably Valentine’s Day is one of my favourite holidays for the food alone. This year, Reid and I are celebrating a tad bit early since he’ll be gone on the day – so to get the dessert party started I whipped up my favourite vanilla cupcakes with hazelnut buttercream frosting courtesy of the lovely Rosie Daykin from Butter Baked Goods.

Here’s how to make them for your loved one… or for yourself!

For the cupcakes (aka the vehicle to eat icing):

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift 2 cups pastry flour, 1 cup all purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy. Add 4 eggs. Combine 1 cup buttermilk and 1 tsp vanilla in a measuring cup. Turn the mixer onto low and alternate adding in the dry mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry. Use an ice cream scoop to fill the the cupcake liner three quarters full (this is the secret to perfect looking cupcakes!). Bake for 20 minutes.

For the icing (aka the best part):

Beat 2 cups of butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly add 4 cups of sifted icing sugar. Add 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/2 tsp hazelnut paste. If you want standard butter cream, swap the hazelnut paste for 2 tbsp pure vanilla. Whip on high for at least 10 minutes until light and fluffy. Use a spatula to transfer into a piping bag, and pipe away!

If you’re looking for great baking supplies, the Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver is your first and lost stop. Similar to Target, you’ll emerge with 75 things you didn’t know you needed, but must have in your life. For icing these cupcakes in particular, I used a Silicone Piping Bag and 2D decorators tip.

Enjoy!

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