As for the recipe, I turned to Billy's Bakery Vanilla Vanilla cupcake recipe that I used in at least 2 other baking episodes. The flavor and texture of these cupcakes has always been amazing, so why try something new? I also used the vanilla buttercream recipe from Billy's Bakery because, again, why try something new when you have already found something that's nearly perfect? I cut both recipes in half because I knew there was no way my family would be able to eat the entire batch ourselves. I don't know if my measurements were off or if it was just from cutting the recipe in half, but the consistency of the batter was off. At first I thought maybe I was imagining things or had forgotten what the batter was like, but after baking the cupcakes weren't nearly as light and fluffy as usual and didn't rise as much as usual. Oh well, I can't expect perfection every time.
I thought the frosting would be fine for piping and I even added more powdered sugar than usual, but it was still a little too soft. It didn't hold it's shape as well as I would have liked, but it still looked cute and it was something fun and different. In the future I would try another frosting or I would add more powdered sugar.
So I may not have been 100% satisfied with the results, but at least the cupcakes still taste great! The family agreed that these tasted just as delicious as previous batches and my sister was so excited to have her own birthday cupcakes on her very special day.