"I just want plain, plain cupcakes for my birthday. No fancy things, just some nice buttery cupcakes."
These were the easiest things I've ever baked for someone's birthday. I've done red velvet Black Forest gateau, classic black forest gateau, ornately decorated cupcakes, cakes shaped like things (like animals and Xboxes... what did you think I meant?), the lot. I must admit, it was nice to go back to my roots and bake plain vanilla cupcakes.
Of course, I had to bake them in fancy cupcake cases, because they still had to be pretty! I also brushed them with a little simple syrup to keep them from drying out, since they don't have that protective layer of icing or frosting.