When my awesome, foodie friend named vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream as her favorite cake/icing combination, I couldn’t help but feeling uninspired. I prefer the richest cakes possible, you know, like a chocolate icing on chocolate cake smothered in chocolate ganache type. So, for her birthday (yay! 23!) I put my own tastes aside and made her some vanilla on vanilla and boy, was I glad I did.
I found this awesome recipe on a fellow baking blog, my baking addiction, that calls for the seeds of a vanilla bean, to make this cake a little more memorable.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 Tbs baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk (room temperature)
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- seeds from one vanilla bean
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, soft
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 24 oz powdered sugar
- 4-6 Tbs whole milk
1. Preheat oven to 350. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Whisk milk and eggs in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise down the center and use the knife, or your fingernail, to scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the vanilla extract to the butter and sugar and mix to incorporate. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Add about 1/3 of the flour to the butter and sugar and mix until combined. Add half of the milk and eggs and mix until combined. Repeat until all of the flour and liquid have been added and then mix on high speed for 2 minutes to aerate.
5. Line cupcake pan with tins and fill each 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until golden. While they’re baking, whip up some icing!
6. For the icing, place softened butter in bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
7. Add the vanilla extract and any food coloring you want to use. Once combined, assess the consistency of the icing. If you want to thicken, add more powdered sugar. If you want a thinner product, slowly add the milk until you reach the consistency you want.
8. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, place icing in pastry bag fitted with metal icing tip, if you have them. You could also just use a knife to slab it on. Decorate any way you choose!