Sunday, August 12, 2012

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting

This last week was full of sweet experiments. We had strawberries getting old in the fridge so I made strawberry scones and a strawberry panna cotta, I bought some dulce de leche that was on sale this week so I made a mini banoffee pie, and for our housewarming party last night, I made two different cupcakes, a chocolate cupcake with oreo cream cheese frosting, and this vanilla bean cupcake with whipped vanilla bean frosting.

I like to google recipes and compare different ones and read the comments before choosing a recipe to try and this can sometimes take up quite a bit of time! There are hundreds of recipes for vanilla cakes, white cakes, and yellow cakes available. With all these recipes available, sometimes it is quite difficult to know which is best! I try to choose recipes based on the best reviews/comments from those who have tried them and the ingredients I have available.

I was really happy with how these vanilla bean cupcakes and frosting turned out. The cake was moist, the frosting was light, fluffy, and the perfect amount of sweet, and I loved seeing the tiny flecks of vanilla bean throughout the cupcake. I topped them off with a sprinkle of gold flakes I found at a small specialty tea and chocolate store just down the street from our apartment.

Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cupcakes (adapted from Baking Bites)
Makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F/175C and place cupcake liners in a 12 cup muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

With a electric mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter for a minute and then gradually add the sugar until it looks creamy. Add the egg, the insides of the vanilla bean, and the vanilla extract to the mixture and mix until smooth.

Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until almost combined. Add buttermilk and mix until almost combined. Add the rest of the flour and mix until everything has been incorporated (I did this last mix with a rubber spatula as I didn't want to overmix).

Divide batter evenly into muffin cups, fill about halfway as these will rise. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan. Cool completely before frosting them.

Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting (adapted from Sweetapolita)
Enough to frost 12 cupcakes and a few more

188g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tbsp milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whip butter for 8 minutes with a mixer on medium speed. Butter will become very pale and creamy.

Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.

Now you're ready to frost!

The cupcakes were devoured by the end of the night at our house warming and everyone really enjoyed them so I hope you will too. Sometimes a delicious double vanilla cupcake is better than a fancy cupcake concoction!

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