Friday, April 15, 2011

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes



Who doesn't love cupcakes? My kids absolutely adore them. A few weeks ago, I came across these cute little ceramic cupcake pedastals. Aren't they lovely? I think so and just had to have them. For me, part of the fun of baking, besides the happy faces of my family and friends, is a special dish to serve it on. You can order a set by clicking here.

My kids are huge fans of vanilla, so I made vanilla cupcakes, of course, but I made them a little extra special by adding vanilla bean. I have a jar stocked full of them for times such as these and like to add them to all kinds of baked goods. Here's a tip, order your vanilla beans on Ebay. They have some wonderful vanilla bean sources there, you get them in bulk and it is so much cheaper than the two you get for around ten bucks at the grocery store. When you are finished scraping the seeds from the vanilla bean, store the pods in your canister of sugar and after a few days, you will have vanilla sugar to use in all your baked goods.

These cupcakes were disappearing while I was trying to take photos of them. They are so wonderful and creamy and don't you just love the little stand?! Such a fun, stylish way to enjoy a delicious treat! Enjoy!

Here's the recipe....

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups vanilla sugar (or 2 cups regular sugar and 1 vanilla bean)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar, and pulp of vanilla bean if using, gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After cupcakes have cooled, frost with vanilla bean buttercream frosting.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
pulp from 1 vanilla bean

Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar, milk, vanilla and pulp from the vanilla bean*. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need all the sugar. Icing can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days.

*Note: to get the pulp from a vanilla bean pod, slice it down the middle with a paring knife, open it and using the blade of the knife, scrape down the inside of the pod, from top to bottom, gathering up all that wonderful pulp. Don't discard the pod, stick it in your sugar canister and it will turn your regular sugar into something special.

3 comments:

  1. Yummo! Look so pretty and I know they taste delicious.

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  2. You can't go wrong with a vanilla cupcake. Those pedestals are darling and I can't wait to check out that site to see what I can find.

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  3. I've made thes a lot since I pinned this a year ago. These are my daughters FAVORITE vanilla cupcakes! And they're always consistent :). Thanks for sharing!

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