Yesterday I had one thing on my mind: cupcakes! I scanned Pinterest and every cookbook I could find searching for the right one. For some reason I was feeling adventurous, contemplating trying something new. This recipe makes one dozen vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. The only thing that might be a challenge is finding vanilla beans. I had to hit up a local specialty shop to do just that. While on the hunt for vanilla beans, I scooped up a few gourmet cheeses. Did I mention I LOVE cheese! Finally I found the vanilla beans; these little guys are expensive at $14 per tube. No wonder vanilla extract is so high, it’s hard work to get the seeds out. Once you taste this frosting you know all of your hard work was worth it!
It has been brought to my attention that I need a cooling rack…
Makes 12 cupcakes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Set pan aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow cooling in pan 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and allow cooling completely. Prepare frosting.
Vanilla-Bean Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
1/2 vanilla bean , scraped
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted)
Cream the butter in a medium-size bowl until very smooth. Stir in the vanilla-bean seeds until they’re evenly distributed. Add the salt, vanilla and milk, and stir until combined. Sift the sugar over the butter mixture and stir the mixture until it’s perfectly smooth. If the frosting is too loose, add a few more tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar, and stir until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap until you’re ready to use; mix well just before using.
Decorate cooled cupcakes as desired.