Monday, March 5, 2012

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Icing

In the name of my photography homework, I HAD to make these cupcakes, just had to!

I have been making these cupcakes quite a bit since I discovered the cake recipe last summer.  (You may remember them from my son's Mario birthday party). Well, I finally like the pictures I've taken and have the excuse to post them.

If you're looking for a great simple vanilla cupcake, these are easy to make and taste delicious!  I made this recipe for my son's Star Wars birthday party and dyed half the cake red and half the cake green.  I did the same with the frosting.  Then, I cut out circles of cake and layered it with icing in push pop containers- so they kind of resembled red or green light sabers- they were a hit (unfortunately, I totally forgot to take a picture of them-oops).

In two weeks, my precious little baby girl is going to be one and I'm sad.  She has grown up way too fast. As a practice for her birthday, I let her have one of these cupcakes and she loved it.  I'm planning on using this recipe for her rainbow cake, that with any luck will be as awesome as my mind pictures it to be.  Anyways, for the next two weeks, be prepared to see this little cutie in every post.  I'm trying to preserve as much cuteness as possible- sigh.
I found this cake recipe on My Baking Addiction Blog.  The icing recipe is my own.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes: (these amounts are half the amounts on her blog- it yielded 24 mini cupcakes or 10 large)

Oven:  350

1 1/8 cup cake flour (I have had to make this with all purpose before and I didn't notice a difference)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
5/8 c whole milk (1/2 c and 1/8 c)
2 egg whites, room temp
4 TBSP unsalted butter, (1/2 stick)
3/4 cup sugar
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla

3 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
8 TBSP unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 tsp vanilla
1 vanilla bean, scraped
5-7 TBSP whole milk

For the cupcakes:

1) Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare cupcake pans with liners.

2) In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.

3) In bowl of mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in vanilla beans and vanilla, beat again.

4) Separate eggs, discard yolks.  In medium bowl, whisk together egg whites and milk- set aside.

5) Add 1/3 of flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture in mixer, beating on medium.  Scrape down sides.  Add in 1/2 of milk/egg mixture, beat, then scrape down sides.  Add another 1/3 of flour, beat, then scrape down sides.  Add remaining milk/egg mixture, beat then scrape down sides.  Add remaining flour, mix until combined, scrape down sides, and mix once more.

6) Fill cupcake cups 2/3 full.  Bake in oven for 14-17 minutes for minis and 18-21 minutes for large cupcakes.  Rotate the cupcake pan halfway through baking.

7) After removing from oven, let cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

For the icing:

1) Beat butter in mixer with paddle attachment.  Add in 1 cup confectioner's sugar, beat with butter.  Add in vanilla and seeds from vanilla bean, beat some more.

2) Add in 1 TBSP milk and 1 more cup confectioner's sugar, beat, then add in 1 more TBSP milk and remaining 1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar.  Beat.  Scrape down sides.

3) 1 TBSP at a time, slowly add remaining milk until you reach desired consistency.  After the addition of the fourth tablespoon, let beat for 1 minute, if the icing is too thick, add 1 more TBSP, repeat beating for 1 minute before adding another.  The beating will help make the frosting more fluffy.

4) Put icing in pastry bag fitted with a tip of your choice and ice the cupcakes. Add sprinkles if you want!

Enjoy them! I know she did!

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