Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

 

In my office I self appointed myself to make cupcakes for the office birthdays. It was a reason to practice baking, I can get creative with cupcakes, and everyone loves cupcakes. This month the request was for a simple vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. So to make plain vanilla a little more exciting I chose vanilla bean. I used my favorite cake recipe (see also lemon raspberry cupcakes). I had been looking for a butter cream frosting that tasted like something you would get from a local bakery that was not greasy like the buttery recipes I always came across.  Alas, I found one!! It’s actually from Wilton cake website, and several of my favorite baking blogs use the recipe as well.

This cupcake recipe can be altered for any flavor your heart desires, for chocolate I would add chocolate pudding powder and a 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (and bump the amount of milk to 1 1/4 cup). For the lemon recipe on my blog I experimented with vanilla pudding and lemon pudding it was good either way the lemon zest and juice really is what makes the lemony flavor. I haven’t tried other flavors yet, but you can be sure I will be experimenting.  This recipe will likely remain my staple cupcake recipe.  The pudding cake comes out so good!

Cupcake Recipe

2  cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 package of instant vanilla pudding (only the powder)
1 1/4 c. milk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 sticks room temperature butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pudding powder and salt. Cut vanilla bean lengthwise and then using the blunt edge of your knife scrape out the vanilla bean. Separately mix milk and vanilla bean and extract, set aside.

With an electric mixer in a large bowl combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time allowing each to incorporate well before moving on to the next ingredient.

Incorporate the dry ingredients and milk by alternating – half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk.

Use a small ice cream scoop for the cupcake batter. It makes the perfect size cupcakes.

Bake for 18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Frosting Recipe   

1/2 cup shortening (used the Crisco stick because it’s easier to measure)
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) – room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar
2-4 T. whole milk
1 T. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean

In a stand mixer, beat the shortening and butter together, add the vanilla bean and extract.  Incorporate the sugar gradually – 1c. at a time. Once sugar is incorporated (it will look dry) add the milk 1 T. at a time until you get the consistency you like. It will be about 2-3T for a medicum consistency.

Cover with a wet cloth while not in use, or place in the fridge if you plan on using it much later.

Behind the scenes – mini food blogger in training, (in dress up).

The new cupcake carrier! SO much more convenient – Target for about $20
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