Monday, March 24, 2014

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes Recipe

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (I used Swan’s Down brand)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Ingredients for buttercream:

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (this helps maintain the bright white color)
  • 1 ½ pounds (24 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
Instructions for the cupcakes:

Start by centering a a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F and line cupcake pan with paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, in a large bowl and in a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites. 

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla bean seeds at medium speed for 3 minutes,  in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer. Add in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed and beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated.

Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth and then add the last of the dry ingredients.Give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated, once ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. 

Distribute the batter between 18 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full, using a large scoop and bake for 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. 

Instructions for the buttercream:

Cream butter and seeds from vanilla bean until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until well blended, with the mixer on low speed. Add in vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk and blend on low speed until moistened.

Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency and beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.


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