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Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

My son ,N, celebrated his b’day recently. I always get nostalgic when his b’days come around….more so than the twins b’days, I guess it is probably ‘coz he is my first. I start thinking about how it was when he was a baby , the stuff he did and most of all how I grew as he grew. To be honest, it also makes feel old every time he celebrates a b’day and he hasn’t reached double digits yet !!!!

 When we asked him what kind of party he wanted, the answer came pretty quick ……he just wanted to hang out with his friends, play football and eat all his favorite foods!!! What are his favorite foods you ask…..popcorn, soda/pop/cola (depending on which country you are from), French fries, cupcakes and ice cream. So that is exactly what I made. I added pizza and substituted lemonade for the soda….there are limits I will not cross, it seems like !!! N and his friends had a ball….literally. They played football for hours, ate every bite and told me I throw the best parties !! 

 We are getting hail and snow , again….which means everything is shut down again. I find myself with time again ….so I figured I would post the recipe for a simple vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. Yes, these are the ones I made for his b’day. It also helped that I made two batches of these and we ate them again for Valentines !! Two birds with one stone , if you will !!! Back to the topic at hand…..this is a classic and every one should have one in their recipe box.

 You can certainly zhuzh up a box cake mix and buy packaged frostings but I have never had luck with packaged frosting, they somehow end up runny and I cannot frost the cupcakes !!! I feel like a grasshopper today, jumping from one topic to another, can’t get my thoughts straight !!!! Hopefully it’s all making sense!!! Anyway, I have included a recipe for cupcakes but I will recommend making the frosting……for one its delicious and it is firmer so makes it easier to frost !!! 

Vanilla Cupcakes

The cupcakes are buttery, light , fluffy and moist with an intense vanilla flavor…..V ate them without the frosting and loved it !!!! Many recipes say use cake flour but you know me, if it asks for a specialized ingredient, I will not make it. So I use recipes with good ol’ all-purpose flour in it, now that I always have in hand !!! I normally use Vanilla extract as that is what’s readily available everywhere but I was given vanilla bean paste recently and I have to say it makes a huge difference…..somehow it tastes more vanilla-y. I am told its now becoming available in many supermarkets but I haven’t looked into that yet. Use what you have.

 As for the frosting, it is creamy, light, fluffy and absolutely delicious……I am a frosting girl and love to have an equal ratio of cake and frosting….that’s why I don’t eat cupcakes often !!! Now I have used heavy cream to lighten my frosting but if you do not have it, milk can be substituted. I also use a hand mixer as that’s all I have , if you lucky enough to have a stand mixer, go for it!! I have come to the conclusion that since frostings have so few ingredients, they have to be the best quality that you can afford and it’s also a matter of technique. Follow the precise steps, you end up with an awesome frosting. You can use this as a base and flavor it in different ways to create other frostings !!

 I actually added a Hershey’s kiss to each cupcake so as it bakes, the candy melts and you have a chocolate filling in the center. Now, I was late in taking pictures of the cupcakes so by the time I got to cutting it open to show you the filling, they were all eaten !!!!

Vanilla Cupcakes

VANILLA CUPCAKES WITH VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

(makes 12-15)

Cupcakes:

1 ½cups All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp. Baking Powder

½tsp. Salt

1 stick / ½cup unsalted Butter, melted

1 cup Sugar

3 large Eggs

1 tbsp. Vanilla Bean Paste/ 1 ½tsp. Vanilla Extract

¾cup Buttermilk

Frosting:

1 cup/ 2 sticks Unsalted Butter, at room temperature

2 ½cups Confectioner’s Sugar/ Powdered Sugar

¼tsp. Salt

1 tbsp. Vanilla Bean Paste/ Extract

1-2 tbsp. heavy Whipping Cream

For the cupcakes:

Pre heat the oven to 350 F. Line your cupcake pan with 12-15 liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Using your mixer, mix together the melted butter and sugar until thick and yellow, about 30 seconds.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.

Now, add the flour mix and buttermilk alternately. Start and end with flour. DO NOT OVERMIX !!!

Divide the batter among the liners, filling it 2/3rds. Using an ice-cream scoop makes it easy.

Bake 15-20 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean. Mine baked by 17 minutes so start checking at 15.

Cool completely before you frost.

For the frosting:

Beat the butter till creamy .

Add in the salt and a cup of sugar at a time, making sure it is well incorporated. You might have to scrape the bowl down once or twice and I would recommend a slow speed or you will have sugar everywhere !!!

Beat in the vanilla and 1 tbsp. of heavy cream. If it is too thick add another tbsp. of cream.

Place in piping bag. I used a large round tip. Frost and serve.

This is off to Treat Petite : Loved Ones at Cakeyboi, started by the Baking Explorer , February’s Family Foodies: Love at Eat your Veg and Bangers & Mash and also Lets Cook Sweet Treats for Valentines at Simply Food.

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