Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

First, I wanted to thank you all for sharing your pet stories when I posted about our collie/sheltie Tippy and the great demise of the cinnamon buns. It really brightened my weekend and brought on a couple of welcome laughs! Those animals sure are unbelievable!!

Now, the Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes... B's mom called Monday night and we started to chat about everything and nothing as we usually do, and she started to beat around the bush, as she usually does, about needing me to bake something for her garden club. She is a talented baker but she does not get in the kitchen much nowadays, and she knows I am happy to give her and "her ladies" a hand whenever I can. I usually try to fit the cake, treats, and sweets to the theme of their meeting, but when she pronounced the words "Easter" I admit I drew a blank. I am still warming up to Peeps and Chicks (nothing wrong there just different countries different candies) and really beside liking the colors I don't think I wanted to make a bunny cake or something like that (nothing wrong there either). I hung up and went outside to consult with my favorite baking associates, the Twins. We sat down on the sidewalk and after a good ten minutes of dreaming out loud about their favorite desserts, I asked them their favorite questions "So, what do you think I should bake?" They both said vanilla cupcakes with yellow frosting and tons of sprinkles.

They got very distracted by the two little girls at the end of the street so I went on baking and told them to come later help me with the sprinkles. I think it was the loudest "Yeah!" I had ever heard!! I don't know if they were more excited about the little girls or the sprinkles. In my perfect little world I don't think I want to know!!

While I was getting all the ingredients ready, I remembered that one of my favorite bloggers, Arfi from HomeMades was hosting a Cupcake Spectacular this month. Very timely! For the cupcakes I went with the tried and true Vanilla ones from Magnolia Bakery and Rose Levy Berembaum mousseline buttercream. I could eat both together or separately by the bucket... I went for minis for a couple of reasons: I love treats that fit in the palm of my hand and the ladies at the garden club have an easier time pretending they only ate four two. When the kids arrived for the decorating part they were really happy to empty a couple of bottles of sprinkles on the cupcakes. Their words? "Look it's raining sprinkles! Cool!"....and I now have multicolored floors!


Vanilla Vanilla Mini Cupcakes:

Makes 4 dozens minis

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line two 24-cup muffin tins with mini cupcake papers.
Combine the flours together and sift them. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Do not overmix the batter. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full (I use a mini ice cream scoop to do that) Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tip of a knife or skewer inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with the buttercream and pipe it on the cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles if desired.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

4 sticks butter at room temperature
5 egg whites
1 cup sugar divided
1/4 cup water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
food coloring if desired

In the bowl of stand mixer, whip 5 egg whites until they have soft peaks.
In the meantime, combine 1/4 cup water with 3/4 cup sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan and bring the syrup to 250F. Slowly add the sugar syrup to the egg whites. If you use hand beaters, this is even easier and there is less hot syrup splatter on the side of your bowl and in the whisk attachment of the stand mixer. Continue to whip until the meringue is completely cooled.
Slowly add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. The mass might curddle but no panic, continue to whip until it all comes together. Add the vanilla extract and the food coloring if using.

66 comments:

Mamina said...

J'adore, ils sont trop jolis et sûrement trop bons.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

They are ever so cute and pretty!

Cheers,

Rosa

menus propos said...

Très, très, très jolis!

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

4 sticks of butter?? Wow! I would love to taste that - the normal buttercream I make is 1 stick to a box of sugar.

shinobi said...

ils sont très beaux !

Meeta said...

... and you think my panna cotta is going to be the downfall of your hips? Your frosting is going to give me a coronary! ;-) I really like these - they look cute and colorful. I think they would be cool for a birthday party - maybe Soeren's

Babeth said...

So cute!!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Your cupcakes have put me right into the Easter/Spring mood! They look so yummy!

Aran said...

These cupcakes are brining the inner child in me. Love them! The photos are so bright and crisp. Well done once again!

Aparna said...

These are so sunny looking and beautiful. Love them.

Bridget said...

Oooo...I've never used vanilla bean paste before. Can you tell me more about it? Do you find a big difference between it and vanilla extract?

Your cupcakes look just perfect!

Ricki said...

These look adorable AND delicious! I can definitely relate to the "eat by the bucket" sentiment. . .!

Veron said...

What super cute cupcakes! I need to try making minis...i'm just afraid to dry them out. I really need to try RLB mousseline buttercream.

Ginny said...

Delicious and very springy! You could definitely easily eat four! or more!

Peeps are one of those things that I am still not sure I like so I have to eat the whole box to find out again...to further entertain the twins, place two peeps facing each other into the microwave. Stick toothpicks into the peeps so they are pointed at each other. Microwave for 30 seconds at most...you have peep jousting! It still cracks my mother and I up!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

I'll have a dozen, please. They're mini, right? ;)

Happy cook said...

Oh Beautiful cupcakes.
I have bookmarked them , especially the butter cream.

LyB said...

Those are the cutest little cupcakes I ever did see, very "Eastery"! :)

Jenny said...

Yes, do try peeps jousting, its a riot. Other uses for peeps include substituting them for marshmallows in Smores, or sticking them in a hot cup of cocoa!

I would also like to know where you find vanilla bean paste. It sounds like an essential ingredient for the flavor of these.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Helen,these are beautiful! I love the colorful sprinkles!

Farhan said...

Looks and sounds delicious!
The buttercream frosting is completely new to me, I don't have a sugar thermometer though. Looking at the elegant swirls I may be tempted to buy one..

Gretchen Noelle said...

Goodness, how adorable! What a lovely presentation of easter treats!

Cheryl said...

Just the perfect little cupcakes. It is so nice that you include the neighborhood children in your baking.

taste memory said...

oh my ~ these are a must try & so dainty....so pretty & tempting, i can already taste the smidgen of buttercream.....

Arleen said...

These cupcakes are charming! Thanks so much for sharing the recipes and photographs. I love vanilla vanilla, and I can't wait to try them!

~Arleen

Eat Me Outta Here said...

Those cupcakes are so cute. You can't even tell that they are mini in the photos!

Shirley said...

Your buttercream is similar to my divinity minus all the butter.

I've got to try this!!!

It looks great.

Jen Yu said...

Those are the most beautiful little cupcakes! I need to learn to pipe as nicely as you do - such skill. Your neighbors are the luckiest little boys in the world. I wish you were MY neighbor!! :) xxoo

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

Those are very cute......and you can eat MORE because they are smaller hehehehe.

The only way to eat a marshmallow peep is STALE or FROZEN. Never eat a fresh one. Buy them for Easter but eat them on Father's Day.

Cakespy said...

The quintessential and perfect cupcake. Wonderful!!

Patsyk said...

Those are simply adorable!

Ryley said...

These are so cute and look so yummy!!

I totally need to get my hands on some of that vanilla bean paste!!!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Helen I do love your twin stories. Wish I had neighbors like that.
I've actually found those little cups so at the first opportunity I'll have to try them.

Deborah said...

I have to laugh, because when I bring regular cupcakes into work, people are hesitant to take them, but when I make mini, they feel like they are justified and all of the cupcakes fly off the table!!

These are such cute cupcakes!!

Evelin said...

Vanilla is my thing. Bring it ON, Helen!

By the way, are there any houses on sale on your street?;)

Jeena said...

Hi tartelette,

I have been following your food
blog for a while now as a silent
reader but have not commented
until now..all I can say is
"WOW your recipes look great",
and I want to cook them all :-)

I would like to get to know
you more tartelette, with your talent for cooking then your going to be a great friend to have.

Feel free to join our cooking
forum, you are very welcome
to join us.

Jeenas food recipe forum

You have such an amazing food
blog tartelette that I am sure our other cooking members would love to know more about it.

Thanks from
Jeena xx
Jeenaskitchen.com

Jeena said...

Hi tartelette,

I have been following your food
blog for a while now as a silent
reader but have not commented
until now..all I can say is
"WOW your recipes look great",
and I want to cook them all :-)

I would like to get to know
you more tartelette, with your talent for cooking then your going to be a great friend to have.

Feel free to join our cooking
forum, you are very welcome
to join us.

Jeenas food recipe forum

You have such an amazing food
blog tartelette that I am sure our other cooking members would love to know more about it.

Thanks from
Jeena xx
Jeenaskitchen.com

Indigo said...

These look so amazing! I'm dying to try that frosting recipe now but my mum won't be impressed if I use five egg whites without a plan for the yolks. I'll keep it in mind... ^__^

Jenny said...

I likely will have 4 kids making these in my kitchen this week, so I'm sure you will feel sorry for me and my floor too, right? :-)

BitterSweet said...

They say the cupcake trend is on its way out, but seriously, just seeing your vanilla cupcakes has me convinced that "they" are dead wrong!

Arfi Binsted said...

Helen, thank you for your entry. They are as so simple as looking gorgeous with sprinkles! Yes, my kids love sprinkles too, they did that for my hubby's birthday. Love the swirls! Perfect!

Thanks, Helen!
ab

Warda said...

Going back to the basics is the best. I can't tell you enough how I wish I was your neighbor, your mother in law, or even the twins, right now ;)

Maddy said...

adorable! I have 3 vanilla beans in my cupboard I've been saving, but they would be fun to subsitute for the paste in this recipe. Do you think that would work well? I definitely want to get my hands on some of that paste, too- I'e heard rave reviews. beautiful pics, as always :)

Brilynn said...

Those just look like fun! Little handfuls of fun.

Jerry said...

Sprinkles! Sprinkles! And they are yellow!

Cakelaw said...

Aww, these are so cute!

Peabody said...

I bet you do have sprinkled covered floors! Very cute.

valentina said...

These are sooooooooooo cute!!! I should get hold of some vanilla bean paste quickly!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

These are more festive than Easter eggs, plus you don't have to worry about messy food coloring and shells cracking! ;)

Lore said...

These are just adorable with those playful colours. They would be a great choice for a baby shower party :)

Paula said...

These look like spring, and tasty with it.
Just to add my voice to the many, I love your blog. It sits on the bookmarks to be read with my morning coffee.

RecipeGirl said...

These look like cute little cheerful birthday cupcakes :)

cakebrain said...

Oh! Those are so cute and evocative of spring!

daphne said...

Oh my! they are adorable beyond words. Thank goodness they are mini. =)

joey said...

Oh those are just adorable! I think they would be perfect for an Easter themed get together :) I could probably have 5...you know, since they are mini ;)

Kate / Kajal said...

oh these look so cute. The fact that they are so small make them even more adorable. The frosting looks perfect.

Hillary said...

Too adorable! These remind me of birthday parties as a kid!

Babycakes said...

they look beautiful, love the pale primrose colour, very Easter! Also liked the coffee and chocolate tarts on an earlier post.

kellypea said...

Absolutely completely darling. I still need to work on SMALL! Jeez. And guess I better keep reading backwards to figure out what happened to those cinnamon rolls...

Dharm said...

Helene,
Those cupcakes look so pretty. C'est Magnifique! No, I dont speak French, just trying to show off a little :)

Emiline said...

You've got some serious skills! Look at that piping. So perfect! I wish I need how to decorate cakes.
These sound really good. I was assigned to make two kinds of cupcakes for my sister's wedding shower, so I might have to make these.

I'm sorry you couldn't participate in the Pub Crawl, but that's ok. I'm not going to push it on to people and try to force them to. YOU MUST PARTICIPATE! Ha ha. I've actually had people do that to me in the past.

Jo. said...

Those cupcakes are so very cute. Simply adorable

maswey said...

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Anonymous said...

how do we use the other 1/4 cup of sugar in the frosting? I already made these once and just added the rest of the sugar while beating the buttercream, it got grainy at first of course, but hte grains melted afterwards...

maswey said...

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Anonymous said...

a stick of butter = how much in ounce or gram weight? i work in restaurants so usually my stick of butter is a pound even. i think store bought for home use butter comes in a pound but packages into 4 smaller sticks? i'm hoping by 4 sticks you mean one pound even.

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