22 January, 2013

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

Oh heavenly vanilla.  

These cupcakes are so delicate, so moist, so delicious.
I had to see if these were really 'the best' vanilla cupcake, as The Cupcake Project claims them to be.
Umm..  they are pretty perfect.  They rise beautifully, are so soft and moist, with a strong (but not overpowering) vanilla flavor.  I usually find vanilla cupcakes don't really have a 'big' vanilla flavor.  The vanilla seeds in this recipe are really what does it, as well as the whopping 1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract.
I frosted them with a quick vanilla buttercream frosting- I won't post recipe as I just threw in the mixing bowl some heavy cream, butter, confectioners sugar, and a few drops of vanilla.  Whipped it up and voila! 

I usually use more heavy cream than most frosting recipes call for- I like my frosting a little lighter and airier (closer to a whipped cream than a true frosting).

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes 16 cupcakes

1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self rising)
1 vanilla bean
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
2 large eggs at room temp
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil )or canola oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (not imitation vanilla!)
2/3 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in cupcake pans.

In a small bowl, combine the vanilla bean seeds and the sugar.  Use your hands or the back of a spoon to break up the clumps of vanilla seeds and disperse them throughout the sugar.

In your mixing bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla bean sugar.  Mix until combined (on low speed or it will fly everywhere!)  Add the butter, and mix about 3 minutes until combined.  It will be crumbly, not a wet batter at this point.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract.  Slowly add this to the flour mixture and mix until combined.  Slowly add the milk in, letting the dough absorb the milk and mix it in a little at a time.  The batter will be very wet, don't be alarmed- it's supposed to be. 

Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full.  Bake 12-14 minutes, until batter is no longer 'jiggly' and a toothpick comes out clean..  Do not wait for them to turn golden brown (that means they are overcooked).  When done, remove cupcakes from muffin pan and let cool on wire rack.

Frost cupcakes only after they are completely cool.  

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