Vanilla is one of my favourite flavours. It basically goes with everything and anything sweet like cakes or cupcakes which heightens the flavours and gives it a beautiful vanilla-y taste. Vanilla cupcakes are no exception. But when it comes to eating but not making cakes, I actually prefer chocolate over vanilla most of the time because I admit that I am a devoted chocoholic. Sorry vanilla cake fans! I haven't found the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe yet, but this one has a moist and light crumb and it smells delicious too. They tasted really good just like a good vanilla cupcake should and are like the ones at the local bakery especially with the cute candies on top.
I decided to use Sweetapolita's recipe of Bakery-style cupcakes with vanilla frosting as I wanted to try out different recipes in the search for the best vanilla cupcake. I loved the texture of it and the sweetness of the frosting helped balance out the flavours of the cupcake. I also topped them with some of the candies I had leftover from the Homemade Candy Hearts and Stars to add a touch of cuteness to the plain cupcakes. As you can see, I am gradually getting better at piping swirls on cupcakes, but thats after scraping ugly swirls about 100 times before re-piping them again. That also made the cupcake liners look untidy and soon enough, the icing started to melt. I had to put the icing in and out of the fridge since it was a reasonably hot day before I was happy enough *sigh*. I really want to own the 1M piping tip that everyone's talking about as the best tip for a cupcake swirl. Do you agree that it is the BEST one?
Adapted from Sweetapolita's Bakery-Style Vanilla Cupcakes
Source: Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes from Food Network
Makes about 12 cupcakes (double the recipe if you want 24 cupcakes)
3/4 cups (95 grams) of self-raising flour
5/8 cups (80 grams) of plain or all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick/113.5 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200 grams) white sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 tsp for a stronger flavour
Sweet Vanilla Frosting
170 grams (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
313 grams (2.5 cups) icing, powdered or confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) milk
1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 177 degrees C or 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 or more cupcake liners of your choice.
2. Using two bowls, combine the flours in one and the milk and vanilla in the other and set it aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the wet (milk and vanilla). With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but try not to over beat. Scrape down the batter of the sides in the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
5. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners with care and bake in the middle of oven until the tops of the cupcakes turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out nearly clean, for about 18 minutes.
6. Cool the cupcakes in tin for 15 minutes. Remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
7. When the cupcakes are ready to be decorated, make the icing in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip the butter for 5 minutes on medium speed until very pale & creamy.
8. Add the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 5 minutes. The frosting should be very light, creamy, fluffy (and tasty!).
9. Add a little gel food colouring (I used electric pink) and mix until blended.
10. Best used straight away to pipe swirls or ice them as you like and top with sweet candies.