Mmm. I love a good cupcake. I really don't know anyone who doesn't, except my husband. Weirdo. I force him to try them anyway. Torturous, I'm sure. I was browsing Tasty Kitchen one day and this picture was on their home page. Click this (seriously). Definitely yum, right? Must. Make. Now.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
adapted from Annie's Eats
-1/2 c. cake flour
-1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
-1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 cup sugar
-3 large eggs, room temperature
-1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp buttermilk, room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. I was able to get 15 cupcakes with batter. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Add butter and vanilla bean paste or vanilla bean seeds to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (Can use hand mixer too) Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix an additional minute.
3. Add the sugar to the butter mixture, 1/4 c. at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. (If using vanilla extract add with the buttermilk) Mix until just incorporated, scrape sides of the bowl and mix 15 seconds longer.
4. Divide batter amongst liners, filling 2/3 of the way full. Bake 18-22 minutes, check after 18 minutes; toothpick should come out clean. Cool in pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Filling and Frosting
Adapted from Evil Shenanigans
-1 tsp. hot water
-3 1/2 oz. marshmallow fluff
-1/4 c. vegetable shortening
-3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
-2 Tbsp. Dutch-processed cocoa
-1/2 tsp. vanilla
-pinch of salt
-In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the filling and whisk until completely mixed. Place the filling into a pastry bag (or ziploc bag) fitted with a filling tip or a medium sized tip.
-Once the cupcakes are cooled, take a small paring knife, poke it into the center of the cupcake in a cross pattern about one inch deep or skip this if you have a filling tip. Take the pastry bag and place the tip into the cross and pipe out very slowly until the filling just starts to come out of the top of the hole. Clean the tops before frosting.
-1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 tsp vanilla bean paste
-3 c. powdered sugar
-1/4 cup half & half or milk or cream
-In a medium bowl combine the butter and vanilla bean paste. Add the powdered sugar and 3/4 of the milk. Whisk to combine. If the frosting seems to thick or stiff add the rest of the milk and whisk. Frost the cupcakes as desired. Eat and enjoy!
In the cupcake recipe I didn't have buttermilk. So I used the buttermilk substitute trick; 1 Tbsp white vinegar in a liquid measuring cup, add milk until measurement reads 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes and use in recipe as called for.
The filling is very tasty. The frosting is very sweet. These aren't my favorite cupcakes, but they aren't bad. I think they'd just be "eh" without the filling. The vanilla bean specks give it more "Oooh" factor too.
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