Saturday, November 6, 2010

French Vanilla Fairy Cupcakes

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Cupcakes... again?! I've been making cupcakes every weekend for orders over the past month and it doesn't look like I'll be putting away my muffin pans anytime soon. How did I get looped into making cupcakes so often?! Well, the good thing is I can start focusing on holiday flavors for upcoming orders. This weekend was for a special birthday girl turning 9 years old. My client was looking for a simple cake flavor decorated with a girly touch. As a result, I made these French Vanilla Fairy Cupcakes. A moist vanilla cake is topped with a rich vanilla buttercream frosting, sprinkled with pink and purple sugars and garnished with a Tinkerbelle pick. With a wave of a sparkly wand, these disappeared in no time!...

Making these cupcakes were a lot of fun and got me in tune with my girly girl side. I used the same French Vanilla Cake recipe I made awhile back over the summer and it was just as good in cupcake form. It's a simply stated cake that's can be used as a base for incorporating other flavors, however I like it just as it is. To frost these cupcakes, I made my go-to vanilla buttercream and decorated with colored sugars.

French Vanilla Cupcakes
cake recipe from Vanilla Garlic
Cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups of sugar or vanilla sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup of cream
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers. Combine spices in small bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on high until soft for 30 seconds then add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy. Continue to add eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Measure out milk, cream and vanilla extract in 2 cup measuring cup. Cut open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds and add them to the milk mixture.

Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer bowl, then the milk mixture; alternating between the two and ending with the flour. Mix thoroughly.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting
recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated

2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar (10 ounces)
Pinch salt
2 Tablespoons heavy cream or half & half
colored sprinkles for garnish

In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add the vanilla into butter and beat mixture at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds.

Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully incorporated, about 30 seconds; scrape bowl, add heavy cream or half & half, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

Using a star tip with a pastry bag, pipe the frosting onto the cupcake and garnish with sugars.

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