Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Snickerdoodle Cinnamon Cupcakes

Snickerdoodle cookies are popular at holiday cookies swaps (which will be just around the corner!) namely because they're easy to make and who doesn't like a simple cinnamon sugar cookie? Using these cookies as inspiration, I thought Snickerdoodle Cupcakes would be a great addition to the fall cupcake tower I recently made. These cupcakes are moist with just the right amount of cinnamon in each bite. The vanilla bean buttercream was also good, especially with the sprinkling of cinnamon sugar to top them off...


I came across this recipe from Allrecipes and taking the advice from previously reviews, made the suggested adaptations of using unsalted butter in place of the shortening originally called for. Another adaptation I made was adding vanilla extract and some cinnamon to the batter. The result? A moist and tender crumb, filled with cinnamon that I thought was way better than the cookie!

For the frosting, I used a simple Vanilla Bean Buttercream out of convenience since I had 3 other cupcake flavors to frost using the same flavor as well. However for the frosting I made, I decided against working with a vanilla bean as called for in the original recipe. Instead, I used one of my favorite vanilla bean shortcuts, which is to use vanilla paste. It's a vanilla product combining the seeds of the bean with a thick, intense vanilla extract. I like the convenience of this product and I get the same flavor with specks of vanilla too. You can find vanilla paste online and at other gourmet retail shops. My preferred brand is made by Neilsen Massey. A sprinkling of cinnamon sugar once the cupcakes were frosted added the final touch these cupcakes were missing.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
recipe adapted from Allrecipes

2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and 2 cups sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Add vanilla extract and alternately add milk and flour mixture in three stages, mixing well with each addition.

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

1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons sugar
2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or regular vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar (10 ounces)
Pinch salt
2 Tablespoons heavy cream or half & half


Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add the vanilla paste 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.Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the frosted cupcakes to garnish.