Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

A friend of mine from my undergrad years is living in KL, Malaysia. She has recently given birth to an adorable baby boy. So hubby and I went to visit her over the weekend. She loves my blog and all my recipes! So I wanted to bake some cookies and cupcakes for her and her hubby.

I tried out some Butter Cookies with my cookie press, recipe to be posted soon. And I also made some vanilla bean cupcakes. I have made vanilla cupcakes before, but this recipe from Annie’s Eats, called for actual vanilla pods! I happened to have bought some last week to make vanilla extract. And so I got started on my vanilla bean cupcakes with fresh vanilla pods!

Though the process, of mixing the batter is a bit time consuming than usual. I promise the end result is worth the few extra steps. The baked cupcakes were so fluffy like a cloud! They were so moist and soft, you could actually see little small black specks of vanilla in the cupcakes. My friend and her hubby loved these cupcakes!

For the frosting, I used block cream cheese, tinted with blue food colouring. I was actually going for a light blue colour, but since the cream cheese was “cream” in colour to begin with, the frosting just kept getting greener as I kept adding blue colouring! Sigh! Anyways maybe next time I will try some buttercream frosting.

I love those pretty pink flowers on top of the cream cheese. I searched all over Singapore, and got them from a baking goods store in Geylang, along with the pretty blue cupcake cases.

 Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

3 cups - cake flour
1 tbsp. - baking powder
½ tsp. - salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
16 tbsp. - unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups - sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups - buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tbsp. - vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together and set aside.  
  • Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  
  • Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl of the mixer with the butter and discard the pod (or reserve for another use.)
  • Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.
  • Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.  
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  
  • Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup.  
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.  
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full (you will likely have batter left over after filling 24 wells.)  
  • Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  
  • Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  
  • Replace paper liners and bake remaining batter if desired.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.
  • Yield: approximately 30 cupcakes

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