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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Vanilla vanilla cupcakes

Note: This is a scheduled post - Alastair and I are currently on holiday!

Vanilla vanilla cupcakes

When I told Twinsy that I was interested in making vanilla cupcakes, she lent me her Crapapple Bakery cupcake cookbook and told me to try the vanilla cupcake recipe. The book says that the vanilla cupcake is the biggest seller at the bakery. After making them, I can see why!

The cupcakes are really light and fluffy - even when it’s still at the batter stage you can tell how fluffy they're going to be. I don’t like cakes and desserts to be too sweet, and these fit the bill. They’re not too sweet, they’re fluffy, and they have a strong vanilla flavour. They're really, really good.

Vanilla vanilla cupcakes

On top of the cupcakes is a vanilla buttercream. I didn’t follow the buttercream recipe from the Crabapple Bakery cookbook though – just reading the recipe made my teeth ache because it asks for 8 cups of icing sugar for about 200g of butter (For comparison, the recipe I use has 3 cups of sugar for 225g of butter and it is definitely sweet enough for me!).

The recipe makes a large amount - I made about 28 cupcakes out of one batch. If you don't want to make as many, try halving the recipe, although I'm sure you wouldn't have any problems sharing them amongst friends if you made the full batch. I must stress again how good they are – the best cupcakes I’ve ever made according to my friend Rukiye.

Vanilla vanilla cupcakes

On my last day at my old job, I took a batch of mini cupcakes into work for my colleagues. I halved the recipe and managed to get 47 mini cupcakes. I thought they were very cute and they went down a treat. :)

Vanilla vanilla cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes

From the Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook

Makes 24 cupcakes

2 & 3/4 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
200g unsalted butter - softened
1 & 3/4 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 170°C. Line two 12-hole muffin trays with liners.

In an electric mixer, cream the butter on high for a couple of minutes until pale and fluffy. Add the caster sugar a third at a time, beating for several minutes before the next addition.

When the mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium for a minute after each one. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Add the flour and milk alternately to the butter mixture in several batches and beat on low speed until just combined.

Spoon mixture into the cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the trays immediately and let cool completely on a wire rack before icing/frosting.

Vanilla buttercream

Thanks to Maria

250 grams unsalted butter, cut into cubes and very, very soft
3 cups sifted icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat the butter in an electric mixer on high until it is very pale and fluffy.

Gradually add the icing sugar (I do this a tablespoon at a time), beating well between additions. Beat until the buttercream is very fluffy - about 5-6 minutes.

Heat the milk in the microwave until it's very warm. Add to the butter cream and beat on high for another couple of minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Pipe on top of the cupcakes.

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