Vanilla Bean CupcakesPosted: January 13, 2010
For the other cupcake I wanted to send to H work for monthly birthdays I found this great recipe on Annie’s Eats. I wanted a very deep flavored, vanilla-y cupcake and these looked perfect and baked up sooooo NICELY! I am not a huge vanilla cupcake fan but these were GREAT!
I agree with Annie when she says this batter is wonderful to work with. It was velvety smooth and so vanilla-y! It is by far the best vanilla batter I have ever worked with and they baked up the best I have ever seen. Not chewy, not bitter, not too stiff, just soft and moist and DEEELICIOUS!
The frosting is to die for too…a great recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.
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 two 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. (See below).
Yield: approximately 30 cupcakes
Frosting: Makes enough for a double layer cake or 24 cupcakes From COOK’S ILLUSTRATED
20 tbsp. (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean split and scraped
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add in vanilla beans. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds. Scrape bowl, add vanilla extract and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.