Tag Archives: vanilla

Just Another Cupcake

Vanilla Cupcake with Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla Cupcake with Buttercream Frosting

I really have no business posting anything about cupcakes given what’s out there about cupcakes these days, but I had fun baking and icing these with my son today, so there.

We used a boxed vanilla cake mix and added a couple of teaspoons of vanilla for good measure. Then we made a traditional butter icing with 1 box of confectioner’s sugar, 1 stick of butter, 1/4 cup of milk and a couple of teaspoons of vanilla. We added 5 drops of red food coloring and 1 drop of blue to get this version of pink icing. Iain was excited to add sprinkles we had leftover from Christmas. Red, green, and pink: my favorite color combination.

For cupcake inspirations with a lot more heft than mine, check out:

Sprinkles Cupcakes – The original cupcake bakery. Located in Beverly Hills, it is credited with igniting the craze. The site has truly inspired gift ideas.

Dainty Cakes LA Blog – An online cupcake delivery company. They sell homemade style gourmet cupcakes, cakes, cookies, pound cakes, and other desserts. The photos are to-die-for!

Cupcakes Take the Cake – Most likely, the #1 blog about cupcakes, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Nichelle Stephens and Stacie Joy keep you coated in sprinkles with the latest in cupcake trends, news, recipes and more. They have a link list with virtually every cupcake bakery in the world. Incredible.

Cupcake Project – When Stef volunteered to make cupcakes for her friends’ wedding, she didn’t know she would become one of the leading baking bloggers out there, but she did. She’s fearless. She’ll make a cupcake out of almost anything.

Or check out this video from the Culinary Institute of America demonstrating how to make a Cupcake Bouquet.

Vanilla Cupcake with Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla Cupcake with Buttercream Frosting

Marbled Cupcakes – Chocolate Brownie + Vanilla Swirl

Chocolate Brownie + Vanilla Cupcake Swirl

Chocolate Brownie + Vanilla Cupcake Swirl

I got it into my head the other day that I just had to make marbled cupcakes. I don’t know why. I scoured the internet for techniques but in the end, I just invented my own. I needed to use what I had on hand in the pantry and I didn’t have any buttermilk or orange peel or almond extract or baker’s chocolate or lots of other things that the recipes were calling for. So I improvised. I made two batters: one was a version of Mark Bittman’s (again?!) Golden Layer Cake batter from How to Cook Everything and the other was a pre-packaged brownie mix batter to which I added an extra egg. The extra egg in the brownie batter made it light enough to co-exist with cake batter in a cupcake. I spooned the golden batter into the cups first then added a large dollop of chocolate brownie batter. Then I simply swirled a knife through with a circular and upwards motion. Once baked and cooled, I iced them with a basic butter cream frosting and added some sprinkles. I don’t have any cake decorating tools, so my icing job looks pretty amateur (at best), but I’m learning.

Marbled Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cupcake

Marbled Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cupcake

Marbled Cupcakes – Chocolate Brownie + Vanilla Swirl
Makes 24 cupcakes

Vanilla Cake Batter

1 1/4 sticks butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk

1. Cream the butter until smooth. Add sugar gradually and continue to cream for 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one completely before adding the next. Then beat in the vanilla extract.

2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk into the butter mixture, incorporating each completely before adding the next.

Chocolate Brownie Batter

1. Follow the instructions on the packaged brownie mix, but add one extra egg.

Assembling the Cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray two cupcake pans with cooking spray and insert paper cupcake liners.

2. Spoon in enough vanilla batter to fill about halfway up each cupcake liner. Then spoon in a heaping tablespoon of the chocolate batter. Take a knife and swirl it through the batter with an upward motion at the end. Don’t stir too much or the batters won’t remain delineated.

3. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. An inserted toothpick should come out clean. Cool on rack. When completely cool, ice with a simple buttercream frosting.

Buttercream Frosting

1 stick butter, softened
1 lb package of confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk (more or less)
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Cream the butter. Alternate adding sugar and milk, beating everything to a smooth, creamy texture. Beat in vanilla. Adjust thickness by adding milk or sugar, but remember that putting it back in the refrigerator will also thicken it up.

Marbled Cupcake

Marbled Cupcake

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