I know the title is a mouthful, but believe me… these cupcakes are divine. The best ever vanilla cupcake you will ever eat. (I actually made another version with sour cream the same day, and I liked this recipe way better). And the frosting? Don’t even get me started. Mel’s Kitchen Cafe calls it magical, and I definitely think it is enchanted. The frosting takes a little planning, but it really isn’t hard. And it is definitely the best frosting I have ever eaten. Now the combination of the best ever vanilla cupcake and the best ever frosting? I dare you to eat one without “mmmm…” escaping your lips! I think these cupcakes would be darling for the 4th of July in the red liners with a little blue sugar sprinkled on them.. but alas, I didn’t have the foresight to buy it this time and didn’t have any on hand.
Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cupcakes with Best Ever Vanilla Bean Frosting
Submitted by Mindy ~ The Sisters Cafe
Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperture
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons of Vanilla Bean Paste (Can substitute 2 scraped vanilla beans or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 for light aluminum or silicone muffin pans or 325 for dark, nonstick muffin pans. Line about 16-24 muffin cups and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in eggs and egg yolk one at a time and then mix in the vanilla. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Combine. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk. Mix. Add another 1/3 of the dry indredients. Mix. Add the final 1/2 of the buttermilk. Mix and then add the final 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix until combined and the batter is smooth. Spoon out batter into lined cupcake pan, filling only halfway or just barely over halfway.
Bake for about 15-18 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven based on the type of muffin pan you have), until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out with moist crumbs. Don’t overbake!
Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Enchanted Vanilla Bean Frosting
*Note: this frosting takes a bit of advance planning since the frosting needs time to cool so plan ahead! Also, the frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week. When ready to use, let the frosting stand at room temperature until softened, about 2 hours. Beat with stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about one minute. Chill this frosting for 30-60 minutes prior to piping. I chilled it about 40 minutes, and it worked great!
*Makes about 4 cups frosting (plenty for two 9-inch cake layers)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim milk, and it was fantastic)
2 teaspoons Vanilla Bean Paste (Can substitute 2 scraped vanilla beans or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, cut into 24 pieces and softened at room temperature
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium saucepan and pour the milk mixture through the strainer into the saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and is thick enough that it starts to become difficult to easily whisk. This could take anywhere between 5-10 minutes, depending on your stove, heat, etc. It should bubble quite a bit at the end (be careful of the splatters) and thicken considerably.
Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cool to room temperature – this is extremely important! If it is even slightly warm, the frosting won’t beat up properly. I refrigerated my initial mixture overnight. If you do this, make sure to pull it out in time to let it warm back up to room temperature. If you try to proceed with the rest of the recipe and the mixture is too cold, the butter won’t absorb into the frosting like it should.
Once the frosting is completely cooled to room temperature (it should have no hint of warmth at all!), beat the mixture with the vanilla on low speed until it is well combined, about 30 seconds (a stand mixer will work best for this). Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat the frosting until all the butter has been incorporated fully, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and let the mixer work it’s magic. Beat the frosting for five minutes, until it is light and fluffy. Let the frosting sit at room temperature until it is a bit more stiff, about 1 hour. Chill 30-60 minutes before piping.
Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe