It’s been so long since I last made vanilla cupcakes that it seems forever. I guess I’ve been messing with so many complicated cake batters and frostings lately that I kinda forgot the old adage of ‘simple being beautiful.’ It is indeed the simplicity of this basic vanilla recipe from Crumbs Seams in Between  that makes it all the more endearing. I used the last of my vanilla beans for this batch of incredibly fluffy and moist cupcakes but I wish I had some left over for the buttercream frosting. If you must know, I’m not a big fan of buttercream and prefer to leave it out altogether but I felt my lil vanilla babies needed some dressing up. So I topped each with a pair of cute sugar-paste baby booties from Sweet Spot, making them the perfect centre piece for a baby shower party.

VANILLA CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

For the Vanilla Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups caster sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup full cream milk

Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

For the Vanilla Buttercream

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup full cream milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers or butter and flour them.
  • In a small bowl, combine flours. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth.

  • Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until everything is incorporated.

  • Do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
  • Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes.

  • A cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake should come out clean.  Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from tins and cool completely on a wire rack. For the vanilla buttercream, place butter in a large mixing bowl.

  • Add 4 cups of sugar and then milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until thick enough.

  • You may not need to add all the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring to the buttercream and mix thoroughly.
  • Pipe buttercream on cooled cupcakes and decorate with candy as desired. Makes 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 (9-inch) layer cake.

For all the new mommies out there!

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