Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes

I can't even remember how long I've been on the quest for the perfect cupcake recipe. At times, it seems like it's an impossible mission. But, as a homesick Texan living in London, I have to keep trying!

This recipe is by far the best I have ever come up with. It's based on a recipe that I've posted before with some key changes. There's a few things I love about this recipe. First, it's super fast and easy to make the batter. Second (and more importantly) it makes a light, moist, tender cupcake with the perfect vanilla flavour (a rare thing, in my opinion). Third, it really is the perfect reminder of home and is the best cure for homesickness....or maybe that's just the sugar-high?

Vanilla Cupcakes (Makes a little more than 30 cupcakes)

1 3/4 cup (280g) cake flour
1 1/2 cup (200g) plain flour
1 3/4 cup (440g) sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup (8oz) butter, room temparture, cut into 1 in. cubes.
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325*F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed until combined. Add butter in small pieces until just coated with flour.

Add eggs one at a time.

In a large measuring jug, whisk together milk and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down the sides of the bowl before each addition. Beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating halfway through, until a
cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, 17-20min.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Frosting

2 1/4 cup (18oz) butter at room temperature
3 Tbsp double cream
4 1/2-5 1/4 (500g-600g) cup icing sugar, sifted
2-3 tsp vanilla (to taste)
1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

Beat butter on medium high speed until pale (2 min).

Reduce speed and add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. After every 2 additions, beat on high speed for 10 seconds and then return to a medium speed. The whole process should take 5 minutes. I highly encourage tasting this frosting as you add the sugar-there is a fine line between yummy frosting and tooth-hurting sweet frosting.

Add the vanilla and salt to taste. Beat until smooth.

Add the cream and beat.

Seriously....the best. cupcakes. ever.


Anonymous said...

i love the teal & white frostings! and i especially love that cake stand. so cute! i want to try this recipe 'cause it reminds me of my go-to recipe for vanilla cupcakes. it's "billy's vanilla cupcakes" (via marthastewart.com) & the ingredients are similar, but the cake flour & ap flour ratio are a little different. i wonder if i could taste a difference.

Lizzie said...

Tell me you baked these yesterday and you're bringing them to the pub. xx

Dreams of cakes said...

Cupcakes are always welcomed! This recipe and especially the frosting look delicious. Thanks for sharing!!

Jenn said...

I too have been searching for the perfect light and fluffy vanilla cake recipe. I can't wait to try your version. How much salt do you add? I didn't see it in the recipe? Can I ask you what your teal icing color is? I love it.

Semioticghosts said...

What is cake flour, for us poor continentals?

pulpixies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pulpixies said...

Thanks for all the comments!

Theboogieblog- this recipe is based on the Billy's cupcake recipe-I made that one previously (see the Garden Party cupcakes post) and really liked it but felt that it could be improved a little. I've changes the ratios as you said, as well as the baking powder. There's also less sugar in this version which makes the cakes really light and soft, but still perfectly sweet. I'd be interested to know what you think of this adaptation!

Lizzie- oh, dear, it must've been disappointing when we showed up late AND with no cupcakes! sorry!

Eftychia- Thanks so much for the kind comment!

Jenn- thanks for your comment-i inadvertantly left the salt out on my post! i've added it in now. I'd love to know what you think of this recipe if you try it! The teal food colouring I use is a paste by Squires Kitchen and it's called Bluegrass. Teal is my favourite colour and I really love using it for frostings.

Semioticghosts- cake flour in England is "00" grade premium flour. On the packet it says it's for pastry and sauces. It's a finer flour that makes cakes really light. There is also a self-raising version, but for this recipe I used the plain one

Cupcake Crusader said...

Something seemed a bit off with the measurements when I made these last night. The batter was SUPER thick, even after I added a bit more milk and, filling the cups up 2/3 of the way, they only made 24 cupcakes and then got enormous in the oven. I think if I had just filled them up halfway they might've been okay, but it was so hard to even divide it between the cupcake liners because it was so thick. :(

The frosting was PERFECT though. I substituted 1 of the sticks of butter for shortening in hopes that it would be a bit whiter and slightly less buttery tasting.. and it was so effing delicious.

pulpixies said...

miniminininja, sorry for not seeing your comment sooner! I'm glad you liked the frosting recipe and sorry that the batter didn't work out. It is a pretty thick batter!