Best Vanilla Cupcakes

Make these 2 to 3 days in advance for when you actually need them as the flavour and texture gets better the longer you leave them. I’ve made many vanilla cupcake recipes in the past and this is the best one I’ve found so far. The cupcakes have a  light and fluffy texture and are not overly sweet.

Recipe taken from Natsha’s Kitchen
Serving: 15 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cakes:

  • 1¼ cups cake flour or Canadian bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1.5 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners.

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups cake flour (or Canadian flour), 1¼ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda and ½ tsp salt. Set flour mix aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 2 eggs with the whisk attachment on medium speed (15-20 seconds).
  3. Add ¾ cup sugar and continue to beat on medium speed (30 seconds).
  4. Add vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed (1 minute)
  5. Reduce mixer speed to medium/low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mix and the rest of the buttermilk. Beat until just combined and smooth, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl. The batter should be thin.
  6. Pour batter into a lined muffin pan. Fill to about ½ full.
  7. Bake for 12 -14 minutes at 350°F. Let them cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove.
  8. Once the cupcakes are cooled to room temp, pipe on the frosting.

For the Frosting

  1. Whip the cream on high speed (1-2 minutes) until thick, fluffy and spreadable.
  2. In a second mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar (start on low speed unless you want to be standing in a cloud of powdered sugar), then beat in ½ tsp vanilla extract
  3. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mix. Keep it covered in the fridge until ready to use on these cupcakes.

 

 

Notes

A note about the flour: all-purpose works, it just does won’t produce a cupcake quite as soft as cake flour or Canadian Flour.

To make your own cake flour, take one cup of plain flour and remove two tablespoons of it. Then add 2 tablespoons of cornflour and sift the mixture 4/5 times to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
If you want to make the frosting before hand and freeze it, you can do that too.

Sunflower cupcakes

These cupcakes look so bright and summery and taste lovely too.

IMG_0060.jpg

Makes around 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1.5 cups/175g Plain Flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 50g/113g soft butter
  • half a 3/4 cup/175g sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup/120ml milk at room temp

For the buttercream:

  • 100g/3½oz soft butter
  • 200g/7oz icing sugar, plus ½ tsp for dusting
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla

To decorate:

  • 1 packet of dark chocolate chips

 

Method:

For the cupcakes 

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) with rack in center of oven.

2. In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition then add the vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and the  milk  beginning and ending with the flour.  So flour, milk, flour, milk, flour.  Mix until just combined.

4. Line your cupcake pan with your cupcake cases and evely divide the batter between the cases. Bake for 15-20 mins or until a toothpick insertedinto the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed.

5. Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, once they are completely cooled you can begin to frost them .

For the buttercream 

Put the butter in a bowl and sift the icing sugar on top. Add the vanilla extract and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk until very light and smooth. Add some yellow gel food colouring and whisk until the colour is all incoroporated.  Spoon into a clean piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle and pipe petal shapes. Finally add some chocolate chips in the middle to create your finished sunflower.

 

Variations: You can make these with chocolate cupcakes too.

Notes: Cupcake recipe taken from joy of baking.com http://www.joyofbaking.com/VanillaCake.html

Buttercream recipe taken from the Hairy Bikers