People claim vanilla is boring! People claim vanilla is dull and unexciting! People even claim vanilla is blah…. But I am on a mission to show you how to make vanilla cupcakes sexy again. Vanilla is not boring trust me, vanilla is one of the all time classic flavours and I think we should all show it a little love 😉
Yes these cupcakes are very vanilla, for my first batch I used a good quality vanilla extract along with vanilla pod seeds. For the second batch I used vanilla bean paste, which if you are not familiar with it, it is a mix of vanilla seeds and extract combined and the flavour is amazing! Both work well here and I have put the quantities of both so whichever is your choice of vanilla you will still be able to make these gorgeous cupcakes.
Those lovely little black flecks you see throughout the cupcake and frosting are what takes these vanilla cupcakes over the top! I love using vanilla pods in baking they really do add a rich vanilla flavour to everything. But just because I only use the seeds in this recipe doesn’t mean you should chuck out that empty pod. It has a ton of uses, just check out this article on what to do with used vanilla pods. Please do not throw out these flavoursome used pods.
I used two different kinds of sprinkles on these cupcakes, first are the colourful little balls you can see in most of the pictures. I love how the bright colours contrast with the pale vanilla but I also used some jumbo sparkling sugar crystals on some of them for a more grown up look.
But these cupcakes certainly need no sprinkles to make them sparkle. As the title of this post suggests I think vanilla can be very sexy, sophisticated and very grown up 😉
After all who could resist a buttery soft, fluffy sponge delicately flavoured with vanilla piled high with a smooth creamy vanilla cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese I hear you say? Yep that’s right, while this isn’t really a full on cream cheese frosting it certainly has some in there. I find even just a touch of cream cheese can take the sweetness down a notch of the frosting. Sometimes I find frosting to be overly sweet and a little too much for me. I find that by adding a little cream cheese to the affair can help bring the sweetness down a notch and I love that slight tang that cream cheese has. And it really does send these vanilla cupcakes out of the stratosphere!
What better way to spend an evening then to snuggle up with your significant other and share a plate of these. See I said I would show you how to make vanilla cupcakes sexy again ;D
- 240 grams plain/all purpose flour (1 and ⅔ cup)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 200 grams sugar (1 cup)
- 1 large egg
- 75 grams plain Greek yogurt (1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon)
- 180 millilitres milk (3/4 cup)
- seeds from 1 vanilla pod & 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 245 grams icing sugar (2 cups)
- ½ tablespoon vanilla bean paste or seeds from 1 vanilla pod & 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 110 grams full fat cream cheese (1/2 cup)
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 5 and line a 12 hole muffin pan with liners.
- In a medium sized bowl sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together then place to one side.
- Cream the butter and sugar together, until light and fluffy about 3 minutes if using a stand / electric mixer.
- Add the egg and mix for another minute.
- Pour in the yogurt, milk and vanilla seeds and extract or if using the vanilla bean paste and mix until everything is well combined.
- Gently fold in the dry ingredients until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the mixture into the cupcake liners filling each one ⅔ rds full. I use an ice cream scoop to keep them all a uniformed size.
- Pop them in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes. Check on them at 20 minutes to see if they are firm to the touch. My oven is slow so they required 25 minutes but ovens vary so check on them at 20 minutes.
- Take them out of the oven and after a minute resting in their tin remove them to a wire rack to fully cool down.
- To make the frosting beat the butter until it is very pale in colour - this will take about 5 minutes in a stand / electric mixer.
- Slowly add in the icing sugar and mix on a low speed until everything is very well combined.
- Add in the seeds from the vanilla pod or if you are using vanilla bean paste add into the buttercream and beat until fully combined.
- Add in the cream cheese and mix for another minute until everything is well combined, then fill your piping bag or just spoon the frosting onto your cooled cupcakes.
- Sprinkle a few sprinkles on top if using then serve.
2. Kept in an airtight tin in the fridge these cupcakes will last for 5 days.