I made these for a friend’s retirement. They were very easy to make and beautiful. However, the original recipe from My Baking Addiction included milk. I made them with milk but the crumb was dry. I have swapped out the milk in this recipe for buttermilk, which makes for a nice moist crumb. I think overall I did a nice job at decorating. I got all of my very colorful baking cups and supplies from my local favorite cake supply store, Layer Cake Shop. CUPCAKES
2 1/4 cups cake flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature 4 large egg whites, room temperature 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature 1 1/2 cups sugar seeds scraped from one vanilla bean 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened seeds scraped from one vanilla bean 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 24 ounces confectioners’ sugar, sifted 4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1. Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla bean seeds at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the butter and sugar are very light. Add in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
5. Once ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter between 18 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and seeds from vanilla bean until fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until well blended.
2. Add in vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened.
3. Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.