Chocolate or vanilla? That is the question I have been asking myself lately. I have always been a chocolate girl. Then, I ate these cupcakes. And, I had vanilla bean ice cream. And, I ate vanilla bean crème brulee. Now I just don’t know who I am anymore. If I had to choose my last meal, what would it be, chocolate or vanilla? These are the questions of life that torment me on a regular basis. Not that I’m shallow or anything.
If you are a chocolate lover, these cupcakes might just convert you, too. It is a light, fine crumb, vanilla bean cupcake with little black specks of goodness from a real vanilla bean, filled with a light, not as sweet, but very vanilla cream, frosted with a sweet vanilla bean buttercream frosting. Really, what more could you ask for? And if you already are a person who likes vanilla over chocolate, this cupcake is for you. Except, if I’m anywhere around, there won’t be any left for you. Not that I’m greedy or anything.
The one thing you need to remember about these cupcakes is that the cream filling, and the buttercream frosting are made with a lot of butter. So when you make them, you need to store them in the refrigerator until ready to eat. HOWEVER, it is very important to take them out of the refrigerator about an hour before eating, in order for the cream filling and frosting to soften. Otherwise, your guests will feel like they are biting into a stick of butter instead of a moist, soft, melt-in-your mouth cupcake, which these truly are. Sadly, I speak from experience. So take the cupcakes out of the refrigerator a little ahead of time, and you will be so glad you did. Then you too, will be asking yourself, if vanilla might just be the best flavor in the whole world. I think I might have crossed over to the other side. And then I remember how much I like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. And, then I can’t decide. Not that I’m wishy-washy or anything.
Triple Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
For the Cupcake:
2 1/4 c cake flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1/4 c whole milk, room temperature
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line cupcake pans with 18 paper liners.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.
- 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 is fully mixed and smooth, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
- Once the 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.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. For moist cupcakes, do not over bake.
- Set aside to cool.
Recipe From My Baking Addiction
For the Vanilla Cream Filling:
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 1/2 c whole milk
- 1/2 c real, salted butter (butter should be a little soft, but not too much)
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. real vanilla extract (or other flavor if you wish)
- Whisk together the flour and the milk.
- Heat in a small saucepan on medium heat.
- Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring with a rubber spatula, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until mixture has the consistency of thick pudding or paste.
- Put mixture in the refrigerator, and let it cool completely. It’s fine if it stays in there long enough to get chilly, you just don’t want it warm at all. As it’s cooling, feel free to stir it occasionally to speed up the process and keep it from forming a crust on top. I just put the paste mixture in the refrigerator right in the pan without a lid. It only took about 15 minutes to cool.
- In an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. (You’ll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer if you have one, instead of the flat paddle.)
- While beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. (Mixture will separate and look messy, keep beating!) Continue beating until mixture comes together and is light and fluffy, about 7-8 minutes, but time varies. (I set the mixer on 8 and beat it 8 minutes, scraped the sides, and beat just a little bit more.)
- Take a sample of frosting between your fingers; frosting is done when light and fluffy and sugar granules are dissolved.
- Cut a little cone shape out of the top of the cooled cupcakes with a sharp knife. Discard, use for something else, or just eat the cut out cone shapes.
- Fill cone shape with vanilla cream. DO NOT put cone-shaped cake back in cupcake. It just doesn’t look or taste right when you do that.
- Set cupcakes aside while you make Vanilla Bean Frosting recipe below.
- This cream can be used to frost outside of cupcake or cake. Don’t put in refrigerator if you do.
- This frosting is less sweet, and is perfect for those who don’t like sweet frosting, or if you are already using a sweeter frosting on top of the cupcake or cake.
Recipe from Our Best Bites
For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract (or clear vanilla extract to maintain bright white color)
- 1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted (approximately one 1 lb. box plus 2 cups)
- 4-6 Tbsp. heavy cream (I used 4)
- Beat butter and vanilla bean seeds until soft and fluffy.
- Add in powdered sugar, and beat at low-speed until all lumps are gone.
- Add in vanilla and 3 Tbsp. heavy cream. Beat well.
- Add in 1 to 3 more Tbsp. of heavy cream one at a time and beat until of desired consistency.
- Frost cupcakes, and refrigerate until ready to serve. IMPORTANT: Take out of refrigerator 1 hour before serving. (I used a large star tip to frost these cupcakes.)
Recipe from My Baking Addiction