Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

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There are so many different cupcake recipes out there (remember my avocado cupcakes?), but sometimes the perfect vanilla cupcake adorned with a delicious buttercream is the ideal choice.

Wikipedia describes a cupcake as a small cake designed to serve one person. I also discovered that November 9th is National vanilla cupcake day. Mark your calendar friends, this sounds like a pretty important occasion to me!

I can’t even begin to count how many vanilla cupcakes I have baked in my lifetime.  My children and grandchildren love cupcakes.  My children refer to themselves as cupcake “snobs”.  I remember buying cupcakes in a local supermarket bakery and when I served them for dessert, they asked me what I was trying to pull serving them store bought baked goods.  Ooops….sorry!!

Two of my grandsons prefer a vanilla cupcake over any other flavor.  I made a strawberry shortcake cupcake last summer.  I think it was one of the best cupcakes ever! It had so many components,  but they were NOT a fan.  My adorable granddaughter, on the other hand, was all about it (you go Evie Girl!).

Evie eating a cupcake
This is how you eat a cupcake!

So this cupcake recipe goes out to all the vanilla cupcake lovers out there (or cupcake lovers…period).  These cupcakes are my go to vanilla recipe and will be yours too!

Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup (180 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) full fat sour cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

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Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

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In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer with whisk attachment), cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about two minutes).

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Mix in the eggs one at a time.  Mixing well after each addition.  Add sour cream and vanilla extract. Mix until incorporated.

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Batter may look slightly curdled. That is normal and will come together nicely once flour mixture is incorporated.

Add the flour mixture and mix just until flour is incorporated.  If you would like, you can use a hand whisk at this point.  Mix until there are no traces of flour (do not over mix or your cupcake will not have a light texture).

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Scoop into paper cups filling them 2/3 full.  You can use a large ice cream scoop or two spoons, whichever you prefer.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes.  All ovens are different, so begin checking for doneness at 15 minutes.  If the toothpick has a few crumbs attached, remove from oven.  The cupcakes will continue baking after they are removed from the oven.  You don’t want to over bake them or you will end up with a dry cupcake!

After 2 minutes, transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.  Top with my simple buttercream frosting.  Don’t let the name fool you.  It may be simple to make, but it’s oh so good!!

Simple (but delicious) Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups (455 grams) confectioner’s sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) heavy cream

Instructions:

Cream butter until fluffy.  Slowly incorporate confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time. Make sure your mixer is on a low speed (trust me on this…you will have a sugar mess!  I learned this the hard way!!). Add the salt and vanilla extract.  Drizzle in the heavy cream to desired consistency.  Add more or less until you achieve this.  Of course, at this point, you can make your icing any color you would like using liquid or gel food coloring. The possibilities are endless!

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You can ice your cupcakes using a small spatula or place the frosting in a decorating bag with a piping tip.  I used a bag for these cupcakes.  I like to use a large star shaped tip to pipe the frosting in a swirling motion.  Top with sprinkles.  Don’t forget the sprinkles!!  Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

Super Moist Avocado Cupcakes

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I never used to eat avocados. After my son married a girl from Southern California (17 years ago),   she made tacos for dinner one night.   She made guacamole.  I never had it before and I thought it was one of the tastiest things I had ever eaten!!

Over the years I have looked forward to the nights we have tacos, mostly because I know my daughter-in-love is going to make the guacamole…YUMMMM!! She has taught me everything I need to know about picking the right avocado and how to ripen them fast!  Feeling and squeezing the avocado is not an easy task!!! When that thing is ready, you need to make that quac PRONTO!

I have wanted to make avocado cupcakes for a while now, so when I had an avocado that was ripe, I knew that now was the time. Fun fact #1- Avocado can be used in place of butter and adds moistness to cupcakes, cakes and other baked goods.  I used ½ cup mashed avocado and ½ cup extra virgin olive oil in my cupcake recipe.  Those things were so moist!

Fun fact #2- Avocado is a fruit. They are by no means sweet!   They grow on a tree that is part of the flowering plant family Lauraceae.  The avocado (also known as the alligator pear or avocado pear) is a large berry containing a large seed).

Fun fact #3-Hass avocados are perfect for mashing, so I recommend using these for your cupcakes.

I frosted these gems with some cream cheese frosting. This frosting goes perfectly with these cupcakes (let’s face it, cream cheese frosting goes well on just about anything!!).

Last Fun fact- Dogs and cats can eat the cream center of an avocado, but the pit and the skin are highly TOXIC!!! The remains of the avocado can be used in your compost or just discard it in the trash.

I hope you make these cupcakes. If you do, tag me on Instagram and show me your finished product.  Enjoy!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake tins with paper liners (this recipe makes approximately 18 cupcakes).

Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Mix the eggs and granulated sugar on high for 5 minutes. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the oil and mix until combined.  Mix in the mashed avocado just until incorporated.  Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.  Pour in the milk and other half of the dry ingredients and mix for 1 minute.  Scrape down bowl and beater. Let mixture sit for two minutes.  Stir mix and pour (or scoop) into cupcake tins.  Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full and bake for 16-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely on cooling rack.  Frost and eat.  If there are any left over…cover and refrigerate.

Ingredients for Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups of flour (180 grams)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
  • 2 large eggs – room temperature
  • 1 medium avocado, mashed (115 grams)
  • ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (108 grams)
  • 2/3 Cup of whole milk – room temperature (163 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice (I like to use Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese – room temperature (227 grams)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter – room temperature (113 grams)
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar (220 grams)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Mix cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Slowly add sugar and mix until combined.  Add salt and vanilla bean paste.  Mix on high for one minute, scraping sides and bottom of bowl when needed.  Add to bag with tip or use offset spatula. Decorate cupcakes as desired.