I’ve always been a vanilla over chocolate kinda girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate. But given the choice between the two I usually pick vanilla.
Vanilla ice cream > chocolate ice cream
Vanilla frappuccino > mocha frappuccino
Cookie > brownie
The one exception is cake. Chocolate cake > Vanilla cake.
I usually find vanilla cakes to be boring. The vanilla flavor doesn’t come through and it tastes bland. I am always disappointed with vanilla cakes. In fact, I never even make vanilla cakes. Yesterday everything changed.
You see, today is my good friend/soon to be cousin-in-law’s birthday. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to make him cupcakes. When his fiancee (my cousin Sofia) asked me to make vanilla cupcakes I immediately thought, “oh…vanilla, really?” I was dreaming of salted caramel filled chocolate cupcakes, or these cookie dough stuffed ones. Once I got over my initial disappointment I realized this was a good opportunity to find a GOOD vanilla cupcake recipe. Vanilla bean popped into my head and the rest is history.
This is not my recipe, so I can’t take credit for it. However, the cupcakes are amazing. The cake itself is light and airy, you can really taste the vanilla bean. And the frosting tastes like melted vanilla bean ice cream! (I should know, I ate my weight in frosting).
One thing to note: the recipe does require vanilla bean paste and it is worth it. I would not use vanilla extract to substitute because you will not get the same flavor result.
Original recipe here.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
3/4 cup egg whites (6 egg whites)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 ¼ cups cake flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened, cut into pieces
Vanilla Bean Frosting
2 sticks butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 tablespoon cognac
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 cupcake pans with paper liners.
For the cake:
Combine egg whites, milk, almond extract and vanilla paste in a large bowl. Mix very well.
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. Add butter and beat on low speed until mixture resembles coarse sand.
Add half of the milk mixture and beat until completely mixed. Add remaining ½ cup of milk mixture and beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl.
Divide batter into cupcake cups until 3/4 full . Bake on center rack for 20 minutes.
Let cupcakes rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, remove them, and let them cool on a rack.
Mix together the butter and powdered sugar. Mix in the vanilla bean paste, cognac, and milk. Beat on high until light and creamy, scraping sides of bowl. Add more milk depending on consistency you want.
Makes 18 cupcakes