Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream
These cupcakes are the first cupcakes I started making many years ago. As the years have passed me by, I like to think that these have improved somewhat.
When I think back to the cupcakes I used to make, I often cringe!
I would like to thank my family (The Brown’s) and my cousins (The Arlington’s) for being my main taste testers and most honest critics over the years.
These cupcakes are classic vanilla cupcakes; I use the Magnolia Bakery’s recipe for the cupcakes, and Butter Lane Cupcakes frosting recipe for the buttercream (both bakery’s are in New York, so you know they’re good).
While I cannot take credit for these recipes, I can provide you with the link to the Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcakes recipe, right here - http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/saras-secrets/magnolias-vanilla-cupcake-recipe/index.html.
I am also providing you with the Butter Lane Cupcakes vanilla buttercream recipe, and this is pretty special because you cannot access it on the Internet; and they do not have a cookbook!
I did a cupcake class at their East Village bakery with a friend of mine in June 2012 and was given copies of the recipe; I haven’t been able to find their recipes anywhere online since – so here is my gift to you! You’re welcome.
One other thing… the reason I use the two different bakery’s recipes is simple - Butter Lane use some cream cheese in all of their frostings, which cuts back on the butter. This, I believe makes a huge difference in the taste and also makes the icing less sickening - while still retaining their deliciousness and making it worth every calorific bite. Enjoy!
(Makes 24 cupcakes)
- 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 1 1/4 cups plain flour
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups caster sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature (free range!)
- 1 cup full cream milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use vanilla bean paste which gives the beautiful black dots through the cupcakes, but good quality vanilla extract is fine)
- Preheat oven to around 175 degrees Celsius.
- Line 2 trays each of 12 capacity muffin tins with cupcake patty tins.
- In a small bowl, sift and combine the flours. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
- Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla (whisk the milk and vanilla together in measuring cup beforehand). With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. (I cannot stress this enough how important this is – I suggest mixing both wet and dry ingredients until it is all not completely incorporated and doing the rest by hand at the end with the spatula)
- When completely mixed (But not over mixed! Over mixing will produce a horrible dry cupcake) - carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 18 to 25 minutes (depending on your oven), or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. (I bake mine for 18-22 minutes maximum and that’s always perfect, usually just 18 is fine but it can depend. There is nothing worse than a dry cupcake!)
(Makes enough to ice 36 cupcakes)
- 453g unsalted butter
- 113g cream cheese (full fat Philadelphia)
- 7 cups icing sugar (must be pure icing sugar – I suggest CSR brand in the purple packet – do not even THINK about using ‘soft icing mixture’ as it will completely change the texture of the icing – in a very bad way)
- 1 vanilla bean (the seeds)
- 1 splash of vanilla extract (I almost always use 2 tsp of vanilla bean paste instead of the scrapings of the bean and the extract – this is up to you – it is so nice having the black specks of vanilla through the icing though)
- Combine butter and cream cheese (both at room temperature – all baking ingredients should always be at room temperature for the best results) in a mixing bowl and mix on a medium speed for 5 minutes.
- Add the scraped seeds from the vanilla bean (or the 2 tsp of vanilla bean paste) and mix for one more minute.
- While mixing at a low speed, add the icing sugar, one cup at a time.
- Once sugar is combined, add a splash of vanilla extract and mix on medium to high speed for 3 more minutes until really light and fluffy (if you used vanilla bean paste instead, then you can omit adding the vanilla extract, but will still need to mix for at least three minutes to ensure sugar is completely combined).
- Load up a piping bag or a palette knife with this frosting and frost cupcakes to your taste!