Vanilla heaven, is what these cupcakes are. I am telling you, these are my favourite cupcakes from now on! The intensity of vanilla was amazing and the texture, simply unbelievable. It was so good I wanted to cry, I kid you not. In fact, I tweeted it immediately because I just couldn't contain myself.
Now I finally get the hype surrounding these cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. They are so, so good! My only hope is that in the not-too-distant future, I will have the chance to taste the actual ones at Bleecker Street to see if I am on or off the mark. ;) Aside, one of my friends got to try them and loved them so much, she downed 3 at a go! I am so jealous. *sniff*
Now, let's talk about the cupcakes. First, excuse my ugly, lumpy frosting! Boo hoo. I always, always frost the cupcakes immediately but this time, I had to refrigerate it for a short while to run an errand, and when I came back, some parts had hardened slightly. What a chore it was piping lumpy cream out of a pastry bag! :( But you know what? When I make these again, I will likely skip the frosting altogether because they good enough to be eaten plain. I am in love with the cake, not the cream. :)
To really pack the vanilla flavour in these cupcakes, you must use good quality vanilla. There is simply no other substitute. I used my precious homemade vanilla extract and sugar (which I love with all my heart) and the taste was exquisite.
They look simple, no? Wait till you taste them!
Another thing, the frosting I used was plain ol' vanilla buttercream ... not the one from Magnolia Bakery. Their original recipe calls for a whopping 6 to 8 cups of icing sugar, and that was enough to make me recoil in horror.
Also, I have seen not-so-good feedback about it - "too sweet" being the most common one (ooh, what a shocker). So, I stuck to a regular buttercream frosting which, of course, did not wow me in the least. Why? Because I am just not fond of buttercream! But but but, a cupcake needs frosting to be photogenic, so what choice did I have? ;)
Anyway, I decided that for this post, I will only blog about the cake. You can choose whatever frosting you think will work for you, or follow the recipe to a 'T' and use Magnolia Bakery's *gasp* ultra-sweet version (warning: the cupcakes are already very sweet!).
Adapted from Food Network
Yields 12 cupcakes
- I halved the measurements and converted everything to metric. Please refer to the recipe link for measurements in cups.
- 85g self-raising flour*
* I did not have any, so I made my own using these estimates: 85g plain flour + 1 1/4tsp baking powder + 1/8 tsp salt
- 70g all-purpose plain flour
- 113g unsalted butter, softened
- 170g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean for even more intensity)
1. Preheat oven to 170°C (350°F).
2. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers.
3. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
4. 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.
5. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
6. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4* full.
* I found that 2/3 full works much better ... those which I filled to 3/4 full actually spilled to the sides during baking. This batter rises quite a bit, so it's best to err on the side of underfilling.
7. Bake for 20 to 25* minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
* At the 20-minute mark, reduce heat to 160°C (325°F). The tops of the cupcakes should be lightly golden.
8. Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
Tadah ... cupcake heaven! My poor girl ... always being interrupted while eating. She took a bite and I hollered, "Hold it! I need to take a shot!" Lol.