Perfect Vanilla Cupcake recipe

Perfect Vanilla Cupcake recipe

I bake a lot, I find it cathartic, and there is nothing that makes me happier than seeing my friends and family bite into one of my experiments, their eyes roll back, and mumble “yummmm” through a half swallowed mouthful, spreading crumbs down their top.

Occasionally I will find a great recipe, something that I will obsessively bake, tweak, and perfect until it is good enough to “make the book” where it lovingly gets printed, laminated and joins its brethren in the land of recipe royalty, perfectly poised on the prime shelf of the bookcase. This cupcake recipe has made those hallowed pages, it is versatile, and easy to make, it’s forgiving if you get distracted while it is in the oven, I have not made a batch that hasn’t been absolutely ravaged by the people I serve it to.

I must make a shoutout to the Cupcake Project, I used the original recipe for her Ultimate vanilla cupcake before making a few minor adjustments.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup castor sugar
2 fresh vanilla beans
1 3/4 cups good quality plain cake flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
60grams very soft, unsalted butter
2 extra large eggs
1/3 cup full fat sour cream
60ml light olive oil (definitely don’t use extra virgin, you will taste it in the cake.. Bler)
1 1/2 tbs vanilla extract (don’t use imitation, it’s not worth it)
160ml lukewarm milk

METHOD

Preheat oven to 170C

Scrape seeds from vanilla pods and in a small bowl add to sugar, mash clumps of seeds with a fork and ensure they are spread well through the sugar.

Sift together flour, baking powder, bi-carb, and salt into a mixing bowl, or bowl of your stand mixer

Add butter to flour in small chunks, mix on medium until we’ll combined (it should look like fine breadcrumb) if you prefer, you can rub the butter into the flour by hand.

Add sugar/vanilla beans and mix until combined

In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, sour cream, eggs and vanilla essence, then add this to flour and beat until smooth.

Finally while mixing add milk slowly, the batter should be like pancake batter, light, sweet and speckled with vanilla.

Fill cupcake liners to just over halfway, I use a milk steaming jug from my coffee machine for this as the batter is quite fluid, I have baked these in large, tiny and medium cases, and the recipe works fine in all sizes, you just need to keep an eye on baking time.

Baking time varies, depending on case size, for medium to large leave for 12 minutes then check every 2 until done. Cakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean, tops should not be too dark but a light golden colour.

When cakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and place on a wire rack to cool, these do not work with freestanding cupcake liners as the delicate cake sweats and turns doughy during cooling in the thick cardboard.

These cakes are perfect to fill (I don’t bother coring them, I just pipe filling inside with a fine nozzled piping bag). They also lend themselves to sweet American buttercream icing, or an Italian meringue.

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Enjoy!

Raspberry white chocolate cupcakes.

Baking day!

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I immensely enjoy my fortnightly cupcake baking sessions. It has fast come a tradition that every dungeons and dragons game the table be adorned with well dressed sweet treats from my oven.

Each fortnight I aim to push the creative boundary just a little more.  So today I put my own little spin on an old favorite.  Raspberry and white chocolate!

Now I’ve never been a fan of berry bits or chocolate chips floating around cupcakes, so I decided that the best way to get the flavour combination was to make a raspberry filled cupcake and pipe a thick sweet ganache on top and just use a light fluffy vanilla cake. Well that idea was a stroke of genius, the cupcakes were balanced and morish and the mousse like ganash topped it all off perfectly tying all the flavors together in a soft gooey moment of extreme bliss.

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Recently I discovered a passionfruit curd recipe by Donna Hay, I previously have stuffed cupcakes with this creamy buttery goo, and I got to thinking that if I can do this curd with passionfruit, why not with other acidic fruits, orange, lime… pineapple… even berries! Even raspberries? Yes! It was so simple, but the result was amazing, my experiment paid off and the results all came in amazeballs.

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Needless to say, these were a hit. . Unfortunatley now I have to top then next fortnight!!