Vanilla Bean cupcakes {recipe}

This weekend was my darling friend, Anna’s, birthday which is always an exciting day as she really does know how to do birthdays! I decided to make her some cupcakes that I had seen onJoy the Baker’s blog(one of my favourite baking sites) that had the real deal kind of icing – I’m talking butter, double thick cream, pure vanilla, pure chocolate (Nomu drinking chocolate) and lots of sugar.

Here is the recipe which makes 24 cupcakes  {or 1 big cake if you wish}

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 180 degrees c  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer, fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  This may take 3 to 5 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well incorporated.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.  If the batter begins to looks a bit curdled, that’s alright.

with the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the vanilla milk mixture in three batches, starting and ending with the flour.  When the batter is almost combined, stop the mixer and finish mixing the batter with a spatula, making sure that any flour bits at the bottom of the bowl are well incorporated.

Divide into the lined cupcake pan and bake for 25 minutes or until golden and a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely before frosting.

The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting  {makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes}

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cup icing sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used Nomu’s)

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup Ovaltine (I used Nomu drinking chocolate – full fat, obvs)

Cream together butter, cocoa powder and salt. Butter mixture will be very thick. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add icing sugar. Turn mixer on low and mix in powdered sugar while adding milk and vanilla extract. As the sugar incorporates, raise the speed of the mixer to beat the frosting. Beat until smooth. In a 1-cup measuring glass, stir together heavy cream and hot choc. Turn mixer speed to medium and pour cream mixture into frosting in a slow, steady stream, until you’ve reached your desired consistency.  You may not need the full amount of hot choc and cream. So it’s basically like chocolate mousse on a cake. Dee-vine!

Joy the Baker’s version – somewhat more professional than mine 🙂 Image source – here

I also made these home-made flags using washi tape – super easy and quite cute. Excuse the wonky one’s – I did this in about 2 minutes!

And lastly, here is the other gorgeous birthday cake made my Queen of Tarts (posted about on Friday) – how beautiful!

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