Recipe: Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting

Finally got to try out my new fancy froster! Frosting has never been so easy. 

We had a fierce Halloween "spookify your cube" contest at work last week that I sadly did not win. I put in a D-level effort though, so I wasn't surprised in the least. Although, when I first heard about the contest, I was going to turn my cube into a scene from "The Birds," but quickly vetoed that when I found out fake black crows cost $2-$3 a piece and I wanted my cube to be bombarded with those buggers (you can't half-ass a scene from that movie, you've gotta whole-ass it)!

The cube deccs were to be judged by a handful of higher ups, including the CEO of our company, Williams-Sonoma (shit just got real). My angle was to bribe the judges, so I stayed up until 12am making Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting that I hoped would dazzle them. I dressed up as a "baker" (again, D-level effort) and brought in two dozen cupcakes. Truth be told, I actually did dazzle one of the judges- the CEO. I was told she was raving about my cupcake and said she "wanted to steal me for Williams-Sonoma." I'm not exactly sure what she meant by that (who cares! It's the CEO!), but I'll take that as a high compliment.

Baker, Vinny, Witch & French Spider (James & The Giant Peach) 

If you're looking to impress a CEO or someone as charming as Vinny (see above), make these. Note: I frosted half with raspberry buttercream frosting, for variety, but truth be told, I fell madly in love with the Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting. It's amaze. Other amazing things: my NEW and fancy froster! Swoon.

Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting
Recipe from Sweetapolita
Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients - Cupcakes
5 large egg whites (150 g), at room temperature|
1 whole egg
1 cup whole milk (237 ml), at room temperature
2-1/4 teaspoons (12 ml) pure vanilla extract
3 cups (345 g) cake flour, sifted
2 cups (400 g) sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (17 g) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (5 g) salt
12 tablespoons (170 g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 24 even pieces

Ingredients - Frosting
3 sticks + 2 tablespoons (375 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
3 cups sifted (475 g) confectioners' sugar (icing, powdered)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) milk
1 vanilla bean, scraped (Note: You can eliminate the vanilla bean and use a total of 1-1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Directions - Cupcakes
1.  Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line muffin tins with liners.
2.  In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, whole egg, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.
3.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed (I use the "stir" setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
4.  Add the butter one piece at a time, about every 10 seconds, ensuring it's cold (you can keep some in refrigerator while you're adding pieces). Continue to mix on low until the mixture is a fine crumbly texture. Add milk, and mix on low speed for 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches, mixing until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. (You want to ensure that the batter is homogenous.) Fold once or twice to ensure the batter at bottom of bowl is incorporated. Note: I don't own a Kitchen Aid, so I used a hand mixer and really wanted to find the person who invented this recipe so I could punch them right in the jugular. Yes, this part was time-consuming.
5.  Fill cupcake lined pan, each 3/4 full. ProTip: I like using a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop.
6.  Bake until a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs when inserted into the center, about 17-20 minutes ProTip: start with the lowest time, test with toothpick and adjust accordingly if needed.
7.  Let cool on racks for 15 minutesish or until completely cool before frosting.

Directions - Frosting
1.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (I use "4" on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy. Note: I used a hand-mixer which worked just fine.
2.  Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy and fluffy. Best used right away. Pro Tip: If you hate, hate frosting bags like me, get this and thank me later.

50 frosted cupcakes later... 

Some snapshots from Halloween night...

Michael Jackson (note the crotch grab), Baberaham Lincoln (oh yes I did) and Katy Perry (notice that Katy is covered in dessert)

Katy Perry, Peacock, Moose, Skunk & "Ghostly Gal" 

Top Gun (rocking Abe's beard) & Man with Ginger Mullet

Recipe: Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

I whipped up some birthday cupcakes for my friend's very, very and I mean very belated birthday dinner (her birthday was in early November, oops). I wanted to attempt to recreate these cupcakes she raved about that my sister made several years ago: white cupcakes with raspberry buttercream frosting. This dessert had me at butter-cream, so I was up for the challenge. I ended up going with a vanilla cupcake recipe I found on and a raspberry frosting recipe on These were easy as pie to make (sidenote: pie isn't that easy to make phrase coiner!) You basically throw all the cupcake ingredients in a bowl, blend, done, and same thing for the frosting. Even a lightly trained monkey can make these.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
Makes 12 servings

Ingredients – Cupcakes
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients – Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 -8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
milk (if needed)

Directions – Cupcakes
1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.
2.  Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain. Pro Tip: Just use a regular mixer, no need to get fancy with this.
3.  Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Pro Tip: Always start with the lower time range to avoid overcooking. Mine took 20 mins on the nose.
4.  Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

Directions – Frosting
1.  Cream butter and jam until well incorporated, about 2 minutes.
3.  Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time until you reach desired consistency. Note: I used about 4 cups.
4.  If frosting gets too thick you can add a little milk to thin it out.