Friday, May 28, 2010

A Double Dose Of Vanilla

(above) Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Mmmm. Cupcakes. The photo above makes me happy. The frosted cupcake with colorful sprinkles cheer me up, especially with exams coming up on Monday. It is somewhat reassuring to know that no matter how badly I do on the exams, there will still be these cheerful cupcakes waiting for me in my fridge at home. Anyway, about the cupcakes. The recipe was from Joy the Baker's post from a while back. The cupcakes were simple enough to make, although I ended up with 11 cupcakes, 1 shy from the promised dozen. A couple of them unfortunately turned out a little domed shaped. Anyone know why? Please tell me! I tried really hard to keep the mixing to a minimum to avoid overmixing the batter. Nonetheless, the dome-shaped-ness was fixed with a little cupcake-head slicing. The cake itself is delicious; soft, spongy and delightful. I cheated a little bit on the frosting part of the recipe and didn't bother measuring the milk or icing sugar. I kind of just adjusted the results until it seemed the right consistency to me. Beating the frosting with an electric mixer really helps it to get light and fluffy. Don't forget to top the cupcakes with bright sprinkles!

(above) The dry ingredients and butter go into a bowl and get mixed to a crumb-like consistency.
(above) The wet ingredients are blended in (first the milk, and then eggs, vanilla and more milk) to form a smooth batter. Oh, and applause is in order - I finally have an electric mixer!

(above) The batter is poured into cupcake liners.

(above) My cupcakes were done after only 10-12 minutes.

(above) The cupcakes! Some of them turned out a little domed-shaped on top, so I leveled some off slightly with a serrated knife.

(above) The frosted and sprinkled cupcakes.

(above) A cupcake.

Vanilla Cupcakes
adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
a scant 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or use a handheld beater and beat on slow speed until the mixture is a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
  2. Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
  3. Whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side or the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue mixing until the batter is smooth. Just a few minutes. Do not overmix.
  4. Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins, dividing between the 12 cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
makes enough for 12 cupcakes, double this recipe to frost an 8-inch cake
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Beat the powdered sugar and butter together in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment on medium low speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer speed to low.
  2. Combine the milk and the vanilla extract and slowly stream it into the butter and sugar mixture. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.

The recipes were taken from Joy the Baker, who got them from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.


  1. As always, beautiful!
    I see you have featured "sebin cupcake" with the nice lighting :)

  2. YOUKNOWWHOLIZA:DMay 28, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    I SWEAR!
    U r the ASIAN Martha Stewart!

  3. This is why I bake also - so that I have something sweet to come home to. These look delicious, I love the sprinkles!

  4. I actually want my cupcakes to dome like that. I will try this reciped out and see if my cupcakes dome like urs. thanks!