Sparkling Tahitian Vanilla Cupcakes
Vanilla Week continues on and for my second vanilla recipe I bring to you some fun and delicious Sparkling Tahitian Vanilla Cupcakes. I am such a huge fan of vanilla and I think it’s anything but “vanilla” as in bland. plain, boring, basic.
I have chocolate cupcakes on my blog, plus a few other fun flavors, and I realized I don’t have a vanilla cupcake recipe. At least not on this blog. You see, this isn’t my first blog. I have actually been blogging for a long time. I started with a cupcake blog. A friend encouraged me to start it after she saw some cakes and cupcakes I made for friends and family or just took to work for the fun of it. The blog was fun, it was great during the huge cupcake craze, I even got featured a few times on the big cupcake sharing site, “Cupcakes Take the Cake”. But I wasn’t that serious about blogging those years. I just did it for fun.
Man oh man if I knew then what I know now, I would have been WAY more serious about blogging back then. 2008/2009 was the year to start being serious. Blogs that started then are insanely successful today. Not to say that I am not, but I still have a ways to go. I decided one day to get more serious, about 3 years ago, and redo my blog. Rebrand, rename, and do more than JUST cupcakes. But what to rename it? Something catchy? Something clever? I thought about ” Shanna makes and bakes stuff” or something like that but there was a blog out there that was really similar ( I think Shannon’s stuff) something. Then I thought about all the something & something blog names. There are so many. I finally came upon my current blog name, you can read about it, well, in my ABOUT section.
I think its funny when I see someone commenting on one of my recipes on social media whether I have shared it or a friend has and I see ” Ew I don’t like coconut” or ” I am not a pineapple fan” when the recipe has neither ingredient. They just assume from the name its all pineapple and or coconut or both in the recipe. I do plan on making a lot more recipes this year with those ingredients, but as far as these vanilla cupcakes are concerned, there is no coconut or pineapple in them. Just lots and lots of Nielsen-Massey Vanilla.
And a good amount of this fun Sparkling Sugar I got from Bob’s Red Mill. All the #VanillaWeek bloggers received items in the mail to use in our recipes. Sparkling sugar and cake flour from Bob’s Red Mill, several vanillas from Nielsen-massey ( bourbon vanilla and Tahitian extracts and vanilla bean paste), 20 yes TWENTY pounds of sugar from Dixie Crystals ( Love that they are Non-GMO), a lovely baking mat from Silpat ( which I used to roll out the fondant on to make the flowers for these cupcakes) and Pure Vanilla cookbook by Shauna Sever. Fun stuff. AND These are all in the prize package for the giveaway ( entry form at the end of this post).
My youngest only goes to school 3 days a week. So on Tuesdays and Thursdays she gets to be my kitchen helper. She LOVES helping prep and cook and of course, sprinkle sugar all over cupcakes. More like just dump a bunch right on the top, but whatever. She had a blast doing it. Love my little kitchen helper. If only she was better at washing dishes and knew how to make coffee for me since she and her sister like to get up so dang early on the weekends…
Back to about these cupcakes. For some reason when it comes to vanilla cupcakes I have always struggled in my search for the perfect one. I have an awesome chocolate cupcake recipe, but that perfect vanilla recipe has always eluded me. I have tried so many “perfect” “Best” recipes online and none have really met my expectations. So many end up flat, sunken, and so light and airy that they would smush under any amount of frosting. My recipe calls for lots of vanilla and sour cream and hers doesn’t have sour cream. Mine also is reversed creamed ( flour first then add butter – which is the same method as the vanilla cupcakes on Shauna Sever’s blog) Guys, these are what I was looking for. A dense cake like crumb, not too light but not a heavy brick like a bran muffin, heavy enough to hold up a pile of Swiss meringue buttercream, moist ( I know, ew I hate that word too but its ok when describing cake) and amazing vanilla flavor.
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 Tbsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste
- 1 C Sugar
- 1 1/2 C All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla powder (Nielsen-Massey)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 C butter (1 Stick/113 g) , softened slightly
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 C whole milk
- 2 Tbsp sour cream ( or Greek Yogurt)
- 1 Tbsp Nielsen-Massey Tahitian vanilla extract
For the Buttercream
- 3 large egg whites
- 3 sticks butter ( 1 1/2 cup)
- 3/4 C sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp Tahitian Vanilla extract
- Sparkling sugar for decoration.
To make the cupcakes:
- Mix the sugar and vanilla paste together in a small bowl and set aside
- In another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, vanilla powder and salt
- In a bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar mixture until light and fluffy
- Add in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Add in the sour cream ( or Greek Yogurt) and Tahitian vanilla extract and mix again another 30 seconds. Finally add in the flour and milk, alternating adding in each in two additions and mix on low for 30 seconds. Raise speed to medium and mix for one minute. Scoop batter into the prepared pans and bake for 15-17 minutes or until the top bounces back when lightly pressed. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes then remove to wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- To Make the Buttercream:
- Mix together the egg whites, sugar and salt in a stand mixer bowl and set over a pan of simmering water on the stove. Whisk for 4 minutes until hot ( about 160 deg) and slippery to the touch. Remove from pan and place bowl on stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment ,whisk the mixture for 7 minutes or until the bowl is cool to touch. Add in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk until it is well incorporated. Add in the vanilla extract and whisk again. Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Serve at room temperature same day.
Disclosure: Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Bob’s Red Mill, Silpat, Quirk Books and Dixie Crystals/Imperial Sugar . These companies are also providing the bloggers with samples and product to use for #VanillaWeek. All opinions stated are my own. I received no compensation for these posts, just the items from the brands.
A big thanks to Terri of Love and Confections for hosting this awesome #VanillaWeek.
Check out the other recipes today!
Here are more #VanillaWeek Blogger recipes:
Cranberry & Pistachio Pudding Cookies from Take A Bite Out of Boca.
Strawberry Vanilla Smoothies from Life Tastes Good.
Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Bark from Hip Foodie Mom.
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.
Vanilla Bean Tiramisu from Love and Confections.
Vanilla Butter Shrimp Roll from Taste Cook Sip.