Perfect Triple Vanilla Party Cupcakes with Smartie Buttercream Frosting
For the cake:
2 ¼ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups vanilla sugar*
1 vanilla bean, seeded
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
2 sticks softened unsalted butter
1 lb powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup smarties
1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
2. Beat together the milk and egg whites in a bowl.
3. Put the sugar into your mixer and add the butter, and beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are fluffy.
4. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
5. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
6. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
7. Scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean and add to the bowl and give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and will aerated.
8. Spoon the batter into greased cupcake liners and bake at 350˚F until golden and cooked through.
10. For the frosting, cream together the butter and sugar until thoroughly combined.
11. Add in the salt, vanilla and cream and whip until light and fluffy.
12. Place smarties in a plastic zipper bag and pound with a mallet (or rolling pin, or wine bottle, whatever is handy) until crushed.
13. Add to frosting and mix to distribute.
14. Pipe onto cupcakes and serve.
*How to make Vanilla Sugar: You know that vanilla pod you scraped the seeds out of? Don't throw those empty pods away! Place in a mason jar and add a few cups of sugar and seal. The longer it sits the more vanilla flavour will impart onto the sugar.
And now for the free stuff!
My First Giveaway!
I was out to pick up a bundt pan the other day as mine vanished into thin air and I spied these adorable silicone baking pans (you can click on the picture for a more detailed view). I grabbed a set for myself and then noticed they were 50% off so I grabbed another set for some lucky winner to snag. There's a heart, a star, a crescent moon and a teddy bear. They are all around 4" at their longest/widest part, perfect for single servings. I have already used my star and moon ones and they work great. The cakes cooked evenly and popped out so easily.
How do you win you ask?
Leave a comment on this post by midnight on Wednesday, August 12 2009 telling me about the first thing you can remember baking or cooking. If you Twitter, tweet about this contest using @caffeinated_mom adding a link to this post and you can enter a second time by submitting another comment here about the tweet!
1.) Open to continental USA & Canadian residents only.
2.) One winner will be chosen on 8/12/09 by using random.org.
3.) Make sure you tell me how to contact you when you leave a comment; either on your blog or an email.
4.) One comment per person, please. Plus one *tweet entry; totaling 2 possible entries per person.
5.) I will contact the winners via email or commenting on the winner's blog.
6.) You have until 8/14/09 to claim your prize, or I will choose another winner.