For these cupcakes I used a simple buttermilk batter and loaded it with fresh vanilla bean and pure vanilla extract. As if that weren’t enough, I then soaked each little cake with a vanilla bean infused simple syrup. You wouldn’t believe how much vanilla comes out of the scraped beans, leaving speckles of flavor in beautiful clear syrup. Lastly I topped them with a simple vanilla frosting and sanding sugar for a little crunch. These are anything but plain vanilla…
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ¼ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sanding sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, place oven rack in the middle- line 24 muffin cups
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time adding the next after each egg is incorporated
- Add the scraped vanilla bean – reserve empty beans for simple syrup
- In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
- In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the mixing bowl, beginning and ending with the flour.
- Divide batter evenly to make 24 cupcakes
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick poked in comes out clean
- Once cupcakes are slightly cooled- poke each cupcakes 5-6 times with a toothpick
- With a pastry brush- soak each cupcake with simple syrup
- Frost cupcakes and decorate with sanding sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 orange or lemon
1 cinnamon stick
reserved scraped vanilla beans
- Melt sugar and water in a small sauce pot over medium heat
- Add in orange or lemon, cinnamon stick and vanilla beans
- Remove from heat and set aside
- Strain before soaking cupcakes
Vanilla Bean Frosting
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 vanilla bean scraped
pinch of salt
16 oz unsalted butter- softened to room temperature
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together the scraped vanilla bean,salt and butter.
- Slowly add in sugar until completely combined
- Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
- Add vanilla and milk and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more milk if needed for spreading consistency.