Vanilla is much underrated… we use the term ‘vanilla’ to describe something that’s bland, boring, mundane, run-of-the-mill. Please do not dismiss these gorgeous little cupcakes as any of those things, they are sweet, charming, and ever so elegant! Imagine light, silky cake crumb flavored with the tropical tang of Tahiti, topped with a delicate cream cheese frosting made even better by the addition of good quality white chocolate – now you’re getting the idea, right?
So, the cupcakes are the vanilla cupcake recipe from Hummingbird Bakery’s Cake Days book (yes, I’m a total Hummingbird fan, just hope I get to try the real thing some day!). They only take a few minutes to make, and are super simple – the vanilla bean is my own addition, and I also double the amount of vanilla extract. You might as well TASTE it, right?
The frosting recipe is from another one of my favourite cookbooks – Rose Levy Beranbaum‘s ‘Rose’s Heavenly Cakes’ (and for anyone that hasn’t read it, let me attest to the heavenliness of her cakes!)
Rose’s Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting
85 gm white chocolate, chopped
115 gm cream cheese, softened
30gm butter, softened
1/2 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Gently melt the chocolate, and leave to stand while you process the cream cheese, butter and sour cream for a few seconds until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and add the chocolate and vanilla. Pulse it a few times, until it is smooth and all ingredients are incorporated.
This recipe makes about 1 cup. As you can probably tell from the ingredients, it results in a looser frosting and I don’t think it holds its shape so well for piping, so I added approx 3/4 cup of icing sugar too, just to make the mixture slightly stiffer.
And being the vanilla fiend that I am, I also added vanilla bean to the frosting too. Enjoy!