Vanilla bean cupcakes with dreamy creamy frosting!

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?

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The little specks of black in the cake are not something that fell in the mixing bowl while I was making them… I swear!

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.

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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!

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Onwards and upwards

I’ve decided to ‘let go’ of last week’s cupcake fiasco. Onwards and upwards I say!

I have been studying Rose Levy Beranbaum’s wonderful “Rose’s Heavenly Cakes” book, and I came across a recipe for Whoopie Pies. Now, being a resident of little old New Zealand means that not only had I never tried a Whoopie Pie, I had never even heard of one… but the name intrigued me, so I decided to do a bit of research and came across all sorts of great recipes and variations on the original Whoopie Pie, as well a blog where someone is making every recipe from Rose’s book – how very Julie and Julia!!

So I think the next recipe I try to perfect will be the Whoopie Pie… watch out New Zealand! You’re about to be ‘Whoopied’ (Whoop Pied) Ha ha…