Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, found over at TheNibble.com. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, because November 10th is National Vanilla Cupcake Day. Since I love most form of cake, I was totally on board for this.
First, we make the cupcakes. Ingredients:
Cake flour, butter, eggs, baking powder, milk, homemade vanilla.
Sift together your flour, salt, and baking powder. I didn’t take a picture of the sifting, because my sifter is an ugly mess – but it works well, so I ain’t replacing it.
Throw your butter and sugar into a bowl and then beat it ’til it’s light and fluffy. Or in fancy-bitch cooking parlance, cream the butter and sugar.
And then I had a brain fart and didn’t take another picture of the cupcakes ’til they were baked. I added the eggs, beating well after each one, then added the flour/salt/baking powder in three portions, beating just until the flour was incorporated.
I imagine you know what cupcake batter poured into a cupcake tin looks like. If not, well, don’t sit there and be all “I do NOT know what cupcake batter looks like. Halp? Can someone tell me?” Google that shit!
While the cupcakes are baking, make your frosting. The ingredients:
Cream cheese (I used neufchatel because it’s what I always grab, and suddenly I’m realizing maybe why I had an issue. More about that later.), butter, powdered sugar, vanilla.
Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, then slowly add the sugar.
I put the frosting in the fridge, as directed, and a while later the cupcakes were done.
See those silicone cupcake liners? They are a FUCKING NIGHTMARE to get off of baked cupcakes, and I DO NOT RECOMMEND using them. I bought them to use to freeze eggs, and they work wonderfully for that. They held up well for the baking of the cupcakes, but like I said – total nightmare to peel off the baked cupcakes. TWO THUMBS DOWN, silicone liners.
So the frosting sat in the fridge for about half an hour, and then Fred and I each tasted it. It was not sweet at ALL. Which, I’m sorry, what is the point of having frosting if it isn’t going to be sweet? So we added more sugar and then more sugar, until we reached the desired sweetness. We ended up adding 3/4 cup more of confectioner’s sugar, in addition to the 1 cup the recipe called for.
I chilled the frosting for another half hour, then another half hour after that. It was still pretty soft, but I was tired of waiting, so I loaded it into my handy dandy plastic storage bag, cut the tip off one corner, and frosted the cupcakes.
Clearly I am no fancypants when it comes to frosting cupcakes, but like I said – the frosting was pretty soft. It actually seemed to get softer after I frosted them, so I ended up putting the frosted cupcakes in storage containers and keeping them in the fridge.
I’m thinking that using neufchatel cheese in the frosting might have been a mistake, because I think it’s softer than full-fat cream cheese (I THINK – I so rarely use regular cream cheese that I might be making that up). I thought for a while that adding the extra sugar did it, but I would think that the sugar would have made it stiffer, so who the hell knows?
The verdict: the cupcake part was really really good, but neither of us is a huge fan of cream cheese icing. I’ll definitely make the cupcakes again, but next time I’ll either make buttercream frosting or (Fred’s idea) chocolate buttercream frosting.
Cream cheese frosting or not, we ate plenty of the cupcakes and gave the rest to the chickens.
Whew, boy! A picture of my mixer creaming the butter and sugar in this recipe. It sure doesn’t get much more exciting than this, does it?
Vanilla cupcakes. It’s a thing for me because I have yet to find the perfect cupcake recipe. I need it to go with a swiss meringue buttercream frosting recipe that I already have and love. The frosting recipe is one that just won’t do on any old cupcake so I have been on the hunt for a while now. Which is why I picked this recipe. And we’re making it here because November 10 is National Vanilla Cupcake Day. Get your shit together, people.
I mixed it up like the recipe said and I ended up with this. As per my usual, I’m counting on Robyn to give everyone the exact details of this recipe. Think of her as the goody-two-shoes that is eager to please and think of me as the asshole in the back of the classroom.
I was a little annoyed that the recipe didn’t say how much batter to put in the cupcake liners. Please note: I was making an educated (ha, NOT) guess here and trying to err on the side of NOT fucking up my cupcake pan with spill-overs. The good news: I didn’t mess up my pan. The bad news: They were not the kind of cupcakes you see in the store.
But I was still getting all excited because…CUPCAKES WERE IN DA HOUSE!
I ended up asking Robyn if she had made the cream cheese frosting that came with the cupcake recipe (we don’t normally discuss the recipes that we’re making). When I found out she had that part of the recipe covered I decided to go ahead and make my own swiss meringue frosting. It’s pretty, huh? The recipe takes an entire pound of butter. So it’s not only pretty, but delicious (and really bad for you).
The first cupcake. Short as shit. Please note that CRUST underneath the icing. I baked them for exactly 20 minutes like the recipe said. I’m sorry, but cupcakes should not crunch when you bite into them. On the second batch I filled the liners up more, baked for 20 minutes and they still had a crunch. And also, they were dry, dry, dry the whole way through!
I tried sprinkles to make them look prettier and they just ended up looking like sad, sad cupcakes with sprinkles. Sigh.
All hail The Cupcake Queen!
Felina’s willing to take one for the team.
Her eyes tell me that she thought the frosting was pretty tasty.
This is your brain on drugs. Sugar highs are not to be taken lightly.
Here’s the deal…I followed the recipe exactly and it didn’t work out for me. I have no idea (but I will soon) how Robyn’s turned out, but my copy of this recipe went straight to the garbage can. Everybody in the house tried them and they all agreed that they sucked (but the frosting was good, heh). I personally thought that these would be great if you like the taste of day old biscuits. This recipe is definitely NOT a keeper for me.
- 16 paper cupcake liners (Robyn does not recommend silicone cups because they're a pain in the ass)
- 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 2 (8-ounce) packages softened cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (Note: 1 c. confectioner's sugar is not going to give you a very sweet frosting. Robyn recommends you add an additional ¾ - 1 c. confectioner's sugar.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line muffin tin with paper muffin cup liners.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well.
- With mixer on low speed, beat in the milk and vanilla until just combined. Add flour in three portions, beating just until incorporated each time.
- Fill each muffin ⅔ full and bake for about 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Cool cupcakes in the pan on a rack for five minutes; then remove them to a rack. Leave the liners on the cupcakes (note from Robyn: I do not see what difference leaving the liners on or taking them off could possibly make, but what do I know?)
- While the cupcakes are baking, make the cream cheese frosting.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Cover and refrigerate until firm enough to spread, about 15 minutes.
- If you're super organized and want to, you can make the frosting up to 2 days ahead and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. (Make sure you store it in a well-sealed container so that it doesn't end up tasting like that onion you left in there a month ago and forgot about, which is slowly rotting. Mmm, rotting onion frosting!)
- Frost the cupcakes. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.