The past week I’ve been on a bit of a tour! Spent a few days up in Durham visiting family over from Vancouver. Rich and then headed down toward the South West to Bristol. I ate my weight in food, more to follow on that soon. Now we’re over in Clyst Hydon, near Exeter, in the sweetest barn you’ve seen, with a hot tub and the best view you could ask for. I never want to leave!
Sometimes a simple vanilla cupcake is all that is needed, doused in a smooth, creamy indulgent icing, and that’s exactly what these cupcakes are. Quick, easy, and full of good. Using vanilla bean is the difference with these cupcakes, extract doesn’t quite cut it, especially for the icing, bean gives you the true indulgent and fragrant taste of vanilla. You’ll find it hard to use anything else in your icings once you do.
I’ve come across vanilla bean pastes before which are great, not only are do they taste better, but they contain no alcohol, and they actually lasted a lot longer than liquid based extracts, so in terms of cost, it’s actually worked out cheaper. So for me, there’s no reason to go back to the ethanol based vanilla concoctions.
So for a simple festive treat these cupcakes will sort you out nicely.
Vanilla Bean & Cinnamon Cupcakes
Vanilla Bean & Cinnamon Cupcakes a decadent treat
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
- 220 g self-raising flour sifted
- 220 g golden caster sugar
- 200 g butter at room temperature
- 4 egg lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or seeds
- 2 tbsp milk whole
- 150 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 500 g icing sugar sifted
- 20 ml milk more if mix is too stiff
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 16 glace cherries
- gold dust
- gold balls and stars
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/Gas 4 and line a cupcake tin
Cream the butter and sugar til pale and then add the eggs slowly and then the vanilla bean paste
Fold in the flour and add some milk if the consistency is too thick and continue to add milk until you have a batter at dropping consistency - not too runny, not too stiff.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top and a skewer comes out clean and allow to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack
Beat the butter in a mixer until pale and airy.
Add half the icing and use a fork to help blend it in a bit and half of the milk - this helps reduce the icing cloud that'll cover your kitchen
Add the rest of the icing, milk, vanilla and cinnamon and keep mixing until really white in colour. Adjust quantities of icing to milk as required for your desired consistency
Pop into a piping bag with a wide star nozzle and pipe onto cupcakes once they've cooled. Pop a gold dusted cherry ontop and sprinkle balls and stars
Icing - I always make more than less - icing can be frozen and lasts in the fridge quite a while so making more won't do any harm, especially as we all ice differently! I also prefer to use less butter and more milk as a "loosener", if the mix is too stiff, add a dash more milk, if it becomes too loose and runny, a couple of spoonfuls of icing