15 August 2010

Vanilla Bean Birthday Cupcakes

Yesterday was Matt's birthday.  More on that later.  What I want to share with you right now is my new favorite cake, vanilla bean.

Last week Cassie brought Matt his awesome birthday gift, and brought a little prize for me, too: vanilla bean paste.  I'd been reading about vanilla bean paste and wanting to try it out, so it was almost like Cassie had been reading my mind (or looking over my shoulder as I browsed Amazon).  And suddenly, my baking hiatus ended.  And since it was Matt's birthday, I decided that I needed to make him some birthday cupcakes (even though Matt doesn't give a rat's ass about cupcakes).

I found this recipe for Vanilla Bean Cupcakes on Annie's Eats, and was immediately in love.  The 62 comments about how delicious the cake is further motivated me to get bakin'. 

And I made them, and they were phenomenal just like I knew they'd be.  Seriously, they had the best flavor and best texture of any vanilla cupcake I've ever tasted.  They have the beautiful little flecks of vanilla, and when paired with cream cheese icing, they basically just make you want to eat them until you explode.

After I finished the cupcakes, I put them on the cooling racks on the table in the Lagoon, and relaxed in the living room.  I talked to Cassie on the phone, and I watched the news (did you know that I'm a news junkie?).  While we chatted, I paced around the house.  I went into the Lagoon to admire my handiwork, and noticed something peculiar.  There just didn't seem to be as many cupcakes as there had been before.  There were supposed to be 23 (maybe one accidentally fell into my mouth?), but there were no longer 23.

There were only 17.

And I was at home alone, so at first I thought that there might be some kind of cupcake-thieving ghost, but then I realized that there was a more likely scenario.


I immediately ran to our bedroom to see what he'd done with them.  I shook the blanket on the bed, saw something fly out, and heard the thud of a single cupcake hitting the floor.  But there was only one cupcake buried in the bed.  MITCH ATE FIVE CUPCAKES, and saved one for later.

And then he ran around the house like a maniac for about an hour, barking and pouncing about.  Before long, he'd come down from his sugar high and just laid on the couch looking miserable.  (Have I mentioned on here that Mitch gained five pounds last year, and that we've been trying to limit how much people food he gets so that he'll remain at a healthy body weight?  I'm sure his little cupcake eating spree is really going to keep him from being a fat dog.)

Anyway, here's the recipe for Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, approved by humans and dogs alike.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes (from Annie's Eats)

3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl of the mixer with the butter and discard the pod (or reserve for another use.) Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.

Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.

Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full (you will likely have batter left over after filling 24 wells.) Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Replace paper liners and bake remaining batter if desired. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Yield: approximately 30 cupcakes


  1. Ha! Ha! This reminds me for this German Shepherd we had as a kid who used to love to eat chocolate cake. We gave him away to another family (tramatizing story, blame my mother) and they told us that she would do the same thing at there house.

    I understand why you pup wanted to eat them though, they look delicious!

  2. Mitch is now officially Ein's hero.



  4. i hate to be lame, but could you tell how a dummy how to make this into a cool square layer cake without screwing it up? love at first bite at tot shipley's party. yum! but i've told you that 100xs. just finally getting around to checking out your blog. luv it.

  5. also...congrats on your baking bean! that's awesome. i hope all is well with the 3 of you.



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