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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Vanilla Cupcakes by Lydia Bakes

Hello lovely followers of Baking Makes Things Better, it’s Lydia from Lydia Bakes here.  Thank you for having me today, I am truly honoured to be guest posting for Melissa and Courtenay.  As you know, the three of us organised a little get together and decided on a high tea picnic.  We were blessed with gorgeous weather (although I did end up getting severely sunburnt - my fault!) and had a great afternoon getting to know each other while sampling some delicious baking.

Although the idea was to bake something new and exciting I was having a bit of a blonde moment and thought I’d just bring something I’d made before.  Oops!  In any case, I think cupcakes deserve to be at a high tea!  So here is a very simple vanilla cupcake recipe.  This recipe is not your typical beat-the-butter-and-sugar type, but rather aims to be more like “packet” cake mix where you add oil to your batter. I adapted the recipe from Glorious Treats and find it has been more reliable than my last vanilla cupcake recipe!

Makes approximately 24.

2 ½ cups cake flour (see below for instructions on how to make this)
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice)

Vanilla Buttercream:220g butter, softened
3 - 4 cups icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 - 4 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 180°C and line two muffin tins with cupcake cases. 
Mix up buttermilk (if you're making your own like I always do) and set aside, this will look funny and chunky when you go to use it later.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl, stir together and set aside.
Beat eggs for about 20 seconds and gradually add sugar.  Beat for another 30 seconds.  Add vanilla and oil to egg mixture and beat.  Add a third of the flour mix to the eggy mixture (make sure your beater is on a low setting or the flour will fly everywhere!) and beat.
Add half the buttermilk and beat, then add another third of the flour.  Add the remaining buttermilk and then the flour and beat until combined.
Pour the cake batter in to cupcake cases about ⅔ full and bake for 12 - 14 minutes.  Cool in tin for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  Wait for them to cool down completely before icing.

Filling the cupcake cases
Cooked Cupcakes
Icing the cupcakes

Vanilla Buttercream:
Beat butter for a few minutes until nice and fluffy. 
While butter is mixing (if you have a stand-alone mixer) sift icing sugar into a large bowl and set aside. 
Add vanilla to the butter and beat for about 30 seconds.  Add the sifted icing sugar one cup at a time.  When icing starts to get lumpy add a tablespoon of milk.  Continue adding milk until you reach the consistency you like.
Tint your favourite colour and pipe on to cupcakes with a large star tip (my favourite is Wilton 1M).

Cake Flour Recipe (makes one cup):
Place 2 tablespoons of cornflour in a measuring cup.  Spoon normal flour into the measuring cup, use a knife to scoop away the extra on top of the cup.  Sift the cup of flours at least 3 or 4 times to mix them together.

I decorated these cupcakes using the famous cupcake swirl and topped them with a mini fondant rose. You can find tutorials for both of these techniques on my blog, Lydia Bakes.

Thank you so much for having me. I loved collaborating with Baking Makes Things Better and I get a feeling this will not be the last time we bake together!

Vanilla Cupcake with Buttercream icing

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. Vanilla is heavenly and I like it as it is without much addition from other toppings. Vanilla is sophisticated in taste.