Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

For my birthday, my dad sent me 30 vanilla beans!! I have been looking for an excuse to make vanilla bean cupcakes and the perfect occasion came along. Makenna's 1st birthday! I remember a year ago when I got the text that she was born and I have had the pleasure to watch her grow over the last year. She is now a crazy and energetic little girl with her whole life ahead of her. I am Auntie Merlot, even though I am not related and I love every moment I get to spend with her. Her birthday was on Friday so I met up with the birthday girl and her mom South Coast Plaza to shop for the perfect birthday outfit. We rode the carousal and play peak-a-boo. And then it was nap time... Life of a 1 year old.  She enjoyed her birthday cupcake when she got home. 

About the cupcakes, they are amazing!! I had never cut open a vanilla bean, so the whole process was new to me. I never realized how small the little granules are. I was sent 3 types of vanilla beans and I decided to use a Tahitian bean. The cupcakes would be good without the vanilla bean too, because the cake is just perfect. Its moist and not too sweet. I made just a regular vanilla buttercream and added some pink food coloring for color. Overall, for how simple the flavors are, this is one of the best cupcakes I think I have ever made.

Happy 1st Birthday Makenna!!

Little tiny vanilla beans....

Birthday girl enjoying her cupcake!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes - Adapted from The Busty Baker
Yield: 12 Cupcakes
1/2 Cup Milk
3 Egg Whites
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Vanilla Bean, split and seeds scraped - I used a Tahitian vanilla bean
1 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Flour
3/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) Unsalted Butter, room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line standard muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together milk, egg whites, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds to combine.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter, mixing on low until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. It’ll look a bit like the start of pastry dough.
  4. Add half of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat until dough is moist and thick (a bit like cookie dough). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add remaining milk mixture and beat until combined. Mixture should look more like batter now.
  5. Divide batter among prepared cups, filling with about 2 tablespoons of batter each. Bake until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  6. Make a frosting.
Quick Vanilla Buttercream - Adapted from foodnetwork.com
Yield: Too much for 12 Cupcakes - but you can freeze buttercream!
3 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Butter, Unsalted
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons Whipping Cream

  1. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.
  3. Add coloring if desired.  Pipe onto cupcakes.  
  4. I rolled mine in sprinkles for some extra pinkness. 
  5. Enjoy!


  1. Wow, those are so pretty and look delicious.

  2. Beautiful cupcakes. You did a great job. Love how you did the sprinkles Andi

  3. Stunning looking cupcakes!!
    I just looooooooooove it

  4. 30 vanilla beans for your birthday present! You are a lucky girl!

    These cupcakes are so pretty in pink and I'm your little girl will love it!

  5. What beautiful cupcakes. Great job. Come visit us. We have a terrific three way lasagna this week.

  6. These are some lovely cupcakes for the adorable Birthday girl. :) I'm sure she enjoyed them a lot.

  7. Your little Birthday Girl is just precious! Your Vanilla Bean Cupcakes look delicious, I just love the color, yum! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. Beautiful frosting! Makes me want to lick my screen. Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday. :)