Friday, May 20, 2011

Very Vanilla Excitement

This is going to be a very busy weekend around these parts.  I will be up all night tomorrow night at our local Relay for Life event.  I've been involved with Relay for Life for the past 8 years and it is such a meaningful experience -- the fellowship we share there is amazing!  It's also the last weekend of Sunday School at our church.  We'll be out at Relay, so I'm dropping off cupcakes for the kids to enjoy on Sunday morning.  Since my strawberry modified version of Pioneer Woman's vanilla cupcakes went over so well last week, I decided to use it again.  Only this time, I'll play it safe for the kiddos and make them vanilla as intended.  But not too safe, since cupcakes need to be exciting, I'll throw some sprinkles on top.  What is better to a kid than sprinkles, or to a grown-up for that matter???

How cute are these???

Here's how I made these --

First I measured out the shortening -- do you have one of these gadgets?

They are the greatest!  Fill it with any sticky ingredient and then you plunge the bottom into the top and scrape it off into the bowl.  You get all of what you measured and no mess!

I added the shortening to the sugar in the bowl of my mixer.

In a separate bowl, I sifted the flour and sugar together.

I never have buttermilk on hand so I added a tablespoon of vinegar into my 1 cup measuring cup and filled the rest of the cup up with milk.  I then let it sit to curdle and come to room temperature with the eggs.

When the milk and eggs were ready, in yet another bowl, I added the rest of the ingredients -- the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, baking soda and vinegar. 

And I mixed them together -- I love seeing all these bubbles since they translate into fluffy goodness in the cupcakes.

At this point, it was time to flip the mixer on and mix the sugar and shortening until fluffy.

Once it was mixed together well, I added about a third of the flour mixture.  When that became incorporated, I added about a third of the wet ingredients.  I continued alternating adding from these bowls until everything was in the bowl and mixed together.

I put a little under 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake liner in my muffin pans.  This recipe will make 24 cupcakes this size.  I baked them for 17-18 minutes until golden on top.  I let them cool for about 10 minutes in the pans on a cooling rack.  I then put them on the cooling racks directly.

Once the cupcakes were cool, I iced them and added the sprinkles.  Yummy!

Vanilla Cupcakes (slightly adapted from Pioneer Woman)
1 c. shortening
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 c. cake flour, sifted
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 c. buttermilk, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. double strength vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy.
In a seperate bowl sift together the cake flour and salt.  In another seperate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda, and vinegar.
Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the shortening mixture.  Mix until combined and don't forget to scrap the sides.
Fill each liner with 1/4 c. batter.
Bake 17-18 minutes or until golden on top.  Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack.

Vanilla Bean-Cream Cheese Buttercream
1 stick butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 lb. powdered sugar
Vanilla caviar from 1 vanilla bean

Cream butter and cream cheese with vanilla beans and salt.  Add powdered sugar about a cup at a time and mix until fluffy between each addition. 

Linked Up At:
Chic & Crafty Party
Sweet Tooth Friday
Sweets for a Saturday
Sweet Indulgences Sunday


  1. YUM! My kids are all vanilla fans, so I really need to try these out. I should be good at baking, with all the B-days around here - but I am not! I want to be... and you are inspiring me. :)

  2. Wonderful of you to be such a long term participant in the Relay for Life. Enjoy your weekend as I'm sure the kids will be enjoying your lovely cupcakes.

  3. Thank you, ladies, so much for your sweet words! And Vanilla Bean Baker, your royal icing work is AMAZING!

  4. Yum! And good for you on relay for life. I bet the kids loved these! I'm your newest follower from Chic & Crafty. I'd love it if you'd link this up to my Tasty Thursday Recipe Swap Blog Hop.

  5. I'm a big vanilla fan. I'll definitely have to look for double-strength vanilla. These look delicious. Thanks for sharing on A Well-Seasoned Life's Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  6. Love vanilla! These look and sound delicious! Please link your recipe up at Muffin and Cupcake Monday. Thanks!


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