Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sinfully Simple Vanilla Cupcakes

Even though it's the season of cookies, I've yet to find up a kid (or big kid) that would pass up a cupcake on a holiday dessert table. I know growing up that, given the choice, anything cake or brownie like beat out the drop or rolled cookies, regardless of how pretty they looked. But "good" cupcakes are hard to come by, and vanilla ones are often just sugar and flour bombs with a fancy name. I mean, look at the box mixes and supermarket bakery offerings - do they really taste like vanilla? If you're really lucky and/or willing to shell out big bucks, then maybe. But why be passable when you can be a star?

If you're looking to stand out in the vanilla cupcake world, though, you have to up the ante. I'm talking full-on vanilla flavour, metered sweetness and a place for a decadent, contrasting filling. I lucked out when I tried to modify a recipe in Alice Medrich's Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts: Quicker Smarter Recipes. The One-Bowl Vanilla Cake (p. 222) that I tried to turn into transportable, shareable cupcakes wound up sinking horribly in the middle despite being cooked through, and I debated binning the lot. I still don't know why I didn't, but I'm glad! The flavour is intense vanilla, but not to the point where it's bitter. If you're a vanilla lover (or know someone who is), this is for you!

Sinfully Simple Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 10
3.1 oz sugar
1 oz vanilla sugar
3.75 oz flour
large pinch sea salt
pinch nutmeg
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup whole milk
2.5 tbsp canola oil
1 whole egg
1/4 cup dried whole egg powder
1/2 cup water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
  1. Preheat oven to 350F, line 10 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together sugars, flour, salt, nutmeg and baking powder together in a large bowl.
  3. Add milk and oil and whisk in.
  4. Combine egg, egg powder, water, vanilla and vanilla bean in a small bowl and beat into the flour mixture just until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Portion into the muffin cups and bake 18-22 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then unmould onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  7. These will have a sunken middle - fill with jam or a decadent filling (stay tuned tomorrow!)
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 136.7
Total Fat: 5.1 g
Cholesterol: 55.5 mg
Sodium: 20.6 mg
Total Carbs: 19.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
Protein: 2.8 g