My 3-year-old son loves these! Flecks of vanilla bean in the moist, tender cupcakes gives them special-occasion status. —Alysha Braun, St. Catharines, Ontario
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 vanilla beans
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- Assorted candies and coarse sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Split vanilla beans lengthwise; using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape seeds from the center into creamed mixture. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
- Fill prepared cups three-fourths full. Bake 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Decorate with candies and coarse sugar as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
Freeze option: Freeze cooled cupcakes in resealable plastic freezer bags. To use, thaw at room temperature. Frost as directed. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Vanilla Bean Cupcakes in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2012, p22
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