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» Pale Yellow

Cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Tracy Byrne

Come people are not huge fans of chocolate.  One of those strange people is my friend Jackie.  Even though she tends to prefer salty over sweet, she is still a great friend and coworker.  Plus we get to do science things together and she lives on the beach!  I wanted to celebrate her birthday with a stylish cupcake featuring her favorite - peanut butter.  I have heard Jackie say multiple times that she could live on peanut butter alone (with a little applesauce) because it is the perfect food.

I have made the frosting before, it is wonderful!  Creamy and smooth with lots of peanut butter goodness.  The Cool Whip makes it light.  There is a Tupperware of leftover frosting in the fridge, I may have a spoonful everyday...

The cake is truly an ultimate recipe.  Moist, light crumb, and excellent vanilla flavor.  This was my first time ever using vanilla bean, which helped my new foods situation!  The vanilla bean was not nearly as scary as I anticipated.  The batter seems really liquid-y, but it all works out.  Putting the cupcake with the frosting is fantastic.  If you are a chocolate lover, add more ganache on top like Ruth and I did!

Vanilla Cupcake (The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake - seriously, it has a crown!) - adapted Cupcake Project Yield 17 cupcakes

Print the recipe!

1 cup sugar 1 vanilla bean 1 ¾ cup cake flour 1 ½ tea. baking powder ½ tea. baking soda ½ tea. salt ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature 2 eggs ⅓ cup sour cream (I used non-fat Greek yogurt) ¼ cup vegetable oil 1 table. vanilla ⅔ cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Add the sugar to a small bowl. Split open the vanilla bean and scrap out the seeds with a paring knife.  Smush the vanilla seeds in the sugar and set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer add the flour, powder, soda, and salt, mix slowly with the paddle attachment.  Add the vanilla sugar and mix together.  Add the butter and beat for several minutes until the mixture becomes nice and crumbly.

While the mixer is mixing, whisk together the sour cream, oil, and vanilla.  Pour this in the mixer and combine.  Slowly add the milk in and turn on high for a few seconds.  Using a standard ice cream scoop, pour into lined cupcake pans.  Bake 14 minutes until a toothpick in a center cupcake comes out clean.  Cool on cooling rack.

Peanut butter cream cheese frosting - adapted from Annie Eats 6 oz cream cheese (I always use ⅓ fat), room temperature 6 table. unsalted butter, room temperature ½ cup cream peanut butter 3 ¼ cup powdered sugar 1 tea. vanilla 1 cup Cool Whip, thawed

In the bowl a mixer beat together the butter, peanut butter, and cream cheese with the paddle attachment until well combined and light & fluffy.  Add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until all mixed in, add the vanilla.  Beat on high for a few seconds.  Add in the Cool Whip and beat to combine.  Pipe on top of the cooled cupcakes with a round tip. Chocolate Ganache Drizzle - Pale Yellow style Semisweet chocolate chips Heavy cream

I don’t really follow a recipe.  I took half a bag of chocolate chips and place in a small coffee mug and added cream to just cover the chocolate chips.  Place the whole mug in the microwave for 1 minute.  When the mug comes out slowly stir the until the chocolate and cream are combined and melted.  Using a spoon, drizzle over the frosting.