Baking for cupcakes for 13 year girls is fun. They like simple, sweet cupcakes in fun colors! I actually made these cupcakes for two of my monitors. These big ones and then similar ones but in mini form and with sparkle sprinkles. It's surprising the girls do not ask for more complicated/interesting flavors, but when I probe them to see what they want for their birthday treat, it is usually vanilla.
I'm happy to comply with vanilla cupcake requests. Vanilla isn't always my first choice, but this recipe for the cupcakes and the frosting is amazingly moist and flavorful. I have used it often and in many different form. This recipe is a major reason why I think people shouldn't use cake mixes, it's just so easy!
Vanilla Cupcakes Adapted from Tie Dye Cupcakes Yield - 16 cupcakes
1 cup sugar 1 vanilla bean 1 3/4 cup cake flour 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 2 eggs 1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 tablespoon vanilla 2/3 cup whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In the bowl of a mixer add the sugar and the seeds from the vanilla bean and massage together with your fingers.
- Add the flour, powder, soda, and salt to the sugar, mix slowly with the paddle attachment.
- 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, eggs, and vanilla. Pour this in the mixer and combine.
- Slowly add the milk in and turn on high for a few seconds.
- Use a standard size ice cream scoop to portion the batter into lined cupcake pans.
- Bake 14-17 minutes until a toothpick in a center cupcake comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack.
Whipped Vanilla Frosting Yield - enough to generously decorate the cupcakes + extra
1 1/2 cups whole milk 7 1/2 tablespoons flour 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar electric purple, electric pink, and violet gel food coloring
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and thick resembling pancake batter.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and allow to cool completely.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy - beat for 8 minutes
- Add in the cooled flour/milk mixture and beat until the entire frosting is light and fluffy, about another 5-8 minutes.
- Add the food coloring and mix until well combined.
- Use a large star tip to pipe the frosting on the cupcakes, decorate with sprinkles!