Wednesday this week was a truly dreary, dark and very cold day. All types of weather threw themselves at the ground; hail, snow, rain, sleet oh and it was windy too. It is March people, I want to see flowers and lambs! So to cheer us all up I made these very pretty, extremely delicious Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes.
Doesn’t the image of pink, raspberry buttercream topped cupcakes, adorned with large daisy flowers and butterflies just cheer you up?
I was inspired to make these Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes buy a wonderful lady on Twitter, known as the Baking Nanna. She is an amazing baker, loyal friend and great encourager, who does so much for others.
When Baking Nanna gave me a big thumbs up and another friend called these cupcakes ‘samazing’ it really made my day.
I guess with the weather being so chilly and dreary, I was also feeling a little blue too, having just received news that a very close friend is extremely poorly. So baking these cupcakes was therapeutic on both counts.
Does anyone else find baking relaxing?
Now although these are called Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes, which is true, the cake part is flavoured with Nielsen – Massey Vanilla Extract, for the buttercream I have used a favourite flavoured icing sugar.
Sugar and Crumbs sell an amazing range of naturally flavoured icing sugars. If you remember my Raspberry Ripple Cupcakes I used their Raspberry Ripple flavoured icing sugar. Since the day that last cupcake was eaten, in Kylie’s own words “I just can’t get you outta my head” I have wanted more. More of the delicious tasting buttercream and more cupcake to swirl it onto!!
These Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes are the perfect excuse to indulge my passion again 😉.
This time though, I wanted to leave the option of flavouring the buttercream as a choice. If you do buy some flavoured icing sugar, you can certainly make the buttercream any flavour you like, as the vanilla sponge will go with any flavoured frosting. However, if you want to stick with vanilla buttercream that tastes awesome as well!
Personally I think the pink icing, along with the decorations, really set these cupcakes apart. Although ‘Springtime’ was at the forefront of my mind whilst creating these beauties, with Mother’s Day being this coming Sunday, they would also make a perfect gift for any Mum.
Recipe: Makes 18 Large Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
For the Cake:
175g/6oz Caster Sugar
175g/6oz Unsalted Butter at room temp.
1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – or you can substitute for Vanilla Extract
3 Large Free Rang Eggs
3tbsp Milk – whole or semi skimmed
175g/6oz Plain White Flour
1.5tsp Baking Powder
1/8th tsp/pinch of Salt
For the Buttercream:
350g12oz Icing Sugar – I used 250g Sugar and Crumbs Raspberry Ripple flavour and 100g/4oz Plain Icing Sugar.
175g/6oz Unsalted Butter
Pink Food Colour – I used Wilton pink food colouring gel (available from cake decorating shops, Amazon and similar from Lakeland UK)
2tbsp Very Hot Water
Dr Oetker rice paper daisies, various sprinkles (available from most supermarkets)
Rice paper butterflies – from Amazon
Method: Preheat the oven to 165C/150C fan
- Line 2 cupcake tins with 18 muffin or deep cupcake cases – the ones I used were a Christmas present from Lakeland.
- Into a large bowl add your butter and sugar.
- Whisk or beat until pale and creamy – approx 5 minutes.
- Add the 3 eggs, milk and Vanilla Bean Paste.
- Sift into the bowl the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Note: This is called the all-in-one method.
- Whisk or beat until all of the ingredients are combined – take care not to over mix and this will make the cupcakes tough, not light and springy.
- Place a heaped dessert spoonful of cake batter into each cupcake case.
- Place the cupcakes into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes,
- The cupcakes are baked when they have risen and are a golden colour. They should Spring back when pressed lightly on the top.
- Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
- Allow to cool completely before icing.
To ice the cupcakes:
- Place the softened butter into a large bowl.
- Sift the icing sugar into the same bowl.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of hot water.
- Add the food colouring, I use a cocktail stick and simply insert the tip into the food colouring gel and then add to the bowl.
- Starting slowly, whisk the buttercream ingredients until light, creamy and uniform in colour.
- Place the piping tip into the icing bag.
- Roll down the top of the icing bag.
- Place the icing bag into a tall sturdy container, I use a jug. This simply helps when filling the bag with buttercream.
- Using a spoon or spatula, fill the icing bag with all of the buttercream.
- Practise on a plate, if piping for the first time.
- Squeeze the bag so that all the buttercream is together.
- Keeping an even pressure with one hand squeezing the bag and using the other hand to guide the piping tip, pipe swirls onto the cupcakes.
These Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes look so pretty and will certainly cheer up any gloomy day.
I bought some cupcake pods, little plastic containers, perfect for holding one cupcake in and a great way to give individual cupcakes away as a gift. These were from Amazon and work out to about 10 pence per pod. They can be washed up and used again, which is great recycling and means you can share even more cupcakes with others!
Piping the swirls onto these beautiful cupcakes doesn’t take very much practise and it gives the cupcakes a beautiful, professional finish. By all means use whatever cupcake toppers and sprinkles that you have to hand. The beauty of these Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes is that they are individual to your own sense of taste and style.
Any Mum, friend, co-worker or family member are sure to be thrilled when these cupcakes are presented to them.
Do you enjoy baking for other people?
If you like the Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes you will love these recipes:
Enjoy baking and experimenting with piping different swirls!