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 and it was windy too. Especially as it is March, I want to see evidence of Spring. Most of all flowers and lambs. Finally, I an attempt to cheer us all up I made these very pretty and extremely delicious Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes.
So, does the image of pink, raspberry buttercream topped cupcakes, adorned with large daisy flowers and butterflies cheer you up?
While the weather was so chilly and dreary, I was also feeling a little blue too, having just received news that a very close friend is extremely poorly. And so baking these cupcakes was therapeutic on both counts.
Do you find baking relaxing?
Using Naturally Flavoured Icing Sugar
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. While making 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. Especially more of the delicious tasting buttercream and more cupcake to swirl it onto!!
And so these Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes were the perfect excuse to indulge my passion again.
Importantly, this time I wanted to leave the option of using flavoured buttercream as a choice. Also, if you do buy some flavoured icing sugar, you can choose to make the buttercream any flavour you want. Especially, as the vanilla sponge goes well with any flavoured frosting. Alternatively, 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 Range Eggs
3tbsp Milk – whole or semi skimmed
175g/6oz Plain White Flour
1.5tsp Baking Powder
1/8th tsp/pinch of Salt – I use Maldon
For the Buttercream:
350g12oz Icing Sugar – I used 250g Sugar and Crumbs Raspberry Ripple flavour and 100g/4oz Plain Icing Sugar. (Confectioners 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 170C/150C fan oven, gas mark 3, 325F
Making The Vanilla Cupcake Batter
- First of all, 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 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.
Baking The Vanilla Cupcakes
- 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.
- As soon as the cupcakes are baked remove from the oven.
- Allow to cool completely before icing.
Making The Pink Buttercream
- 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.
- Start slowly, whisking the buttercream ingredients until light, creamy and uniform in colour.
- Fit a piping bag with a large star tip.
Piping Swirls Of Buttercream On To The Cupcakes
- Place the icing bag into a tall sturdy container, I use a jug.
- Use 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.
- Keep an even pressure with one hand squeezing the bag and using the other hand to guide the piping tip, pipe swirls onto the cupcakes.
- Finally add the decorations.
Gifting Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Because I like giving the food I make away, 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. Since they were from Amazon and work out to about 10 pence per pod. Also, they can be washed up and used again, which is great recycling and means you can share even more cupcakes with others!
Since piping the swirls onto the cupcakes gives them a beautiful, professional finish. 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.
If you like the Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes you will love these recipes:
So, enjoy baking and experimenting with piping different swirls!
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