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Vanilla bean and sour cream make these cupcakes super moist. And the frosting is so creamy it tastes like vanilla ice cream. The secret? It’s cooked!
Note: You need to prepare the frosting first with this recipe, as the cooked mixture needs time to cool before whipping it. By the time the cupcakes are baked and cooled, your icing will be ready to top them.
For the “Ice Cream” Frosting:
I found that regular granulated sugar caused the frosting to be a bit grainy, so I use superfine sugar, resulting in a much creamier frosting. I made my own simply by whirling regular sugar in my food processor for a minute or two, until it was very finely ground, but not as fine as powdered sugar.
Whisk the milk, flour and salt together in a medium saucepan, then cook over low heat, whisking until the mixture becomes very thick. Remove from the heat and place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the milk mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Cool completely in the fridge or for a quick chill, place the pan over a bowl of ice, whisking occasionally until cool.
While milk mixture cools prepare the rest of the frosting ingredients as well as the cupcakes. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, then the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, beating on high after each addition. Continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, another 3-5 minutes.
Once the milk mixture is cooled, add it into the creamed mixture a few tablespoons at a time, beating on high, until light and fluffy. Pipe decoratively on cupcakes and add sprinkles if desired. Frosting can be prepared ahead – cover well and let soften at room temperature about 15 minutes or so before decorating cupcakes.
For the cupcakes:
Recipe adapted from simply recipes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Slice a vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out. Place the bean, seeds and whole milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat just until it starts to simmer (tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan). Remove from the heat and allow the vanilla mixture to steep and cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups plus 5 tablespoons cake flour, salt and baking powder to blend. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 3 minutes, until fluffy. Then add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, another 3 or 4 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the bowl occasionally.
Add the egg and beat for 30 seconds. Then add one egg white, beat for 30 seconds, and do the same for the remaining egg white.
Remove the vanilla bean from the milk (don’t toss it – you can wash the bean, dry it and add it to some sugar to make vanilla sugar for another recipe!).
In a small bowl, whisk the vanilla milk, sour cream and vanilla extract together to blend.
Use a dry-wet-dry method to add the flour and milk mixtures into the creamed sugar mixture. So add half of the flour mixture to the mixer bowl. Use an off-on pulsing motion to incorporate the flour (and prevent it from flying all over your kitchen) and then mix on low speed until it’s just about combined. Scrape down the bowl. Then add the milk mixture and again use a pulsing motion until mostly incorporated, then mix on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the bowl, and add the remaining flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Don’t overbeat as it will result in tough cupcakes!
Use a 2″ ice cream scoop with a release to scoop batter into two 12-count muffin pans (you should only need 18) that you’ve lined with cupcake liners. Bake in the preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out with some moist crumbs attached.
Place pan on a wire baking rack to cool for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on the baking rack. Frost when cool. Store covered in your refrigerator for up to 2 days.
This peanut butter cream pie is made extra yummy by using a chocolate cream base and a meringue topping. It’s a little bit more work than some of the recipes I’ve posted but it is well worth it. And hard as it is to resist, it is best when left to set up and then cool completely in the refrigerator.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!