Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

For Easter I decided to go with a simple vanilla bean cupcake, and add some flair to it by adding fondant bunny ears. It was such a fun experience to use fondant again, and it always makes cupcakes look that much better!

 

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

yield: 30 cupcakes

Ingredients:

3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  Set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together and set aside.

3. Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl of the mixer with the butter and discard the pod (or reserve for another use.)  Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.

4. Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.

5.  Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

6. Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup.

7. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.

8. Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full (you will likely have batter left over after filling 24 wells.)

9. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Replace paper liners and bake remaining batter if desired.

Source: Annie’s Eats

As for the frosting & decorations – I used a recipe from Annie’s Eats, as well as one from Save the Date For Cupcakes.

Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients:

20 tbsp. (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream  

Directions:

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.

2. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds.  Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds.

3. Scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.  Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.  

4. Add green food coloring to make it look like the color of grass.

Source: Annie’s Eats

Easter Decorations

Need:

Freshly baked cupcakes (any flavor, your choice)
Buttercream frosting, dyed green (I used Wilton GelPaste in Juniper Green)
Crushed Oreos
White Fondant (or gumpaste)
Light Blue Fondant (or gumpaste)
Pink Fondant (or gumpaste)
Large Leaf Cutter
Small Leaf Cutter (or a teardrop cutter)

Directions:

1. Roll out your white fondant to 1/8″ thick and cutout some “ears” using the large leaf cutter

2. Set your ears to harden on a flat surface dusted withpowdered sugar. Lift the tips of the ears and curl them on a round object.

3. Roll out your pink and blue fondant using thesmall leaf cutter or teardrop cutter.

4. Affix your pink and blueteardrops to the white bunny ears using just a drop of water. Let them dry and harden for a few hours

5. Pipe your greenbuttercream on your cupcake using a grass tip #133. Start on the outside edge and go all the way around.

6. Place a teaspoonful of crushed Oreos in the center tocreate your “bunny hole”. You may have to press a knife into the dirt and intothe cupcake to make a slit for the ears so that they stand upright.

Source: Save the Date for Cupcakes

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