Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vanilla Cupcake

A colleague on secondment has been stalking me to bake her some vanilla cuppies... Today I gladly obliged cos I just got Carol Durst's book: I know you were coming so I bake a cake. It says that simple cake like vanilla cake is the one of the most challenging bake as it is much more delicate than, say, choc cake.

Using the best quality butter and vanilla extract that you can is already first step to success :-)

I am using the Anchor butter as it has 80% fat. I always have blocks of them in my fridge for any baking spree.

This Western Family vanilla extract is so far the better vanilla I have come across locally. I used to use the Red Man vanilla essence (those small gladd bottle that you find at supermarket shelf), but a whiff will tell you "what you pay is what you get". Hahaha.


Ingredients for the cake:

3 cups cake flour
225g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sugar (original qty)
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degF (180C). Grease cake pans and coat the the pan with flour.
  2. Cream the butter, and incorporate sugar. Beat slowly for 2min until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract and beat for 2 min more.
  4. Combine flour, cornstarch (if using), baking powder and salt in the mixing bowl. Add flour and milk alternatively: Flour -> milk -> Flour -> milk -> Flour, mix until the batter is smooth.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake about 30-35min, until golden on top and springy to touch: a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Don’t overbake. Bake cupcakes about 20min.
  7. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting it.

Yield: makes two 8~9" cake, 24 cupcake or 9x13 sheet cake
Source: I knew you were coming so I bake a Cake


To save time, I actually prepared this frosting on weekend and keep it in the fridge for my weekdays late night baking. Unfortunately I did not keep it properly... so the whole thing had to be chucked! Sorry Candy, no frosting for this cuppies!

Anyway, I just love the clean pale look of the vanilla cupcake. Toast to my another Happy Cup!

This vanilla buttercream is technically not a buttercream but actually an old-fashioned confectioners' sugar and butter frosting. Be sure to beat the icing for the amount of time called for in the recipe to achieve the desired creamy texture.

Ingredients for Vanilla Buttercream:
1 cup (~220g) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (~120ml) milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes.

  2. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar.

  3. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Yield: enough for 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 (9-inch) layer cake

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