Last weekend, I made cupcakes.  I didn’t make cupcakes because I wanted cupcakes, though – I made cupcakes because I’ve been craving really good frosting.  And as tempting as it was to just make a batch of frosting and eat it with a spoon, I decided I should at least pretend to have some level of decorum.

So, the cupcakes.  I used the first likely-looking vanilla cupcake recipe from Food Network, which turned out to be Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes.  They were perfectly good cupcakes.  Nothing to write home about, but a nice, basic, vanilla cupcake. 

While they were cooling, I started on the frosting.  I’ve been looking for a not-terribly-sweet cooked buttercream, so when I saw this one on Baking Bites, I had to try it.  It wasn’t that hard, really – beat the eggs, and then “cook” them with a simple syrup to stabilize the frosting.  Once all the simple syrup was in, it looked really good and stable – then I started added an entire pound of very soft butter.

I’ll admit, it started looking scary a few times.  It was hard to find the patience to not add more butter until the previous pat was entirely integrated, and a couple time it looked like it was going to break.  After all the butter was in, I watched it nervously for a few minutes, then turned my back for just one minute to finish loading the dishwasher.

And when I looked back, it was perfect

Vanila Bean Buttercream

It was light and fluffy, flecked with vanilla bean bits, and amazingly rich.  It was just sweet enough to be “frosting”, but not that awful cloying sweetness of grocery-store-bakery frosting.  It was exactly the frosting I’d been fantasizing about.

So I put it on the cupcakes.  All the cool kids these days seem to be piping frosting on top of the cupcakes instead of frosting them with a knife, so I did the same thing:

P1040212

The only problem was it made 36 cupcakes, and there was no way we could eat them fast enough, so the exposed tops got stale very quickly.  Next time, I’ll spread a thin coat of frosting to just cover and protect the top of the cupcake, then pipe the rest. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a little bit of frosting left in a bowl in the fridge, and I have a spoon…

( see the recipe )

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