Last Saturday I watched a new episode of Throwdown With Bobby Flay. It was a cupcake challenge and guess what? These cupcakes won the Throwdown!! He competed against a Bakery in California and he actually won!! I always wondered if Bobby feels worse when he wins or loses? Anyway, so if the judges liked these cupcakes better than the famous bakery's then they must be amazing!
I cut the cupcake batter recipe in half and still ended up with 48 mini cupcakes. So, unless you want 96 cupcakes, make sure you cut it in half. I did make the whole frosting recipe, because I love lots of frosting! Vanilla/Yellow cupcakes go perfect with chocolate frosting. The cake was not too light and not too dense, just somewhere in the middle. The frosting is very rich and chocolatey. It kind of reminds me of fudge? Very thick and creamy. It was one of the easiest frostings I have ever made. Just throw everything in the food processor and mix until creamy and you're done! So, next time you're craving cake and frosting, give these yummy mini cupcakes a try!
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Creamy Chocolate Frosting
adapted from: Bobby Flay
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 c. sugar, divided
10 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 c. buttermilk, room temp.
3 Tbl. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split & scraped (I used vanilla bean paste)
6 large egg yolks, room temp.
3 large egg whites, room temp.
Line mini muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1 1/2 cups sugar together in a bowl. Whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, vanilla beans and yolks in a medium bowl. In a clean bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites at medium-high sped until foamy, about 30 seconds. With the machine running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, continue to beat until stiff peaks just form. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside. Wash the bowl and dry. Add the flour mixture to the now-empty mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. With the mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in the butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (a few streaks of dry flour will remain), about 15 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape the whisk and sides of the bowl. Return the mixer to medium-low speed and beat until smooth and fully incorporated, 10-15 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, stir 1/3 of the whites into the batter to lighten and then add the remaining whites and gently fold into the batter until no white streaks remain. Fill the cupcake molds 3/4 full and bake until just firm, about 8-12 minutes (mine took 11 minutes). Let cool and frost with creamy chocolate frosting.
Creamy Chocolate Frosting
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. cocoa powder
pinch of salt
3/4 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. semisweet choc., melted & cooled slightly (I used milk)
1 tsp. espresso powder (I didn't add)
In a food processor, process the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, 5-10 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the melted chocolate and espresso and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10-15 seconds.