Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Blueberry-Stuffed Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting #OXOGoodCupcake

This is a sponsored post - but a different sort of sponsorship. In return for writing this, OXO will donate $100 towards pediatric cancer research. In addition, OXO is donating 25 cents for each purchase of specially-marked products.

As part of my participation, OXO sent me a few tools, including measuring cups and spoons, an offset spatula, and a cupcake corer.

I've never cored a cupcake before. I've never even thought about coring a cupcake. But if I get a new cooking gadget, of course I'm going to use it. As soon as I decided to core and stuff the cupcakes, I knew exactly what I wanted to use as the filling - the blueberry jam I made recently.

Sprinkles! by Jackie Alpers. Check it out!
I decided to make a vanilla cupcake, so I modified a caramel apple cake recipe I'd made before. I knew I needed a frosting, but I didn't have a recipe at my fingertips, so I grabbed the first likely cookbook - Sprinkles! by Jackie Alpers.

Sprinkles is all about making colorful cakes and other decorative desserts, but I knew there had to be a frosting recipe I could use.

I'm one of those crazy people who will happily peel the frosting off a cake and just eat the cake. But the buttercream from Sprinkles! was pretty darned good. I liked that it was fluffy instead of dense.

And then, to add my own little stamp on it, I added a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste. Because I like vanilla a lot and I thought the teeny vanilla seeds would add some visual interest.

Not exactly sprinkles, but I liked the speckles.

I gave instructions for making the cake and frosting with a stand mixer, but you can do this with an electric hand mixer. You could probably do it by hand, but I think most folks have some sort of mixer.

Blueberry-Stuffed Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

For the cupcakes:

Jam-filled cupcakes.
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
Jam or other filling, as needed

For the frosting:
(Adapted from Sprinkles! by Jackie Alpers)

2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

For the cupcakes:

OXO tools
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 18 cupcake tins with papers. (I actually made 12 cupcakes and one mini loaf cake - but this should make about 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside until needed.

Add the vanilla to the milk and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar (if the butter is a bit cold, beat the butter first, then add the sugar) until light.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the flour mixture to the butter in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions, beating well after each addition.

Fill each cupcake about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when touched in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean - 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let them cool completely on a rack before stuffing and frosting.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the heavy cream, then the vanilla, then the vanilla bean paste, beating well after each addition.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and make sure there's nothing unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, then continue beating until the frosting is fluffy. Refrigerate if you're not using it right away, particularly if it's warm in the room.

If you refrigerate the frosting for a long time - like overnight - it will firm up quite a bit, so you might want to beat it again to get it all to the right consistency for frosting the cupcakes.

When the cupcakes are cool, remove a core from them - I used the tool provided by OXO. Save the core, because you'll be popping part of it back into the cupcake to hide the hole you create. Fill the hole with the jam or other filling, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch unfilled. Cut the top of the core to fit that space, and insert it in the hole.

Continue with the rest of the cupcakes. When all the cupcakes are filled, frost as desired.