Here's a sweet start to the new year - some easy and pretty vanilla cupcakes frosted with vanilla icing and topped with some delicate white chocolate curls. Although cupcakes are probably not as 'en vogue' as they were earlier, I still love making them now and again as they are just so pretty and convenient to eat don't you think? I do admit that I probably only eat half of the icing on the cupcakes I frost as I do find it a tad too sweet but if you try lessening the icing sugar needed in the frosting, most of the time the consistency will not be right so perhaps you could compensate by lessening the amount of sugar used in the cupcakes. Then again, I find un-frosted cupcakes just as delicious, especially dunked in coffee albeit not as pretty as the dressed-up, frosted ones.
Recipe adapted from Magnolia Bakery
Firstly, pre-heat oven to about 150 C.
In a medium-sized bowl, add the 2 flours together and mix well. Set aside.
In a large bowl, place the softened butter and cream until pale and fluffy. Add in the sugar bit by bit to ensure the sugar does not end up 'drowning' the butter while mixing. Add in the eggs, one by one after mixing well each time.
Add the flour mixture in 3 parts alternating with the vanilla essence and milk. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl for better incorporation.
Line a muffin or cupcake pan with cupcake liners of your choice. Fill the cupcake liners with batter up to half of the liner only as this makes for flatter cupcakes hence easier frosting. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature before attempting to frost.
250g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Place the butter into the bowl of your mixer and beat for about 8 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add the icing sugar, milk and essence. Beat for a further 5 minutes or until light and creamy.
White chocolate curls (optional) - I cheated and used store-bought ones
Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, use a pipe of your choices and pipe the frosting in a circular manner. Sprinkle some chocolate curls on top or use other decorations of your choice. You can also use colourful sanding sugar to add a bit of colour to your cupcakes by sprinkling the sanding sugar sparingly on top of the frosting.