Cupcakes of every imaginable flavor are all the rage these days, but it's hard to beat the rich simplicity of vanilla.
4 ounces cake flour (about 1 cup)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup 1% low-fat buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Dash of salt
Sugar pearls (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cupcakes, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat oil, egg, and egg white with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Add granulated sugar; beat until thick and pale. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Place 12 paper or foil muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into cups. Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when pressed in center (they will not be brown.)
Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare buttercream frosting, place butter in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar; beat at low speed until blended. Add half-and-half, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and dash of salt; beat at high speed until smooth and creamy. Top cupcakes with frosting. Sprinkle with sugar pearls, if desired.
My daughter made these cupcakes yesterday, and they were great! She found it easy to make, the cake was moist and the frosting was really good! My only objection was they are a bit on the sweeter side, so it a bit much by the last bite.
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