At the end of every semester I feel really guilty. Come finals week, I usually only have condiments and expired milk in the fridge. My children’s vegetable intake consists of ketchup and tater tots, and they have to fish through a couch full of clean laundry to find a clean sock. Once I finally come out of the books, and back into reality, I have a filthy home and a husband with whom I have not had a conversation with for about a month.
I turned in my last paper and took my last exam (for the semester) last week. I have been working steadily on cleaning my house and knowing my estranged husband again. My daughter was in desperate need of some mommy and me time, so I decided to bake with her. We made this vanilla bean cupcakes with salted caramel frosting cupcakes that were OUT OF THIS WORLD!
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
- 2 sticks butter (softened)
- 1 1/2 sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or regular vanilla
- 2 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with a splash of white vinegar)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and soda and mix.
In your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend butter, sugar and vanilla at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add a cup of flour followed by 1/3 of the buttermilk. Repeat this 3 times, until you have incorporated all the flour and buttermilk.
My tips for the best batter:
Work quickly when you are incorporating the flour and milk. You do not want to wait until each addition is fully mixed. I usually add the flour, give it literally 2 seconds, then add the milk, and repeat after 2 seconds. For the last addition of the flour and milk, I usually mix by hand, in order to avoid over beating.
Spoon into greased cupcake pan, and bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool completely before removing.
- 1 packed cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup half-and-half (I used heavy cream because it is what I had)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Heat brown sugar, cream, butter, salt in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium low heat. Whisk gently for about 5-7 minutes until it has thickened. Add Vanilla and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes then pour into jar.
Salted Caramel Frosting
- 1 cup salted caramel
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients until incorporated. Turn your mixer on high for about 5 minutes. Frost cupcakes and enjoy!!!
Things have finally settled down in our household, and now I am able to concentrate more on The Seaside Baker. Lots of new pages are planned!!!