To me, the smell of vanilla is so warm and comforting like the feel of velvet. They are both snug sounding things. Sometimes when it rains (it always rains in England but I’ve grown to love it) you need something soft and nostalgic to hold onto. Even if it is just a small cupcake.
A small fluffy crumbed white velvet cupcake with smooth velvety vanilla frosting that isn’t as sweet as most frostings; it’s just pure vanilla goodness. Decorated with gold crunchy flecks that reflect the afternoon sunlight that drains through the windows after the rain.
When I bite into a creamy vanilla cupcake it brings me back to last summer; sitting on a pile of blankets with a warm caramel latte, Lana Del Rey music playing and reading my favourite novels. Usually I’m always active, hyper and impatient but sometimes I need a break and I have to stop obsessively mixing away at mixtures and baking my heart out. Okay I take that back – I’m always going to bake my heart out.
Simple recipe – you get your clouds of Heaven quickly!
Recipe for fluffy cupcakes:
Makes around 15
♥ 1 & 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
♥ 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
♥ 1/4 teaspoon salt
♥ 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
♥ 3/4 cup of sugar (you can use granulated or caster)
♥ 2 large eggs
♥ 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
♥ 1/2 cups and three tablespoons of milk
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius or 350 degrees fahrenheit
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl, swirl it several times with a whisk to combine the ingredients and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar until it is lighter in colour.
Add each egg one at a time – if the mixture curdles, don’t cry, just put in one tablespoon of the flour mixture into the egg sugar mixture and beat again.
Pour the vanilla extract into the sugar mixture and beat thoroughly.
Then sift in a quarter of the flour mixture, then a third of the milk mixture – carry on pouring / sifting the flour and milk alternating but starting and ending with the flour mixture.
Line each cup of your cupcake tray with cupcake cases and pour the mixture into each about 2/3s full.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes (mine were done at 17 minutes).
Recipe for feather light frosting:
♥ 1 cup of milk
♥ 3 tablespoons of flour
♥ 1 cup of sugar
♥ 1 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
♥ 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
♥ 1/8 teaspoon salt
Place 1/4 cup of the milk into a tall saucepan and add the flour at low heat – stirring frequently until it coats the back of your spatula with a thick white layer.
When thickened, add the rest of the milk and the granulated sugar, whisking instead of stirring now.
After it has reached boiling point, cook for an additional minute.
Taste it – if it tastes way too floury – cook it for twenty seconds more.
Sieve to get rid of lumps and discard the lumps.
Let it cool to room temperature, stirring so that it does not form a skin.
When cooled, whip the cup of butter until lighter. Stream the cooled flour mixture into the butter whilst beating with a stand mixer / hand held mixer or an electric whisk. Beating this with a powerful mixer insures it does not curdle (when I first made this I did it by hand and it curdled – not a good day D: )
Add the vanilla extract with the salt.
N.B: I found that the original recipe (although lovely as it is) was too buttery for my family so I reduced it by 1/4 of a cup – still so gooood.
When you are done…
Give yourself a *high 5*, cool your cupcakes, ice them (I used a wilton 1M tip but being the strange person I am, I pushed in each of the metal points to make a cross between a 2D and a 1M so that it makes a funky looking swirl), decorate with whatever you wish and give your friends / family free diabetes.
Have a great pre-summer and if it rains where you live, enjoy it because it’s pretty once you actually think about it. The sky darkens slightly, making everything more calm and the smell of the rain smells fresh as it drips through minerals and runs through leaves. It makes jewels in spiders webs and when you think about it, it’s kinda like a massive water ride in a themepark. Running in the rain is the best feeling ever.
Where I go running / jogging