Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting

Every once in a while, I’ll be asked to bake treats for various occasions. I’ve made cheesecakes, cupcakes, and cakes mostly. I had the privilege of being asked to bake for my co-worker’s daughter’s 1st birthday party, and was challenged to find a vanilla bean cupcake, and pair it with a strawberry frosting. Vanilla bean? As in use a real vanilla bean, and cut and scrape out the vanilla seeds? But that’s scary! The fear of figuring out vanilla beans was coming to a close for me.

I attempted to try the “cheap” route for vanilla cupcakes, as I wanted to keep the costs down for my co-worker, so my first option was a boxed vanilla cake mix and adding vanilla extract to make it more vanilla-like. Let me tell you, they weren’t even worth bringing into work for a taste test. I’ve used the vanilla boxed mixes many times, and been okay with them, but this time, it just wasn’t working for me.

I moved on to my second option, which was using real vanilla beans in the recipe instead of just using vanilla extract. I was terrified. I wanted to turn around and run. How the heck do you get the seeds out of the vanilla bean?! Where do you even get vanilla beans? I want my mommy! (Okay, okay. It wasn’t THAT bad!) After asking my friend Meghan over at Meg’s Everyday Indulgence ( Go check out her blog! She’s absolutely amazing!) where to find the vanilla beans, I got all my ingredients together and put on my big girl pants to conquer my fear of vanilla beans.

The recipe I tried was fantastic. It’s super easy, as you put all the ingredients in the mixing bowl, then mix, and you’re done. It’s really as easy as that! I’m all for a one bowl recipe! Aaaannnndddd, getting the seeds out of the vanilla bean was way easier than I thought! All the over-reacting for nothing. I can be such a drama queen- just ask Ryan. I brought in the cupcakes the day after I made them, and they were a hit among all who received one. The vanilla bean added so much flavor, and the denseness of the cupcake was a delight.

Since my co-worker said she definitely wanted the cupcakes for the party, I set off to purchase the Cupcake Courier I’ve had my eyes on for transporting 36 of the 48 cupcakes I was to make. How functional and great is this thing? It even allows for you to transport cakes!








I paired the vanilla bean cupcake with a strawberry mascarpone frosting, and think they turned out great! Happy 1st birthday Payson!:)











Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

(This recipe is not something I created. I accidentally threw out both this and the frosting blog information)

Makes 12-16 cupcakes

1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt (opt)

1 c. sugar

1 stick butter, melted

1 egg

1/4 c. sour cream

3/4 c. milk (I used skim and they turned out great!)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Seeds scraped from one vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners. Combine all ingredients in a food processor (with blade attachment) or mixer bowl. Fill cupcake liners slightly more than halfway full.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until center cupcakes bounce back when touched. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting

1/4 c. softened butter

1- 8 oz container mascarpone, at room temperature (I couldn’t find mascarpone, so I used Neuchâtel Cheese. I would believe that cream cheese can also be substituted)

1/2 c. fresh strawberries, pureed

2 Tbsp. strawberry jam

4-5 c. powdered sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the strawberries and jam. Mix until combined. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until the frosting has the sweetness and consistency you desire ( I ended up using around 7 c.). If your frosting is not stiff enough to pipe, add more powdered sugar. Note that this may not have the same stiffness/form as typical frosting when piped.

Use right away, or refrigerate until ready to use.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Meg's Everyday Indulgence
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 10:15:36

    Thanks for the shout out lady! These cupcakes look sooo good! I was afraid of vanilla bean at first too but I’m so glad I took the plunge…so much better.


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