Sunday, May 16, 2010

Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Almond Buttercream

Cupcake Bakeshop is my go-to blog for anything and everything to do with cupcakes. You can tell that the author knows her cupcakes when:

a) her entire site is devoted to them
b) she compares and tests different recipes (flavor, texture, dryness...)
c) she uses ingredients such as fennel, papaya, grapefruit

So I had my eye on these Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes for a while now and decided to make them for a very special occasion: my good friend's baby shower. I chose to make them cause they look cute and sort of girly (she is having a baby girl!). The cupcakes turned out really good and the raspberry filling paired well with the almond buttercream frosting! I would fill the cupcakes a bit more next time though.

I chose raspberries instead of cherries for the filling since cherries are out of season now and I couldn't find them anywhere (not even frozen!). Also I completely omitted the salt for the vanilla cupcakes. I once put the amount of salt written on a recipe and my cookies had turned out really salty so I usually leave it out or use very very little.


Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Almond Buttercream
Adapted and slightly modified from Cupcake Bakeshop
Makes 24 frosted cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter on high for about 30 seconds until soft. Add the sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat 30 seconds between each.

Sift flour and baking powder in a bowl and whisk together. Add to mixer bowl and when well combined, add the milk and vanilla.

Scoop into cupcake papers about half to two-thirds full since they rise a bit. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean. (I baked them for 20 minutes.)

Raspberry Filling
2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch

Add raspberries, water and vanilla to a pot. Cook for 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Stir from time to time.

Stir together sugar and cornstarch and then add to the pot with raspberries. Cook until thick, for about 20 minutes. Make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot by stirring occasionally and not overcooking.

Using the cone method mentioned on Baking Bites, fill the cupcakes with raspberry filling when both the filling and the cupcakes have cooled completely.

Almond Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6-8 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup milk

Beat butter at medium-high speed until creamy. Add half of the sifted powdered sugar, the almond extract and the milk. Beat until combined. Gradually add powdered sugar until desired consistency and sweetness.

Frost filled cupcakes and top with maraschino cherries that have been rinsed and well dried.

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