Very Vanilla Birthday Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
Someone had a birthday last week! Birthdays, of course, call for cupcakes. I asked Logan what flavor he wanted and he said “Vanilla Cupcakes.” Vanilla is his favorite flavor and usually the flavor of ice cream he picks so it was really no surprise.
I made a batch of our favorite Vanilla Bean Cupcakes to celebrate. To switch things up, frosted them with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting.
Logan, I can’t believe you are eight! Can you? You have grown up so much in the last year. You lost your two front teeth and your smile looks so grown up now with your permanent teeth in full view. I have to admit, I really miss your toothless smile.
I am so proud of how hard you have worked this year. You endured through six weeks of swimming lessons during the summer even though you didn’t really like it and found learning to swim the strokes quite hard. But in the end your hard work paid off! You learned how to swim all by yourself without a life jacket.
You’ve also worked so hard in school. I hear nothing but good things from your teacher and I am amazed at how smart you are. You know things that I don’t even know. Like where certain countries are on the map or the capitals of countries that I haven’t even heard of.
Photo by Allison Ruth Photography
Soccer was your love this fall. I had so much fun taking you to practices and watching you run around with your friends and then cheering you on at the game. You are a great soccer player – and you’ll never let me forget this part: Your team was UNDEFEATED! You had some pretty nice saves yourself, but I was so impressed with how well you learned to work as a team with the rest of your teammates.
You’re current love is Harry Potter and you’re already well past the half way point of book 5. Those are HUGE books! I didn’t read books that big until I was an adult.
On your birthday last week you had your school music program. I loved watching you sing and hearing all of the fun songs that you learned. You had a big smile on your face the whole time and seeing that made me so happy.
You have really accomplished a lot this year, but I wanted to tell you how proud I am of you for the person you are growing up to be. I see you making more mature choices every week. I see you express love and concern for others (even though you still get annoyed at your sister).
I notice when you realize you’ve done something wrong, how you are more often expressing that you are sorry and really meaning it. I love you Logan and even though you’ve been a handful at times, I wouldn’t want any other little boy to be my son. I hope you have a great time being eight!
Vanilla cupcakes where a great idea, Logan! Thanks for sharing them with me on your special day.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes and Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting.
Yield: makes about 20-24
For the Vanilla Bean Sour Cream Cupcakes:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 large egg whites, room temperature
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the frosting:
6 ounces. cream cheese, at room temperature
8 tablespoons softened butter
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
For the Vanilla Bean Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the racks in the center position. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, sour cream, and egg whites. Set aside.
Fit a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or use a hand mixer (I got a better dome with the hand mixer). Add the butter, sugar and vanilla to the bowl and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light. Scrape the sides as necessary.
Add the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture while beating on medium speed, again scraping the sides as needed. Beat in half of the sour cream mixture. Alternately add the remaining flour mixture and sour cream until all the wet and dry ingredients have added, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth.
Use a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), evenly divide the batter between 20-24 lined muffin tins filling each about 2/3 of the way full.
Bake for 15-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack.
For the Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla bean seeds.
Beat until fluffy. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time while continuing to beat. Add as much powdered sugar as you would like until your desired frosting consistency is reached.
Once well blended, add in the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and milk. Mix on low speed until well combined and moist. If desired, an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk until your desired consistency is reached. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
Use clear vanilla extract if you want a bright white frosting, otherwise the traditional vanilla extract is just fine.