Friday, February 5, 2010
Starbucks (copycat) Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
For the last two years, I have been obsessed with Starbucks' vanilla bean cupcakes. They are a "seasonal" item that usually make their debut in late winter/early spring. I was so excited to see them hit stores a bit early this year and quickly made my purchase. However, I was disappointed :(
This wasn't the same cupcake from years past....they had changed the recipe and the look! This year's vanilla bean cupcakes are just not that good. The cake is dry and bland. The frosting is better but still not addictively good as it was the last two years. I' m also not the only one who feels this way. There is even a thread on Starbucks' own customer site to reinstate the old version, check it out HERE. Anyway, I knew I had to try to make my own copycat version and this is what I came up with.
I used JoyofBaking's, recipe for these vanilla cupcakes. The hardest part of this, was finding the clear,coarse sugar sprinkles that Starbucks uses. I did eventually manage to find some smaller sugar sprinkles at Target (Valentine's sprinkle combo set) and used those. The finished product turned out great! I don't think they taste exactly like the original recipe from the previous years but they are 100% better than this years version.
Side by side: My copycat version (L) and Starbucks (R).
Close-up of the frosting.
Makes 12 cupcakes
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Set pan aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Prepare frosting.
Vanilla-Bean Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter , softened
1/2 vanilla bean , scraped
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
3.5 cups confectioners' sugar (sifted), plus more if necessary
Cream the butter in a medium-size bowl until very smooth. Stir in the vanilla-bean seeds until they're evenly distributed. Add the salt, vanilla and milk, and stir until combined. Sift the sugar over the butter mixture and stir the mixture until it's perfectly smooth. If the frosting is too loose, add a few more tablespoons of confectioners' sugar, and stir until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap until you're ready to use; mix well just before using.
Decorate cooled cupcakes as desired.
Source: Joy of Baking, inspired by Starbucks