Wednesday, 28 January 2009

My BEST VANILLA CUPCAKE Recipe.... ever! ~ ( Special Fairycake Sponge Recipe )

Delicious, step-by-step *RECIPE* further down page.



My cake decoration skills, at this early stage in my baking journey, may leave a lot to be desired, but i assure you, after countless trials with differing proportions of the basic vanilla sponge ingredients i feel this recipe delivers the best balance of flavours and texture for the perfect Vanilla Cupcake (in my humble opinion of course, for what it's worth! ~ I may not be a seasoned professional baker, but i am a highly experienced cake eater, and i know what i likes!).



I began my quest for the perfect Cupcakes, starting with the Classic Victoria Sponge recipe, comprising equal quantities of Butter, Sugar and Flour (6oz Unsalted Butter, 6oz Caster Sugar, 6oz SR Flour, 3 Eggs + Vanilla Extract). I've always had success with this recipe for larger layered sandwich cakes, such as the Victoria Sponge, and whilst the resulting Cupcakes from this mixture certainly did taste delicious, i felt they would benefit hugely from a slight tweaking of the recipe.



The beauty of a good cupcake sponge, for me, is the balance between it's angelic whispery lightness, and a perfect heavenly richness: gently creamy and slightly sweet, without being so dense as to be overpowered by its sinful partnering with the delectibly rich Buttercream Frosting.



I found, to my surprise, that the Cupcakes i prepared with the basic victoria sponge recipe, once enrobed in their delicious buttercream, seemed to taste too rich, and almost slightly 'greasy', which is not a word i would normally ever use for a beautifully rich vanilla sponge, but with the addition of the frosting i felt that the buttery taste was actually emphasised a little too much.



So, after experimenting with different proportions of the sponge ingredients, trying various fat equivalents (marge, salted butter etc), sugar equivalents, different quantities of egg, oven temps, cooking times, etc etc... here is my divinely delicious........



BEST VANILLA CUPCAKE RECIPE... ever!?!:



6 oz Self Raising Flour (sifted for extra lightness),

1 very heaped teaspoon Baking Powder,

4 oz Unsalted Butter (softened),

4 oz Caster Sugar,

2 oz Light Brown Soft Sugar (or just 6oz of caster ~ i find this small amount of light brown sugar enhances the taste/colour/texture), (NOTE: You can use less sugar, eg 5oz if desired)

Few grains of salt,

4 medium Eggs (room temperature),

Vanilla Pod and/or pure Vanilla Extract.




INSTRUCTIONS:



Preheat oven to 150C (for my hot fan oven) and line a large cupcake tray with cupcake cases.



* Split the vanilla pod in half, if using, and scrape out the seeds with the edge of a knife.

* Place the softened butter into a large bowl, along with the vanilla seeds, and beat with an electric handwhisk for a few seconds.

* Now add the caster and soft brown sugars to the butter and whisk until creamed, for a minute or so.

* Add your vanilla extract (anywhere from 1tsp to 1 dessertspoon... personally i'm very generous with the vanilla, adding both extract and seeds on some occassions, as i feel the cupcakes really benefit from a definite vanilla-y flavour).

* Seperate the eggs and add the yolks, a little at a time, to the butter and sugar. Keep whisking until all the egg yolks are incorporated and the mixture is paler and creamier than when you 1st added the yolks.

(NB. If your eggs and butter are at room temperature your wet mixture shouldnt split at all; if it does however, dont worry too much ~ when you add the dry ingredients the mixture should become smooth again and the cakes will be fine).

* Sift the flour, baking powder and few grains of salt into thebutter, sugar and eggs mixture and gently fold in with a metal spoon.

* Now, in a very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric handwhisk until they form stiff peaks.

* With a metal knife fold 1 spoonful of the egg whites into the cake mixture, then carefully fold in the rest of the egg whites.

* Spoon the mixture evenly and carefully into the cupcake cases, (tap the tray once firmly before placing in the oven, to free the mixture of any very large air bubbles which would cause the cakes to sink after baking).

* Bake for approx 30-45 mins. (I like to bake my cupcakes slower and lower in temp than a lot of people, because i love the delicately soft, light, slightly moist texture it creates by setting the mixture slowly. If you prefer a cupcake with a slightly dryer, crispier golden crust, try raising the oven temp a little and reducing the baking time).





Following very soon.... My BEST VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING Recipe.... ever!!.

56 comments:

  1. Looks like you did a great job with these cupcakes! bravo! You don't have to be a professional to produce tasty goodies. :-)

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  2. Aww thankyou! I must say my cupcakes tasted a million times better than they looked!... mmmmm, i must make some more b/c these just didnt last long enough!
    Thanks so much for the comment... more recipes to come soon! xxx

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  3. Fantastic. Can I have one?? It looks so delicious, and I love cakes!
    You've improved your arrangments, and I think it's great with the recipe and steps neatly separated. Well done!

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  4. Great recipe. They look so good I think I'm going to make some tonight when I get off work!

    If you get chance check out my blog too for some great banana bread recipes (I'm a banana bread nut).

    Banana Bread Recipe

    Thanks
    Laura =)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wchingya ~ You came back! Im so glad you popped in babes! I've tried to take your advice and imptove my style a little ~ your blog looks so great btw.. I hope i can improve some with experience, like you.
    Well.. i'll keep checking out your blog too sweetie, thanks again.. xxxx

    Laura .. Hey sweetie, thanks for the comment. It means so much to me that somebody can enjoy my recipes (as well as me and my very well fed fiance!).. I'll go check out your blog now; I lovee Banana Bread! Hugs. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, just dropping by to see if I missed any cakes/pastries, since it has been awhile. I hope you're doing fine. Do take great care while busying with your life. I'm no pro, but I'll be glad to help out if you need any blogging tips. Keep the baking coming.

    ReplyDelete
  7. i also want to have some...
    can u mail it to india..?

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  8. wow, the cakes looks so delicious! I love them all

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  9. "The beauty of a good cupcake sponge, for me, is the balance between it's angelic whispery lightness, and a perfect heavenly richness: gently creamy and slightly sweet, without being so dense as to be overpowered by its sinful partnering with the delectibly rich Buttercream Frosting."...I couldn't agree more. Love your blog :))...nd followin' it :))

    Shall keep coming for more :))

    best
    -nivi

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yummy cupcakes as usually !


    But im hard to make it:-)


    JOLIIIEESSS!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I loved these cupcakes I used a pure vanilla extract from www.singingdogvanilla.com you should try using some of there vanilla in your baking... its wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You don't have to be a professional to produce tasty goodies

    Work From Home India

    ReplyDelete
  13. good instruction as to how to go about in preparing the dish . i will surely try it out

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  26. Wow those look amazing!! I'm always on the hunt for a good cupcake recipe!! :)

    http://sweetandsassy-sherry.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  27. delicious!!
    http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com/

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