mr. (vanilla) bean. [vanilla bean cupcakes & frosting]

September 27th, 2010 by | comments

The other day, my dad rented the Nom Nom truck to serve food at his office in Carson for a couple of hours. Although I was still recovering from wisdom teeth surgery, I did not want to miss out on this opportunity. Who would reject free food?

My dad told his co-workers that I was coming to the office and the first thing people asked was if I was going to bring cupcakes. Apparently, baking cupcakes is my key to acceptance in his office. Some of the people I met that day even referred to me as “the cupcake girl.”

I’m a vanilla fiend, but had never worked with real vanilla bean before. Just a heads up, vanilla bean is expensive—it cost about $12 for a jar containing two vanilla beans.

I decided to bake vanilla bean cupcakes injected with a fluffy chocolate filling and topped with vanilla bean frosting. The filling and frosting were delectable, however, I was not satisfied with the cupcake—it was too dry for my liking. Since I did not want the first batch to go to waste, I still brought them to the office; however, I made another batch of cupcakes, but this time made Ina Garten’s vanilla cupcakes topped with my mom’s refreshing cream cheese frosting recipe. I was much more pleased with the texture of these cakes. The top of the cupcake was slightly crisp, while the inside was fluffy and moist.

I am only going to post the recipe for Ina Garten’s vanilla cupcake, but will still include the recipe for the chocolate filling and vanilla bean frosting, as both were delicious! If you would like the vanilla bean cupcake recipe, please let me know via posting a comment.

* The first four photos are of the vanilla bean cupcake and the last two are of the vanilla cupcakes. Both cupcakes have the chocolate filling.

Vanilla cupcake recipe:

18 tbsp. (2 1/4) butter, at room temperature

3 cups sugar

6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. baking soda


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high-speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, two at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low-speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Fill the cupcake liners to the top with batter. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.

Chocolate filling recipe:

1 tsp. water, hot

3 1/2 ounces marshmallow fluff

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

3 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp. cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla


Add all ingredients into a bowl, adding the hot water last. Stir until combined and creamy.

Vanilla bean frosting recipe:

1 stick butter, at room temperature

1/2 to 1 vanilla bean

3 cups confectioner’s sugar

1/4 cup milk or cream


Cut slit down length of vanilla bean and scrape out interior. Add vanilla bean to the rest of the ingredients in bowl and mix until smooth.

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