My Mom and I made these amazing cupcakes Friday night. This was a bigger task than we imagined but we had a lot of fun. We doubled the cupcake recipe as the recipe only makes 12-14. The frosting recipe makes a lot so we actually made another dessert with the leftover frosting. Vanilla Beans are expensive (I did not know this) so instead of doing 4 in the cupcake batter we did 3 and only 1 in the frosting, thus saving $10.00. We also decided we would add more salt probably double what it calls for. Also, START with the frosting. It is a long process so start with that so it is done by the time the cupcakes are completed. Try them out...they were delicious!
Vanilla Bean and Orange Cupcakes
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
**Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Cream butter for about 3 minutes, then slowly add the sugar, vanilla seeds, and orange zest and continue to beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. With mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl.
**Combine cream, orange juice, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with cream mixture, ending with flour; beat until just combined. Make sure you are scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions.
**Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until testers inserted in the centers come out clean, about 25 minutes.
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Magnolia Bakery creamy vanilla frosting (makes enough for 3 dozen generously frosted cupcakes)
2 cups milk
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped (my addition)
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar (I only use superfine baker's sugar for this recipe)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Zest of one orange (my addition for this particular cupcake)
**In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Do this by adding a tiny bit of milk to the flour, whisking it into a thick paste and then slowly adding a bit more and stirring until it is all incorporated. This takes a bit of time, but if you try to do it too quickly you will end up with a lumpy mixture that is even more of a hassle. If using vanilla beans, add them here. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature.
**In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well. Add orange zest if desired.
**Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes before using.