Fluffy vanilla cupcakes are frosted with silky smooth strawberry swiss meringue buttercream for a delightful spring treat.
By ChiChi Dodoo
Today I am sharing with you my favourite cupcake and buttercream recipe. Nothing beats a light fluffy vanilla cupcake. I have been tinkering around and baking lots many vanilla cupcake recipes for a long time. This is my go to recipe for a light, fluffy, moist vanilla cupcake.
Before making the vanilla cupcake, make sure all your butter, eggs and milk are at room temperature. Remove dairy products from fridge at least an hour before baking. Egg whites and yolks combine easier when at room temperature and will disperse more evenly into the batter. Batters made with room temperature ingredients mix together easily, are smooth and produce light airy evenly baked treats.
If you are pressed for time, warm up your butter in the microwave a few seconds at time, checking often until softened. Cold eggs can be brought to room temperature by placing them in a bowl of warm water for 10 – 15 minutes.
The buttercream recipe is my all time favourite, swiss meringue buttercream. Silky, velvety, delicious swiss meringue buttercream. It may be a bit time consuming, yet worth it. Swiss meringue buttercream is made with egg whites, sugar and butter.
My recipe is adapted from Sweetapolita. For successful swiss meringue buttercream:
- First make sure all equipment are grease free. Pour a little vinegar or lemon juice into a paper towel and use to wipe all equipment. Any grease and we won’t have the meringue bit.
- Invest in a jam or candy thermometer. The egg whites and sugar will have to be heated until the temperature reaches 160 degrees F. – If you haven’t got a thermometer, once sugar melts and the egg whites are hot.
- Don’t panic if the swiss meringue buttercream looks curdled like scrambled eggs after you add the butter, keep whipping at a low speed and the mixture will come together.
- To make the strawberry swiss meringue I added fresh pureed strawberries to the vanilla swiss meringue . The amount of strawberry puree you add will be to taste. I love how the buttercream is bursting with strawberry flavour and natural taste of that the fresh strawberries give.
- 180 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temp
- 200 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg white
- 180 g (11/2 cup) plain flour
- 11/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) milk, room temperature
- 250 g (11/4 cup) caster sugar
- 150 g ( 5 large) egg whites
- 360 g (11/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and cool#
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 200 g (7.1 ounces) fresh strawberries, pureed
- pinch of salt
- few drops pink food colouring (optional)
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340F). Line muffin tray with paper liners.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of stand mixer or using a hand mixer beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes
- Add eggs and egg white one at a time, beating well after each addition occasionally scrapping down the sides of bowl. Mix in vanilla extract.
- Alternatively add the flour mixture and milk in 3 parts, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Divide batter among paper liners and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from oven and place on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pan and leave to cool completely on rack before frosting.
- Wipe bowl of mixer , attachments and whisk with a paper towel and lemon juice to remove any trace of grease.
- In bowl of stand mixer combine sugar, egg whites and salt over a pot of simmering water. Gently whisk constantly until mixture is warm to touch and sugar has completely dissolved and or until temperature reaches 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
- Using a whisk attachment starting to whisk until meringue is thick and glossy and completely cool, about 10 minutes.( Test by touching bottom of the bowl)
- Switch to a paddle attachment and with mixer on low speed add butter cubes one at a time mixing well after each addition and beat until frosting is smooth. Add vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined.
- Add a quarter cup or more of strawberry puree to mixture and beat until combined. If desired add pink food colour.
- Insert a 1M or 2D nozzle into a piping bag and fill with strawberry buttercream and gently squeeze the piping bag and allow the buttercream to fall onto the cupcake. Keep piping round the cupcake, keeping the tip of the nozzle raised slightly above the cupcake. As you pipe make the circles smaller till you get to the centre of the cupcake.