Miniature Vanilla Cupcakes

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I made these cupcakes on a baking whim. It was one of those times when I wanted something sweet to eat and somehow—miraculously—we had all the ingredients for cupcakes in our pantry. It’s moments like these when it feels like all the stars have aligned to support my insatiable sweet tooth. Normally I’m short one egg or a stick of butter, and the walk to the grocery store seems like too much work for the reward. But not this time!

One nifty tip that made these cupcakes possible is that I used frozen buttermilk which I brought to room temperature for the recipe. Weeks ago I had extra buttermilk from a recipe and I simply froze it in ice cube trays for later use. I originally shared this tip when I made my Peach Upside Down Cake last year. Honestly, it’s a trick that has saved me time and time again because rarely do I have fresh buttermilk on hand.

Outside the Sweet Precision kitchen, it seems as though time has been flying! This is the first week that it’s truly felt like summer here in Ann Arbor. I broke down and had to turn on the air conditioner because we were sweltering away in 85 degree heat inside our apartment—ugh. Matt is teaching a course this semester which has been keeping him busy. I’ve been counting down the days to our Beyoncé concert, which has me ridiculously giddy. I’ve always felt like Memorial Day weekend marks the true start to the summer season. From here on out the days feel noticeably longer, the weather gets warmer, and you can officially break out those white pants! Hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

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Miniature Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes approximately 20 miniature cupcakes 

Cupcake Ingredients
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 1/8 cup buttermilk (room temperature)

Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 20 minutes before baking your cupcakes. Spray a miniature muffin pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

Onto a parchment paper, sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Once all of the egg yolks are incorporated, add the vanilla extract and mix in.

Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, 1/3 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Start with 1/3 of the dry, mix well, and then add 1/3 of the buttermilk, and repeat two more times with remaining ingredients. Once everything is incorporated, beat well with a rubber spatula to make sure your batter is fully mixed and fluffy.

Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. When cupcakes are done, the tops should be golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed in the center. A cake tester should come out clean. Remove the pan to a cooling rack. Let rest 5 minutes. Run a small knife or metal spatula around the sides of the cupcakes and invert onto a cooling rack. Let cupcakes cool to room temperature.

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and decorate with your choice of sprinkles!

Heather’s Helpful Hints
Using fresh butter is very important when you’re making buttercream frosting. Now is not the time to use the butter that’s been sitting in your refrigerator for over a month. To test your butter for freshness, cut a small slice of butter from the block or stick. Look at the color. If the inside of the butter is the same as the outside, it is still fresh. However, if the inside of the butter is lighter than the outside of the butter, this means it has oxidized and is no longer fresh. Typically your butter will last about 1 month in the refrigerator unopened.

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21 thoughts on “Miniature Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. These cupcakes look wonderful! I love their miniature size – just big enough to satisfy a sweet tooth craving but not so big as to put you into a sugar coma. Our apartment reached 85 last night too, at which point I also broke down and turned on the AC! And then I counted: it was 11 days between the last sighting of a snowflake in Ann Arbor and the day I first turned on the AC. Oh, Ann Arbor…

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    • I’m glad we weren’t the only ones that gave in and turned on the AC! Crazy Michigan weather… you never know what you’re going to get! The extremes are what really get me to… we literally had snowflakes less that two weeks ago!! Well hopefully it stays nice so we can enjoy our long weekend :)

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  2. The cupcakes are gorgeous Heather and I love the mini cupcake size! The frosting looks wonderful and so light. Thank you for the tip on the buttermilk. I have heard that before, but never tried it. I am definitely going to try this out the next time I have leftover buttermilk. Happy Memorial Day and I hope you enjoy the concert :D

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  3. So festive looking. I love the multi colored sprinkles on the buttercream background. I can just taste them!!. As I write I am setting in AC as well ( for the second time this year) in anticipation of the need for coolness as I cut some very long grass…thanks to all the water that has fallen from the sky and the WARM temp’s in between.I just may hum some Beyonce songs as I walk the back 40:) Enjoy the concert and the rest of your 1st Weekend of Summer.

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  4. We broke down and turned on the A/C here too Heather; summer’s FINALLY come to Michigan :-D

    My sister and her friends have tickets to the Formation tour next month; I hope you have fun. These cupcakes look DELISH. Would love one for my dessert right now ;-)

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  5. Hi Heather and a happy Memorial Day weekend to you and Matt. I hope you are enjoying continued sunny weather. As always your baked goodies look so pretty. I love the idea of bite-sized cupcakes. Although I am sure if I baked them I would eat way too many!

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    • What a great idea for a snack when friends come over! I’m tucking that one away for when we have kids one day! :) I just made another batch last week for Matthew to take in for his students last day of class. It’s nice to have a easy recipe that you can throw together!

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