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Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

My Go-to Vanilla Buttercream

This frosting is whipped, light, fluffy and oh so delicious making it My Go-to Vanilla Buttercream that I use on everything!

My Go-to Vanilla Buttercream | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I recently hosted a dessert decorating workshop where I made at least 8 batches of my vanilla buttercream.  I ranted and raved about how easy it was to make and told everyone in attendance that I’d post a link to it on my blog.

Strangely enough, I’ve never actually posted this recipe just on it’s own but I’ve used it in so many places on my blog!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Without further adieu, here’s the recipe for My Go-to Vanilla Buttercream!

My Go-to Vanilla Buttercream

My Go-to Vanilla Buttercream

Yield: Enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1lb powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. Add half the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  3. Pour in the vanilla, salt and remaining powdered sugar and mix until combined.
  4. Add half the heavy cream and mix on low until it is incorporated.
  5. One tablespoon at a time, add more cream until you reach the consistency you desire. More cream for softer, less cream for stiffer.
  6. Scrape the sides of the bowl again.
  7. Turn the mixer on high speed and let whip for 3-5 minutes.

 

Root Beer Cupcakes
with Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream

Root Beer Cupcakes topped with Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream by JavaCupcake.com

I’m going on vacation next week.  Yup… 6 days away from home with my soldier and our beautiful kids.  We are driving North to Berlin visit the Berlin Zoo, Barbie Dreamhouse,  Starbucks, Hark Rock Cafe, Cupcake Berlin, the Markets plus all the historical sights like the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie.

The super duper awesome part of our trip to Berlin… I’m staying with my friend Dawn, owner of Cupcake Berlin… and guess where her apartment is?  ON TOP OF THE CUPCAKE SHOP!  Yeaaaaah!  I’m going to be vacationing above a cupcake bakery! That’s so rad!!  Every morning we wake up, all I have to do is go downstairs for fresh pastries and cupcakes…. oh and coffee! YUM!  I can’t wait!

Root Beer Cupcakes topped with Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream by JavaCupcake.com

So yeah… since I’m not going to be around for a little bit, I decided I need to make a cupcake that was really going to WOW everyone… and tide you over until I bake again.  I began researching for this cupcake by doing what I usually do… Pinterest.  Ha!  I saw a few cakes and cupcakes made with reductions and I was intrigued.  One recipe I saw called for a reduction of root beer into a syrup.  Root beer cupcakes?!? Done!

Friday, my husband and I went shopping in Bayreuth and came across a chocolate shop that was selling a Bourbon Vanilla white chocolate.  Oh my god.  Bourbon Vanilla white chocolate?!?!!??!?!!?  I kick myself every day for not buying a bar.  BUT… that gave me the inspiration for the second half of my cupcake.  A bourbon reduction infused with vanilla and cream… oooooooooh yeah!

Root Beer cupcakes with Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream was the final product!

Before I get to the recipe though… I need to tell you about this Bourbon Vanilla Cream.  This stuff… you need to just make it to have on hand in your fridge.  It’s AMAZING in coffee, frosting,  mixed into a glaze for a cake… or by the spoonful.  I’m actually making another batch tomorrow to bring to Dawn in Berlin.  This is one of those recipes that I just threw together as I was making it and honestly… it’s AMAZING!  Creamy, sweet and a rich bourbon flavor!  And since all the alcohol cooks out… there isn’t a strong liquor flavor to it.  It’s subtle and so delicious!  Make it!

Root Beer Cupcakes topped with Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream by JavaCupcake.com

PS… I also used my new lightbox for these pictures.  What do you think?  I LOVE how they turned out.  SO much better than the crappy overhead lighting I was dealing with before!  When I get back from my trip, I’ll have a DIY Light Box post for you!

So… until I come back…

Enjoy!

Root Beer Cupcakes with Bourbon Vanilla Buttercream

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 6 hours
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 18 minutes

Ingredients

Bourbon Vanilla Cream

  • 1 cup Honey Bourbon (I used Wild Turkey American Honey)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3/4 cup (200ml) Heavy Whipping Cream

Root Beer Syrup

  • 3 cups high-quality Root Beer (not diet) (I used 2 12oz bottles of IBC)

Root Beer Cupcakes

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup root beer syrup (see recipe above)
  • 1/4 cup milk

Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream

  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups sifted powdered sugar (sift before measuring)
  • 1 Tbsp Wild Turkey American Honey Bourbon
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Bourbon Vanilla Cream
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

Bourbon Vanilla Cream

  1. In a small pot, bring the bourbon to a boil over medium-high heat. You will immediately smell the alcohol begin to burn off.
  2. Allow the bourbon to to boil/simmer until it has reduced by 2/3 to 1/3 cup.
  3. While the bourbon is simmering, split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out.
  4. After the bourbon has reduced, add the heavy cream and vanilla bean & seeds then whisk together.
  5. Reduce heat to low and bring to a very light simmer for 2 minutes. If the cream bubbles up over the sides, remove from the stove and reduce heat more. You want a very gentle bubble/simmer.
  6. Remove from heat and cool in the pan until it reaches room temperature.
  7. Strain out the vanilla bean pod and store in refrigerator. Use cold.

Root Beer Syrup

  1. In a medium pot, bring the root beer to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Allow to boil/simmer for about 30 minutes or until it reduces by 2/3. Stir occasionally.
  3. You should have about 1 cup of root beer syrup remaining.
  4. Cool to room temperature.
  5. Use immediately after cooled or store in refrigerator until ready to use. If you cooled it, bring to room temperature before using.

Root Beer Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes or until the sugar lightens in color.
  3. While the butter & sugar are creaming, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Measure out the root beer syrup and milk.
  4. Add the egg to the butter/sugar and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the flour mixture in three parts. In between each addition, add the root beer syrup and then the milk.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 liners.
  7. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in pan for 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Once cooled, poke 6-7 holes in the top of each cupcake with a toothpick. Drizzle 1 Tbsp root beer syrup over the top of each cupcake. Allow to soak into the cake before frosting.

Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix until incorporated after each addition.
  3. Add the bourbon and 1/4 cup of Bourbon Vanilla Cream. Beat until smooth.
  4. Mix in the salt.
  5. Add up to 1/4 cup more Bourbon Vanilla Cream until you reach your desired consistency.
  6. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until the frosting has become fluffy and light. Let frosting rest for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Frost cupcakes using a large round zip to create one dollop on top of the cake. (You can watch THIS VIDEO to see me deomstrate the technique. Decorate with any brown or chocolate candies or sprinkles.

{Tutorial} Neapolitan Layer Cake

Neapolitian Cake by JavaCupcake.comOoooooooooooh I’ve been in a funk.  A baking fun.  Last week I make a double chocolate layer cake but since then… nothing.  I haven’t even been motivated to make rice krispy treats.  (I have 4 boxes of Rice Krispies – thank you WIC.)  So today, I opened up my baking cookbooks, browsed Pinterest and checked out a few of my favorite blogs.  One of the themes I saw running across all of them – Neapolitian.  Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla together to make one delicious dessert.  So, with Mother’s Day this past weekend, I decided that I’d make a Mother’s Day Neapolitan Layer Cake to celebrate.

Mother's Day Neapolitian Cake by JavaCupcake.com

My mom passed away 3 years ago… so she was definitely on my mind as I was making this cake.  Especially when it was time to sit down and enjoy a slice.  I’m certain she would have enjoyed this cake with a big glass of milk!  Three layers of decadent cake filled with chocolate and strawberry frosting and topped with vanilla buttercream.  Eat bite has a unique flavor…. it’s like a party in your mouth with every bite!

Neapolitian Cake by JavaCupcake.com

What really inspired me to make this particular cake was one of my most favorite bloggers, Amanda of i am baker with her Neapolitan Rose Cake.  I’ve used her tutorials to make a rose cake before, but this one was going to be different.  I was going to make the neapolitan cake, but I wasn’t going to do roses.  Instead, I’d just smooth out the three flavors of frosting over the three different layers of cake.  But still, that’s a lot of work! I had a feeling thought it was going to be so worth it in the end.  And ya know what… all the hard work was TOTALLY worth it in the end because this cake was delicious!

So, instead of posting detailed recipes for this cake, I decided to write a tutorial on how to assemble and make this cake.  I’ve posted the chocolate and vanilla cake recipes several times before, but tried a new strawberry recipe… I’ve linked to all of them below.  You’ll also see what supplies you need to make this cake and a detailed tutorial to assemble it.

Enjoy!

{Tutorial} Neapolitan Layer Cake

For the chocolate cake:

I used THIS RECIPE for the chocolate cake. It actually makes too much batter… so when you prepare it, measure out a dozen cupcakes first and then pour the rest in your 9-inch round cake pan. Bake as directed in the recipe.

For the chocolate frosting:

I used my basic chocolate buttercream recipe, found HERE. You’ll probably use ALL of this for the cake, so you might want to make extra to frost the extra cupcakes.

For the strawberry cake:

I tried a new recipe for this cake and I think it turned out amazing!  Thanks to the blog, I made that! for the recipe!

For the strawberry frosting:

I took my basic vanilla buttercream recipe and substituted about 1/4 cup strawberry puree (that I had reserved from the cake recipe) for the cream. I also added 1 tsp strawberry extract instead of vanilla extract. It was super yummy!

For the vanilla cake & frosting:

I used a whole batch of batter using my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe. It made a very tall cake & I trimmed off a lot of extra cake. So next time, I’d scoop out 6 cupcakes first, then pour the rest into the pan to bake. I also used this same recipe for the vanilla frosting, but I doubled it.

Neapolitan Cake by JavaCupcake.com

Supplies needed to assemble the cake:

-Cake layers and frosting
-Offset spatula
-Wax paper
-Cake stand or cake turn table
-Paper towels
-1 cup measuring cup
-Spatula/scraper

Assembling the Neapolitan Cake:

  • Trim the three cake layers so they are the same height.  
  • Place a piece of wax paper on your cake turn table and place the chocolate layer with the trimmed side up.
  • Place 2 cups of chocolate frosting on to the first layer and spread evenly over the top.
  • Set the strawberry layer, trimmed side up, on to the chocolate frosting and gently press down.
  • Place 2 cups of strawberry frosting onto the top and spread evenly.
  • Place the finally vanilla layer, trimmed side DOWN, onto the strawberry frosting and gently press down.
  • Crumb coat each layer of cake with the coordinating frosting and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Once the cake has set – begin frosting the outside of the cake starting with the chocolate on the bottom and working your way up to the top with the vanilla.  Use 2 cups of vanilla frosting on the top layer of the cake. If you need an idea of how to apply the frosting, check out my Ombre Cake Tutorial – see steps 3-6 for how to apply the frosting in layers on the side of the cake.
  • Make sure to clean off your spatula often with the paper towels. Mixing flavors at the seams will result in smears of color onto the wrong layers.
  • Using your offset spatula, do your best to smooth the sides of the cake without smudging the colors together.  This process takes a steady hand and a lot of time.  GO SLOW.  Unlike the ombre cake, you don’t want the colors to collide together to create the gradual change of colors… you want three distinct color layers – but still want a smooth, finished look.
  • To transfer the cake to your cake plate, gently and carefully pull the wax paper and cake off the edge of the cake turn table.  Place your hand under the cake as your peel away the wax paper and pull the cake completely off the stand.  Transfer the cake to the cake stand and use any additional chocolate frosting you have to touch up the bottom edges.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Curd Filled Cupcakes

My Dark Chocolate Raspberry Curd Filled Cupcakes are probably one of the most decadent, sophisticated cupcakes I’ve ever made. And it seems like all of you agree with me because hands down this is one of the most popular recipes on my blog! I’m so glad to have a community that LOOOOVES this luxuriously filled cupcake as much as I do…

Continue Reading “Dark Chocolate Raspberry Curd Filled Cupcakes”

Rainbow Funfetti Birthday Cake Oreo Cupcakes

Being out here in Germany has its disadvantages.  As a baker, the lack of access to seasonal and special products that my favorite companies make is a huge disadvantage.  So when Oreo celebrated it’s 100th birthday with special confetti cake flavored Oreos I BEGGED my friends back home to send me some.  Luckily, one fantastic friend (CARRIE!) sent me TWO packages of these special cookies!

When I first opened the bag, I noticed the smell… they were different from the regular Oreos.  Then, I tasted them.  OH EM GEE.  They taste like birthday cake!  Those Oreo people are GENIUS!

So, into my cupcakes these cookies went.  I made a basic vanilla cupcake batter, added a birthday Oreo to the bottom of each cupcake and filled the batter with funfetti rainbow sprinkles.  I then topped the cupcake with a basic vanilla cream cheese buttercream topped with more funfetti rainbow sprinkles and a birthday Oreo!

Simple.  Cute.  Delicious.

Rainbow Funfetti Birthday Cake Oreo Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Happy Birthday to Oreo!

Ingredients

Rainbow Funfetti Cupcakes

  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup rainbow jimmies
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, soft/room temperature
  • 12 birthday Oreo cookies

Rainbow Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 2oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • Wilton food color, gel - various colors
  • rainbow jimmies

Instructions

Rainbow Funfetti Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Separate egg whites and whisk together with milk and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the softened butter and half the milk mixture and mix on medium until combined.
  5. Pour in the remaining milk mixture and mix on high until combined, about 10-15 seconds. DO NOT OVER MIX! Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  6. Gently fold in the funfetti jimmies, 4-5 strokes.
  7. Place one Oreo at the bottom of each cupcake liner. Fill the liner 2/3 full with batter.
  8. Bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in pan for 4-5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Rainbow Cream Cheese Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and mix on high until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla and salt and mix until combined.
  4. Mix in 2 Tbsp of vanilla. Add more, if necessary, to get your desired consistency.
  5. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Separate buttercream into 4 small bowls. Add color and mix until combined.

To make rainbow frosting:

  1. Prepare a large piping bag and a star tip.
  2. Spoon in a dollop of each color into the bag, pressing it against the side of the bag to make room for the other colors. Continue layering in the colors into the bag.
  3. Slowly press the frosting out of the star tip. Be careful not to press too hard, you don't want the colors to mix too much and come out brown.

To Assemble:

  1. Pipe a swirl of rainbow frosting on top of each cooled cupcake.
  2. Garnish with rainbow jimmies and half a birthday Oreo.

PS… I was in a hurry and didn’t bring my eggs and milk to room temperature and didn’t bake them quite long enough, so my cupcakes didn’t rise like I wanted them to.  🙁 Bummer.  Make sure yours are room temperature and be patient!!

Frosted Sugar Cookies for Valentine’s Day

One of the things I baked this weekend as a part of the Valentine’s Day Love Boxes I made were my favorite sugar cookies frosted and decorated.  I make these cookies several times a year and I devour at least a dozen of them myself every time.

I’ve posted the recipe before (Spring Sugar Cookies) for the cookies, but have since then added my own homemade buttercream to the mix instead of a jar of pre-made frosting.

So, here they are together… my favorite sugar cookie recipe with my favorite vanilla buttercream recipe.

These cookies are full of flavor, soft, and puff up perfectly when baking. The frosting, it’s smooth, creamy and so delicious!!

Roll & Cut Sugar Cookies

Yield: 5-6 dozen cookies (depending on cookie cutter size)
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup shortening
  • ¾ unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • heart shaped cookie cutters

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and shortening.
  2. Add the sugar, eggs, and almond extract and mix on high until light and fluffy – about 4-5 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Make sure you are scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  5. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Roll dough ¼ inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with cookie cutter and place on baking sheet.
  8. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until cookies are a delicate golden color. NOTE: Mine only take 6 minutes! Do not let the edges get too brown, you want the bottoms to just barely start to turn a golden color.
  9. Remove immediately from pan to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Perfect Vanilla Buttercream

Yield: Enough to frost 5-6 dozen cookies with left-overs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • the seeds of one Madagascar vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2lbs powdered sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Madagascar vanilla bean infused heavy whipping cream (Recipe here)
  • pink food gel – optional
  • sprinkles – optional

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and mix until combined.
  3. 1lb at a time, add the powdered sugar. Begin on low speed and increase speed until mixture becomes smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. After each addition of sugar, add 3-4 tbsp of cream. Beat on high to combine.
  5. Add as much cream as you want until you have a smooth, spreadable consistency. NOTE: I like to make this buttercream a little thinner than what I’d make if I was using it for cupcakes, so I add more cream.
  6. Once you have your desired consistency, beat on high for 4-5 minutes.
  7. If you want to tint the frosting, add as much gel as you want until you get the color you need. Scrape sides/bottom of bowl to make sure it’s all uniform in color.
  8. Frost cookies and decorate with sprinkles!
  9. EAT!


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