Red, White & Blue Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Happy 4th of July! Even though the weather is a bit gloomy in Pittsburgh this year, this is still one of my favorite holidays. All of the picnic foods and themed drinks and desserts just make me happy. Not to mention all of the pretty fire works and fires and marshmallow roasting that happens after spending time by the pool.
Red, White, Blue Cupcakes

No better way to celebrate the land that we love than eating all of the red white and blue things, like these yummy and festive cupcakes!
Red, White, Blue Cupcakes 2

for the cupcakes, you will need:
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large egg whites
¼ cup sour cream
¾ cup coconut-almond milk blend
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
seeds from ½ a vanilla bean
blue gel food coloring, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cupcake tin with liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. Melt the butter and let cool a bit. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and butter until combined. Add the egg whites, sour cream, coconut-almond milk and vanilla extract and whip until combined. Stir in the seeds from half of the vanilla bean and mix until well dispersed. Add blue food coloring until desired color is reached, making sure the color is evenly distributed.

Divide batter evenly in cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool complete until topping with buttercream.

for the buttercream, you will need:
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
seeds from ½ a vanilla bean
2 tablespoons half & half
pinch of salt

Cream the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla extract and bean, half & half and salt and whip on high speed for 3 minutes more. If too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.

Frost your cupcakes with a generous amount of the buttercream, garnish with berries and/or sprinkles and enjoy! If not eat that day, store extras in the fridge and just let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to soften before eating.

makes: 12 cupcakes
time: 20 minutes prep + 20 minutes baking + 15 minutes frosting/decorating
recipe from: Sally’s Baking Addiction

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