Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Vanilla Sour Cream Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting from Rose Levy Beranbaum

This is my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe, and I especially love the addition of sour cream.  The frosting is light and fluffy--if you are looking for a deeply chocolatey icing, look elsewhere--made of butter, egg whites, and sugar.  The white nonpareils add a bit of whimsy to this cupcake made for Reka's birthday.  

I believe it's important to have 4 basic cupcake recipes on hand:  vanilla and chocolate butter cupcakes, and vanilla and chocolate buttercreams.  The recipes below are two of my four go-to recipes, and the ones I used for the vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting picture above. For a delicious and easy chocolate cupcake recipe and a heavenly vanilla buttercream, see here for the cupcakes I made for my cousin Jennifer's wedding shower.  Or, if you are short on time or desire, a simpler, faster recipe for Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream from Martha Stewart can be found here.   What are your four go-to cupcake recipes?  Please post so we can all try them!

Vanilla Butter Cupcakes
From Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes
I've been looking for a vanilla cake recipe for a long time, and I think I've finally found it. There is something bland about the traditional yellow cake recipes out there, but this one has sour cream for a little tang, and a moist, sweet interior that is at once airy and yet laden with dense butter.

2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c cake flour (sifted into the cup and leveled off)
1 c superfine sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter

1. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, 3 T sour cream, and vanilla just to combine.

2. In a mixer, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add butter and remaining sour cream and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.

3. Gradually add egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium for about 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down sides. Fill 16 lined standard cupcake tins with about 1/4 cup batter each and bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F. or until cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool on wire rack in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and continue to cool on rack until completely cooled.

Chocolate Neoclassic Eggwhite Buttercream
From Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes
This buttercream is light, airy, and when just whipped produces a beautiful, pale brown frosting.

5 ounces dark chocolate (60% to 70% cocoa), melted
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 large egg whites (1/4 cup or 2 ounces)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup superfine sugar

1. Heat chocolate until almost completely melted. Stir until melted.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat butter until smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites (use a clean beater) until frothy. Add cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form.

3. Beat the butter into the egg whites 1 T at a time on medium speed. If the frosting curdles, stop adding butter and beat at a higher speed until no longer curdled (this did happen to me--you may have to beat for a long time).  Beat in the melted chocolate.  Use at once or set aside for up to 4 hours. If keeping longer than 4 hours, refrigerate (I refrigerated some of the leftover for 6 days and it still tasted as good as the first day!), then bring to room temp before beating again. If it curdles, continue to beat until no longer curdled.

Note:  I used an Ateco #827 (star tip) for this design, which you can purchase from Amazon here.  You can also buy a set of ten tips here


the old curmudgeon said...

These look yummy! I especially like the cupcake hiding in the back with what looks like mini chocolate chips on it. The addition of sour cream to cakes or cookies is always a good idea. Thanks for the visual treat.

Anonymous said...

Similar to what Marjolaine does. Might want to check it out sometime.