Vanilla cupcakes sound so simple, but they’re very difficult to pull off perfectly. Since it’s vanilla (pardon the pun), each ingredient needs to be chosen with care. Of course, the Vanilla must be the best of the best. Regency’s vanilla beans naturally come from the world’s best vanilla producing nation, Madagascar. We only use beans that are 16-20cm long, smaller beans have underdeveloped flavours, and larger beans are almost impossible to find at all. Even our 16-20cm beans take up less than 1% of what’s produced. These beans are such high quality that using them in place of ordinary vanilla beans or vanilla extract will in itself make the dish oustanding!
Besides the perfect vanilla bean, it’s perfect attention to detail on the recipe. Butter must be softened before using, high quality eggs beaten lightly, and good quality self raising flour. If adding optional cinnamon powder sprinkling, be sure to use Ceylon True Cinnamon, not Chinese Cassia Cinnamon. The True Cinnamon flavour is more delicate and sweeter, whereas Chinese Cinnamon is too spicy and not suitable for this dish.
Recipe: Vanilla Cupcakes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
110g butter, softened
110g caster sugar
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla seeds scraped from vanilla bean (around 1/2 of a Regency Vanilla bean)
110g self-raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk (depends on size of eggs)
For the buttercream icing
140g butter, softened
280g icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
Optional garnish: Ceylon Cinnamon powder
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and stir in the vanilla seeds.
3. Fold in the flour using a large spoon, adding a little milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency. You can also use your hands for this, make sure they are clean. Warm hands are much better for knowing the precise consistency compared to a spoon.
4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are half full.
5. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top. You can test to make sure the cupcake is done but sticking in a fork / skewer into the top. If it comes out clean, the cupcake is done! If it comes out with a little bit of cupcake stuck to it, keep them in the oven for a few more minutes.
6. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
7. For the buttercream icing, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
8. Then add the remaining icing sugar with one tablespoon of the milk and mix until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
9. Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe the icing using a spiralling motion onto the cup cakes in a large swirl.
10. Optional: Using a fine mesh strainer, scatter on some cinnamon powder. It feels little but makes a world of difference to the vanilla cupcake.