Easy Vanilla Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

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Easy Vanilla Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

Hands down, these are the EASIEST cupcakes I’ve EVER made.  I have Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction to thank for that.  This is her recipe for Very Vanilla Cupcakes with only one very minor change.

Sally’s recipe calls for 1/2 a vanilla bean in addition to 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and I did not have a vanilla bean.

So, what do you do when you need a vanilla bean?  You call your son who works at a neighborhood grocery store, less than 2 miles away at 10pm on a Friday night.

Of course, this particular store only carries “organic” vanilla beans of three different varieties, and they are priced at $5.99, $10.79 and $12.79.  Those prices are for ONE vanilla bean.  Are you people crazy??!!

So since I haven’t won the lottery lately, I opted to make the recipe with just the 2 teaspoons of vanilla, but you know what… They’re still soft and sweet with a very vanilla flavor.  I think I’ve found my new go-to vanilla cupcake recipe.

I did order some reasonably priced vanilla beans online last night, so I will be trying this recipe again very soon, once my order arrives.

Let me show you just how easy this is… Anytime I can make a recipe and only dirty one bowl, I am ALL in!    The fewer dishes to wash, the better!

Instead of measuring my dry ingredients into a bowl, I measured them onto a piece of parchment and then just used the knife that I used for leveling the dry ingredients to gently mix the dry ingredients together.

Either in a bowl or on a piece of parchment, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Dry Ingredients

In a medium bowl, melt your butter, and add in your sugar, combining the two ingredients.  It will be gritty.  Then add in egg whites, yogurt, milk and vanilla, and use a whisk to blend ingredients together.  OK, here is where I realized I had forgotten to take a photo of the wet ingredients, duh…

Wet and Dry Ingredients

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend well with a whisk until combined.  The batter will be very thick and smooth.

Vanilla Cupcake Batter

Fill 12 lined muffin cups and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.

Ready for the oven

Mine were ready at 22 minutes.

Fresh from the oven

Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack, until completely cool, about an hour.

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes cooling

I frosted these with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting and then topped them off with Cinnamon Sugar for a little added sparkle and cinnamon flavor.

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes I

Sometimes you just need things to be easy with no complications, and I can guarantee you that this recipe will not disappoint.  They are incredibly easy, but oh so good!

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes

Thanks Sally!  These cupcakes are DA BOMB!  I can’t wait to try them with the vanilla bean seeds added.

Easy Vanilla Cupcake Single

Happy Saturday Everyone!  Prayers go out to the Houston Firefighters who lost their lives yesterday, and their families.  God Bless.

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes II

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

 

Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a 12 count muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl or on a piece of parchment paper if you’re lazy, combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Gently mix to combine.
  3. In a large microwaveable bowl, melt the butter and then stir in the sugar.  Mixture will be very gritty.
  4. Stir in egg whites, yogurt, milk and vanilla extract with a whisk and and combine until smooth.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until thick and smooth with no lumps.
  6. Divide batter evenly (my favorite tool here is a #16 ice cream scoop, as it’s the perfect size for evenly dividing the batter) between the 12 liners.  I always tap my pan on the counter top a few times to get out any air bubbles.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Mine were perfect at 22 minutes.
  8. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack until completely cool, about an hour.
  9. Frost with Cinnamon Buttercream frosting – recipe follows.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 and 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream; more if needed (I used 4)
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon mixed together (for sprinkling on top after frosting)
  1. Beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy, adding in more heavy cream if necessary, to get the desired consistency.
  3. Using a spatula or decorator bag (or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off), decorate or frost the cupcakes.  I had a small amount of frosting leftover.
  4. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the finished cupcakes for a little added sparkle and cinnamon flavor.
  5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Recipe Source: Cupcake – Sally’s Baking Addiction

Frosting – Slightly adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor



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Biscoff Glazed Popcorn (Microwave)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Biscoff Glazed Popcorn OK, I know I promised that my Oatmeal Biscoff Cinnamon Chip Cookies would be my last post about Biscoff Spread for a while, but that was before I started thinking about some of my favorite popcorn recipes, and it struck me how great Biscoff Spread would be in my Peanut Butter glazed popcorn recipe.  Yes, I know, I’ve got Biscoff on the brain.  I’ve yet to find a recipe with peanut butter, where Biscoff cannot be successfully substituted for the peanut butter.

This popcorn has that warm, spice-like flavor that is uniquely Biscoff.  Believe me, you need some of this!

My apologies for the sub-standard (in process) photos.  I got a hankering to make this at 9:00pm when there was no good lighting.  Sometimes you just have to cook, and can’t wait.

This time I’ve made things even easier for you, by making it in the microwave instead of on the stove top.  You can literally be eating this popcorn in about 45 minutes.

For the sake of my waistline, I’ve halved the recipe, but it can very easily be doubled for a crowd.

It’s as simple as popping your popcorn, anyway you want to pop it.  Hot-Air popper, microwave bags of popcorn or the old fashioned way in a pot on the stove, all work for this recipe.

After your popcorn is ready, make sure it’s in a very large bowl.  You’re going to be pouring a very hot, gooey substance over the popcorn and tossing and mixing until it’s all coated, so a BIG BOWL is key, to keep the very hot, gooey stuff in the bowl where it belongs.

Put all your ingredients for the glaze, except the vanilla, in a very large glass bowl.  One with a handle is very helpful, but any large microwaveable bowl will do.  Microwave for one minute to melt the butter and give a stir to combine all ingredients. Biscoff Glazed Popcorn

Back in the microwave for 2 more minutes and when it comes out, it will be boiling and bubbly. Bubbly Biscoff Glazed Popcorn

Add the vanilla and stir well.   Working very quickly, pour the hot, gooey mixture over your popcorn and toss and stir until all kernels are evenly coated. Biscoff Glazed Popcorn Bowl

Place in a large baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray (for even less clean up, you can line the pan with foil if you like) and bake in a 250°F oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring after every 10 minutes. Biscoff Glazed Popcorn Pan

Spread the popcorn in a single layer evenly out onto waxed paper, parchment paper, or foil,  and allow to cool for about 15-20 minutes.  The glazed popcorn will harden as it cools.  The oven does a very nice job of crisping up the popcorn and baking on the glaze for a crispy crunch.  This Biscoff Glazed Popcorn makes a great movie-night treat!

Biscoff Glazed Popcorn

Yield: 6 cups

  • 6 tablespoons un-popped popcorn kernels or 1/2 bag of microwaveable popcorn (natural, un-buttered works best here)
  • 1/2 cup Biscoff Spread
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Spray a large baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Pop your popcorn and place in a very large bowl.
  4. Combine Biscoff Spread, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a large microwaveable bowl and microwave for 1 minute on full power to melt the butter.
  5. Give it a stir to combine all the ingredients and then put back in the microwave on full power for 2 more minutes.  After 2 minutes, the mixture will be boiling and bubbly.
  6. Remove from the microwave and stir in the vanilla to combine.
  7. Pour warm mixture over popcorn, stirring and tossing very gently to combine.
  8. When all kernels are evenly coated, turn out onto your sprayed baking pan and arrange into an even layer.
  9. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  (I baked mine for 25 minutes)
  10. Remove from the oven and spread out in an even single layer on waxed paper, parchment paper, or foil, to cool for 15-20 minutes.  When cool, store in an airtight container or zip-loc bag, for up to one week.

Biscoff Glazed Popcorn I

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Oatmeal Biscoff Cinnamon Chip Cookies

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Oatmeal Biscoff Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Have you ever baked with Cinnamon Chips?  They are great to add to muffins, scones, cookies, coffee cakes… the possibilities are endless.  They can be a little hard to find in some stores, but my local Albertson’s carries them all the time.  They are usually readily available during the holiday season from Thanksgiving thru Christmas.

I really am trying to get Biscoff Spread out of my head, but then the idea for these cookies popped in there instead, so I had to act on it, right?

These Oatmeal Biscoff Cinnamon Chip Cookies (yes, I know that’s a long name) have a very chewy texture with just a pop of  cinnamon flavor from the cinnamon chips and a rich, deep, warm flavor from the Biscoff and dark brown sugar.  I love it anytime I can make cookies without having to wait for the butter to soften (No, I just don’t like using the microwave, too inconsistent) and these babies are made with melted butter, so you can get started on them right away.

I promise, only one more post about Biscoff and then I’m moving on…

Oatmeal Biscoff Cinnamon Chip Cookie Collage

Oatmeal Biscoff Cinnamon Chip Cookies

2 cups flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips

1 stick butter, melted

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup Biscoff Spread

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, baking powder, dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon chips.
  3. Mix well to combine dry ingredients and then add butter, egg, vanilla and Biscoff.
  4. Mix until the dough holds together and is well combined.  It is a very heavy dough.  You may need to use your hands to help the dough come together.
  5. Shape into 1-inch balls and place onto a lightly sprayed baking sheet (Or use parchment, my preference).
  6. Very slightly flatten cookies with the bottom of a drinking glass.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are very light golden and just set.
  8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Greek Yogurt Pound Cake with White Chocolate Strawberry Sauce

Greek Yogurt Pound Cake with text

Ever make something wonderful and then forget to take photos before it’s eaten? Guilty as charged!  Since I forgot to take photos before all the pound cake was gobbled up last weekend, this post was postponed until I got home so that I could take more photos.  So I got busy with other things this week and forgot all about it until now.  Let’s just pretend that it’s still last weekend and go from there.  This recipe makes two large pound cake loaves, so I just happened to have another at home.

From last weekend: What a glorious Mother’s Day Weekend this has turned out to be! We are out doing some camping (OK, RVing, we don’t actually rough it) with 3 other couples and the weather could not be more perfect for being outdoors. Most of our campouts include a Saturday night dinner potluck with everyone contributing something to the meal. This time we decided that everyone would bring their own meat to grill and we’d all do side dishes, desserts, etc. My contribution to the meal is a slightly modified Sour Cream Pound Cake with White Chocolate Strawberry Sauce.  I made the pound cake before we left home for camping and wrapped it up tightly in foil and put it in my RV freezer. I’ll whip up the ridiculously quick and easy white chocolate sauce just before serving. Pound Cake is a wonderful spring and summertime dessert because you can dress it up so many ways, with sauces, fresh berries and other fruits, or even frosting. This pound cake is modified from Paula Deen’s Grandmother Paul’s Sour Cream Pound Cake.  Paula is my favorite southern cook of all time.  In fact, David and I went to her cooking show in Dallas last September.  We really enjoyed her show (she is highly entertaining) and she is just as genuine in person as she comes across on her TV show.

The two-ingredient decadent and sweet white chocolate strawberry sauce comes from Bake or Break and takes no time at all in the microwave.  The ease of this sauce by using strawberry preserves is sheer genius.

Greek Yogurt Pound Cake

Greek Yogurt Pound Cake

2 sticks butter, softened

3 cups sugar

1 cup greek fat-free yogurt

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°F.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer and then add the sour cream until well blended.  Combine the flour and baking soda and add it to the creamed mixture alternately, with the eggs, beating each egg well, before adding the next.  Add in the vanilla and blend well and pour the batter into a greased and floured bundt pan or (2) 9 X 5 inch loaf pans.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

White Chocolate Strawberry Sauce

1/2 cup strawberry preserves

1/2 cup white chocolate

Melt the white chocolate in a microwaveable bowl until melted when stirred, about 30-45 seconds.  Add preserves to the melted white chocolate and stir until well blended.  Serve over sliced pound cake.

Greek Yogurt Pound Cake 2

Biscoff Snickerdoodles

Biscoff Snickerdoodles text

Sometimes I just can’t seem to let things go…. I’m still obsessing over Biscoff Spread and still creating new ways to indulge.  I keep telling myself to move on, but that. ain’t. happenin. yet… These Biscoff Snickerdoodles are almost like my tried and true Snickerdoodles recipe, but with a much deeper, richer flavor, thanks to that distinct gingerbread, caramel-like flavor of the Biscoff Spread.  Whether you’re a culinary expert or novice baker, these are quick to mix up and get in the oven.  Too hot to turn on your oven?  Try these Biscoff No-Bake Cookies.

Make sure you don’t omit the cream of tartar because it’s crucial as  it works with the baking soda for leavening.  Be sure and set your timer so that you don’t over bake.  You definitely want to maintain that wonderful chewy texture that Snickerdoodles are famous for.

Biscoff Snickerdoodles stacked

These are my new “favorite cookie”.  Well… this week anyway.

Biscoff Snickerdoodles with jar

Surely I’ve convinced a few of you to go out and buy yourself a jar of Biscoff Spread…. The possibilities are endless!

Biscoff Snickerdoodles

Makes 42-48 cookies, depending on the size of your dough balls.

1 and 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup Biscoff Spread

2 eggs

2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar (Do not omit)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs and Biscoff spread and combine with an electric mixer.
  • Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt, and combine thoroughly until the dough comes together.
  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls (Use a small cookie scoop if you have one.  It makes the task of diving the dough easier and your dough balls are more uniform that way.  You still have to roll them after scooping, though.)
  • In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon and roll balls in the sugar mixture.
  • Place 2 inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet.  I always use parchment, but it’s not necessary.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are just set.  Immediately remove from the cookie sheet and place on a wire rack to cool, so that they do not continue to bake.

Biscoff Snickerdoodles Collage

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Biscoff No-Bake Cookies

Biscoff No-Bake Cookies text and banner

I discovered Biscoff Spread several months ago and it’s still an obsession.  Here’s a little about Biscoff’s history: This is straight from the Biscoff website.  “Biscoff Spread’s story begins in Belgium in early 2007 with the simple but brilliant idea of Els Scheppers, a culinary enthusiast. Her idea? Create a creamy spread with the unique taste of Lotus Speculoos cookies. With recipe in hand, Els entered the Belgian prime time TV show “De Bedenkers” (The Inventors), competing against 2,000 other entrants. On November 25th a jury of food experts and TV personalities chose Els’s Speculoos spread recipe as one of the finalists of the competition. Lotus Bakeries and Els Scheppers worked together to perfect the recipe and so gave birth to this new culinary delight!”  Biscoff is a very creamy, warm caramely, gingery, cinnamony, smooth as silk spread with a texture very similar to peanut butter, only in my opinion it’s a little smoother.  This magnificent spread can be used in literally any baking recipe in place of peanut butter.  I love it on toast for breakfast or even straight out of the jar with a spoon… it’s that good!  I LOVE Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies and started thinking that substituting Biscoff spread for the peanut butter would make a fabulous cookie.  I was right!  You’re gonna love these.  Our local Walmart Neighborhood Market carries Biscoff, and you can also get it at Whole Foods, but not all grocery stores have it yet.  Go find yourself a jar of Biscoff and make these cookies.  Literally 10 minutes from start to finish.

Biscoff No-Bakes with open jar

Biscoff No-Bake Cookies

1 stick butter

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup Biscoff Spread (You can also use Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s but I think Biscoff is better)

3 cups quick cooking oats

In a medium saucepan, bring butter, sugar and milk to a rolling boil.  (A rolling boil just means that it will continue to boil even when stirred).  Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and Biscoff spread and gently combine.  Mixture will be very hot, so take care in stirring.  Once it’s all combined, stir in your oats until completely coated and saturated.  Drop by teaspoonfuls or tablespoonfuls, depending on how large you want your cookie, onto waxed paper or parchment paper.  I used a cookie scoop for this step.  Allow to set until cool and cookies are set.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.  Enjoy!

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Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Today I’m sharing The Pioneer Woman’s Strawberry Oatmeal Bars.  When I first started watching Ree on Food Network, this was one of the very first recipes she made on her show.  It was also the first of many Pioneer Woman recipes that I have tried.  These Strawberry Oatmeal Bars have a buttery top and bottom crust with strawberry preserves sandwiched between them.  This recipe comes together in just a few minutes and except for cutting in the butter, takes very little effort.  I’ve found that my fingers work much better for cutting in the butter, instead of a pastry blender.  One of these bars would be great with a tall glass of milk.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

1 3/4 sticks butter

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups Old fashioned oats or Quick Cooking oats (either works great)

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

10-12 ounces strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter a 9 X 13 inch pan. (I save my butter wrappers in the freezer and anytime I need to butter a pan, just pull one out and rub it all over the pan).  In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.  With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the butter until it is in very small pieces, combined well with the other ingredients and very crumbly.  Take half this mixture and press it into the bottom of  the buttered pan to make a crust.  Spread the strawberry preserves very gently over this bottom crust, being careful not to drag the oat mixture around while you spread.  Sprinkle the remainder of the crust mixture over the top of the strawberry preserves and lightly pat down, forming a top crust.  Bake for 30-40 minutes (Mine took exactly 35 minutes) until crust is golden brown and bubbly around the edges.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack.  Cut into bars.

Adapted slightly from: The Pioneer Woman