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 Rice Krispie Bars (No Marshmallows!)

Biscoff Rice Krispie Bars

My 18 year old son calls me “The Biscoff Queen”. I suppose I have gotten a little carried away lately with the Biscoff recipes, but I just can’t seem to help myself… I’m lovin this stuff!  I’m really reeling it in this time though, so only one more Biscoff post after this one. Scouts Honor!

I’ve always loved traditional Rice Krispie treats, but this recipe is a little more decadent than your average marshmallow-laden Rice Krispie Treat.

The combination of Biscoff Spread, corn syrup, and sugar transform an ordinary box of Rice Krispies into something very special. Once heated, they make a very gooey substance that binds the Rice Krispies perfectly.  After cooling, the Biscoff Rice Krispie Bars firm up very nicely and cut beautifully into nice even squares.  Thick and chewy with that gingery, graham cracker-like flavor that is uniquely Biscoff.

This recipe only has 4 ingredients and could not be easier.  On the stove top, in a small sauce pan, heat corn syrup and sugar over low heat until it is well combined and the sugar has dissolved.

Corn Syrup & Sugar

Remove from the heat and stir in your Biscoff Spread carefully (it’s hot!) until well combined.

Corn Syrup, Sugar & Biscoff

Combine Biscoff mixture with the Rice Krispies and gently toss and mix until well combined and the cereal is completely coated.

Biscoff Mixture & Rice Krispies

Then very gently press into a 9 X 13 inch pan that has been greased or sprayed.  I freeze my butter wrappers and use them for greasing my pans.  Anytime I make bars, I also line my pan with foil, bringing it over the edge, for easier bar removal and cutting.

Biscoff Rice Krispies in foil lined pan

Allow bars to cool and then lift them out with the foil and cut into squares.  This recipe made 24 bars, but the yield could be more or less, just depending on how big you cut your squares.

Biscoff Rice Krispies on foil

Biscoff Rice Krispie Bars

1 cup sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup Biscoff Spread

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Put Rice Krispies in a very large bowl and set aside.  In a small to medium sauce pan, combine sugar and corn syrup and cook over low heat until sugar is completely dissolved.  Remove from the heat and stir in Biscoff Spread until well combined.  Pour Biscoff mixture over the Rice Krispies and toss and mix together until the cereal is completely coated.  With buttered hands, spread and gently press mixture into a well-greased (foil-lined) 9 X 13 inch pan.  Allow mixture to cool and then remove foil from pan and cut into squares.  Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.

See how thick and chewy they are…

Biscoff Rice Krispie Bars 2

I love traditional Rice Krispie Treats with marshmallows, don’t get me wrong, but when you want something extra special, try these bars… They aren’t quite as healthy as the ones made with marshmallows, but man are they lip-smacking good!

Biscoff Rice Krispie Bars 3

Happy Memorial Day Everyone!!  Thanks to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and those who continue to serve and protect our great country every day.  Freedom isn’t FREE.

Biscoff Rice Krispie Bars I

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Biscoff No-Bake Cookies

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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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Snickerdoodles

Cookies are definitely my weakness.  Of all the things I bake, there’s nothing I LOVE more than a fresh, warm, chewy cookie.  I think we’ve already established that I’m crazy for cinnamon, so it should be no surprise that these Snickerdoodles are one of my all-time favorite cookies.  You NEED to bake these cookies.  You will LOVE them, too.  Your family will LOVE you for baking them.  They have a wonderful slightly crisp exterior from the cinnamon sugar coating, but once you take a bite, it’s all chewy deliciousness inside.

Snickerdoodle and milk 4

I’ve been making these for over 30 years, so I have no idea where the original recipe came from.

Yield: 42 cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

2 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer, and then add eggs and vanilla, blending well.  Combine flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt and whisk together, then add to the butter mixture, mixing until well combined and dough comes together.  I use a small cookie scoop to scoop out the dough balls so that they are all uniform in size, and then I roll each in a  ball.  If you don’t have a cookie scoop, then just pinch off sections of dough and roll them into 1-inch balls.  Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl, and roll balls of dough in this mixture.  Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  I use a 13 X 18 (1/2 sheet) pan and get 15 dough balls on each sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.   Mine were perfect at 9 minutes.   I believe it’s better to under bake than over bake here.

Sunburst Lemon Bars

Sunburst Lemon Bars

What says spring better than a Sunburst Lemon Bar?  To me, spring is all about fresh, bright flavors, and you can’t get much brighter or fresher than these killer Sunburst Lemon Bars.  Instead of the traditional powdered sugar topping, this one has a light lemon glaze on top that really complements the tart creamy lemon filling.  We just can’t stop eating them!

Yield: 32 bars

Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup powdered sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Filling:

4 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Note: Depending on the size of your lemons, you will need from 2-4 lemons for the juice and lemon peel in this recipe.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, flour and lemon peel on low speed until crumbly.  Line a 9 X 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the long sides of the pan.  This will make removing the bars from the pan much easier later, allowing you to get more precise cuts.  Press this crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the lined pan.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown.

Meanwhile, In a large bowl with wire whisk, lightly beat eggs.  Beat in remaining filling ingredients except lemon juice and lemon peel until well blended.  Beat in ¼ cup lemon juice and peel.

Remove partially baked base from oven.  Pour filling evenly over warm base and return to oven.  Bake for 25-30 minutes longer until top is light golden brown.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In a small bowl, mix 1 cup powdered sugar and enough lemon juice for desired spreading consistency until smooth.  Remove baked base and filling from pan and spread glaze over cooled lemon bars.  Cut into bars and store in the refrigerator.  We like them cold right out of the refrigerator, but you can always allow the bars to come to room temperature before eating.

Sunburst Lemon Bars Stacked

Very slightly adapted from: So How’s It Taste

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