Vanilla Bean Latte Cupcakes

by Urvashee on November 17, 2010 · 25 comments

Post image for Vanilla Bean Latte Cupcakes

We all know vanilla is a staple ingredient in any baker’s kitchen. I probably put vanilla into almost every dessert. Whenever I can, I prefer to use vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste over extract. I love seeing the vanilla bean specks in the dessert that you can’t get from using just the extract. I’ve had vanilla on my mind ever since last week’s Chocolate Show where I bought some Madagascar vanilla bean pods and vanilla powder (whole ground vanilla pods). So when I came across this Holiday Recipe Exchange featuring vanilla as the required ingredient, I was really excited to participate.

The holidays are upon us with Thanksgiving next week and more winter holidays are just around the corner. This only means lots of get togethers and meals with family and friends. What do you say to forgetting your cappuccino maker? How about a latte in the form of a cupcake instead? Vanilla Bean Latte cupcakes that is! Here’s a vanilla bean cake with a shot of espresso cream topped with an espresso vanilla frosting. Double vanilla for a very strong vanilla taste. For this recipe, I’ve adapted Amy Sedaris’s recipe for vanilla cupcakes to pack in more vanilla flavor by infusing the milk ingredient with whole pods and scraped seeds.

Espresso Cream Filling

Recipe: makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcake batter (adapted from Amy Sedaris):
1/2 vanilla bean
3/4 cup milk
6 Tbs unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Scrape the vanilla bean and add with the pod and milk in a small pot. Heat the mixture and let it simmer for a few a minutes. Allow the vanilla to steep in the milk as it cools. Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffly. Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Sift together the dry ingredients. Remove the pod from the milk mixture. (You can wash and dry the pod for some other use.) Alternate adding the milk mixture and dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Mix each addition until combined. Fill the cupcake liners to half way. Bake at 350 °F for 15-18 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

For the espresso filling:
1 cup heavy cream
2 yolks
3 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant espresso

Heat half the cream and 2 Tbs of sugar and the espresso in a small pot until just boiling. Whisk together the yolks and remaining sugar. Add half the hot cream mix to the egg mixture while whisking. Return the egg mixture to the pot with the remaining cream and and bring it to a boil while continually whisking. Allow it to boil for several minutes while it thickens. Strain the mixture and let it cool in another bowl. Whip the remaining cream to medium peaks and fold it into the cooked cream.

For the vanilla espresso frosting:
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Dissolve the espresso powder in a tablespoon or two of water and add it to mixture along with the vanilla extract. Mix until combined.

Assembly:
Using a small paring knife, cut out the center of each cupcake at about a 45 degree angle so that you have cut out a cone shape with the wide part being the top of the cupcake. Fill each cupcake with a spoonful of the espresso cream. Now cut off the narrow part of the cupcake cone and replace the circular top of the cupcake. Frost each cupcake with a star shaped tip or any tip of your liking. To get the brown swirl effect, make a line of brown food coloring inside your piping bag before fill it with frosting. Use a toothpick so you don’t use too much. Finally you can dust it with ground vanilla beans for decoration.

Falling in love with vanilla? Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Beanilla.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Amie November 17, 2010 at 11:34 am

wow, this looks delicious, I’m definitely going to try this recipe!

Kulsum@JourneyKitchen November 17, 2010 at 11:36 am

Every time I buy vanilla bean my heart aches with happiness and pain ;) Pain for the cost and happiness of the great flavor it adds to everything it touches! Espresso and vanilla …what a great way to celebrate holidays :D

Arthi November 17, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Im so making these for a bake sale…ive just ordered some vanilla paste and powder…what a gr8 use ive found and im such a coffee gal..this is perfect…thanks for the recipe

Jamie | My Baking Addiction November 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm

That frosting seriously makes me swoon…could it be any more gorgeous! Thanks so much for submitting your delectable cupcakes to our Holiday Recipe Exchange. Best of luck in the contest!
-Jamie

Jennifer November 17, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Wow those look really good. I want to try the espresso filling all by itself. Is that bad?

Lisa November 18, 2010 at 1:19 am

is the espresso powder in the frosting different from the instant espresso in the filling?

Dessarts November 18, 2010 at 8:05 am

Hi Lisa, yes they are the same thing.

Jess ~ MySweetGems November 18, 2010 at 11:48 pm

These looks awesome! Has all the right flavors for me to enjoy. This will be a future try list.

Jenn@eatcakefordinner November 21, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Yummy, these sound divine!! The frosting looks so creamy.

Heather Davis November 23, 2010 at 1:56 pm

These look gorgeous. I’ve got to make some cupcakes for a friend’s workshop this weekend and I am going to give these a go! Might have to make a few extra…

Suzanne Dossous March 24, 2011 at 12:39 am

For the espresso filling, the 1 cup heavy cup really means 1 cup of heavy cream, right?

Dessarts March 24, 2011 at 10:07 am

Yes. That is correct. It’s a typo.

R.J. July 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Just wanted to let you know I just tried making these. They were great , and I had to make another batch right after because my siblings kept eating them.

theGrubDaily August 28, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Amazing photos, they look delicious and I can’t wait to try them out!

culinaryneophyte February 6, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Hi! These cupcakes look amazing, but I couldn’t find espresso powder at the grocery store. Would you recommend using instant espresso instead? (I read somewhere this is acceptable, but you should use 50% more than the recipe calls for powder.) Thanks!

Dessarts February 8, 2012 at 8:48 am

Actually, I think I did use instant espresso. I did not realize there was a difference when I typed out the recipe. I’m guessing since powder is more finely ground, using more would make sense. In the end, it’s really up to how strong of a coffee taste you want.

Kailene September 24, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Hi – when I made the frosting for a minute while beating it looked creamy and then immediately separated. Can I remedy this?

Thank you!

Andrea January 6, 2014 at 10:47 am

Can you please confirm that amount of confectioners sugar used for the frosting? 1 cup?

Thanks!

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