I recently got a nice order for cupcakes for next week. It's only a total of 2 dozen cupcakes but the customer ordered 6 different flavors. Yes, its more work for me but I've really been wanting to start posting some of my recipes plus take some better pictures. Unfortunately, the order isn't until next week and I am not a baker who bakes that far in advance. Then I remembered, I have a few nice photos of some of my cupcakes.
Not many because the lighting in my house stinks which usually means I take my cupcakes to my front porch to photograph. But my memory really isn't the greatest so I usually forget to do that before I get rid of all of the cupcakes.
This seemed like the perfect recipe to share with everybody today. I've had 3 separate girl scouts ask me to buy cookies and this is one of my favorite flavors. I've seen recipes for homemade samoa cookies (or Caramel De-Lites, as they are now called), but they are labor intensive. I've made my own thin mints and my own do-si-dos and they were fairly easy. Maybe I can track down those recipes and share them in the future. But the samoas, with their chocolate covered bottom, caramel topping, sprinkled with toasted coconut and then drizzled with fudge...they are a little daunting to say the least. So for now, between April and February when I am craving a samoa, I'll settle for one of these delicious cupcakes.
Doesn't that look yummy? I'm not even a big fan of coconut but I love these. The secret to making them? It's all in the topping.
Use your favorite cake base. I usually use a vanilla cake but I've also, in a pinch, used the Duncan Hines Caramel Cake box mix. I top it with a dallop of buttercream (you can add caramel to the buttercream to create a caramel buttercream). Then roll it in toasted coconut and drizzle it with caramel sauce and hot fudge sauce.
Now, if you're looking for a great made-from-scratch vanilla cake recipe, check out Annie's Eats (recipe also listed below). Everything I've tried from her site has been delicious. I also use her recipe for caramel sauce for those of you feeling ambitious.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes (courtesy Annie's Eats)
3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl of the mixer with the butter and discard the pod (or reserve for another use.) Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.
Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full (you will likely have batter left over after filling 24 wells.) Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Replace paper liners and bake remaining batter if desired. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.
Yield: approximately 30 cupcakes