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Thursday, April 15,2010

Vanilla Bean Pound Cake Cupcakes

By Danette Randall

 

In honor of bikini season being a little too close for comfort — for this Dessert Diva anyway — I thought I would whip up something light. Vanilla Bean Pound Cake Cupcakes are the treat this time around.

And, of course, I was being facetious. These cupcakes don’t scream swimsuit, sleeveless tops and miniskirt weather, but they are delicious, so please just eat one. One at a time, that is, wink, wink.

I love baking with vanilla beans.

The aroma they create can’t help but make you happy; it’s like your own homemade aromatherapy. In fact, I like to rub a little on each wrist so that long after the baking is done, I can still drink in the vanilla goodness. Was that TMI?

While these aren’t the lightest cupcakes you will ever eat, I know you will be happy with the outcome. They are a sturdy, portable treat, so packing them up for a picnic or barbeque works wonderfully. And I’m sure everyone’s top two priorities when whipping up a sweet treat are sturdy and portable.

Whether you eat them at home or take them on the run, the vanilla flavor will take you away to a tropical island, if only for a moment. A lot of pressure I’m putting on these little cupcakes. Hope they remember how much joy they bring into our lives.

All right, I need to lay off the vanilla. Did I mention that popping a vanilla bean in vodka and soaking it for a bit makes for one more way to enjoy this spectacular spice? Ah, enjoying it right now on my tropical island. Now follow the directions, put some love into it and invite me over when it’s done.

I love baking with vanilla beans. It’s like your own homemade aromatherapy.

Vanilla Bean Poundcake Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup softened cream cheese
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 vanilla bean — split in half, seeds scraped powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 12-count muffin tin with liners. In small bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each egg.

Add flour mixture into wet mixture. Beat until well-combined. Fold vanilla bean seeds into batter.

Divide batter among 12 muffin liners. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Set on counter. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, take cupcakes out of pan and let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar.

Enjoy! Note: if you don’t have a vanilla bean, you can use 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract. These cupcakes are also good with a drizzle, if desired. 1 cup powdered sugar and 1-2 tbls. milk or lemon juice, drizzle over cupcakes, let set, eat!

You can watch the Dessert Diva every Monday at 8:35 a.m. on Channel 2. To contact Danette at the station, visit 2thedeuce.com, and click on Daybreak on the Deuce. To chat and/or send comments and suggestions, write to jdromega@aol.com. Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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