Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract Cupcakes

Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract Cupcakes

This week's post is part of Nielsen-Massey and Baking Mad easter campaign, where they ask bloggers and bakers all around to attempt one of their twenty four incredibly delicious vanilla based recipes. 

They sent me a pretty hamper full with vanilla extract, vanilla paste, vanilla bean pods and Billington's golden caster sugar and golden icing sugar. All the products are great quality, Nielsen-Massey has been my go-to vanilla since I moved to the UK, so I was more than happy to work alongside them and use their ingredients for baking. 

After a long consideration, I decided to go with a classic recipe, the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract Cupcakes. These are really easy and quick to make, and needless to say, delicious. Also, if you are looking for something to do with your kids in the easter break, well, this recipe is the one. 

Here is what you are going to need to make 12 cupcakes:

For the cupcakes:

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g Billington's unrefined golden caster sugar
  • 1tsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200g self-raising flour

For the vanilla syrup:

  • 50g Billington's unrefined golden caster sugar
  • 4tbsp water
  • 1tsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract

For the buttercream:

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g cream cheese, softened
  • 600g Billington's unrefined golden icing sugar
  • 1 Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1tsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C, gas mark 4). Line the cupcake tray with cupcake cases, set aside.

Using either an electric mixer, a whisk or wooden spoon, beat the butter and golden caster sugar together until pale and fluffy, then whisk in the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed and slowly add the eggs, along with a tablespoon of the flour to prevent it from curdling. Add in the rest of the flour.

Fill the cupcake cases 3/4 full using either an ice-cream scoop or a regular tablespoon. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm to the touch. Let them cool on a wire rack.

To make the syrup, place the sugar in a pan with the water. Simmer for a few minutes until dissolved, then take off the heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, stir in the vanilla extract. Brush the cool cupcakes a couple of times with the sugar syrup, you could also use a teaspoon for this step, in case you don't have a brush at hand. 

To make the icing. Mix the soft butter on high speed until pale and fluffy, for around 3 to 4 minutes, bring the mixer to a full stop, scrape the sides of the bowl and add the cream cheese, mix for a further 2 minutes on high speed, bring the mixer into a full stop and scrape the sides one more time, to make sure the butter and cream cheese are well combined. Now, add 1/4 of the icing sugar and mix on a low speed, once incorporated, increase the speed and mix for a further 2 minutes. Repeat this step until you run out of icing sugar. Add the vanilla and mix for a further minute or two. 

Fill a piping bag with frosting or use a butter knife to frost the cupcakes. Top with mini chocolate eggs or your preferred decoration.