I love birthdays. We have already discussed birthdays on this little blog in fact (here!). Birthdays mean presents, time with friends, happiness, candles, milestones, and of course cake.
You don’t even have to give me permission to make you a cake, or at least something sweet, for your birthday. I will just do it. As was the case with my friend Becky’s birthday yesterday. I knew her birthday was coming up and pondered for a week what to make for her. This girl loves coffee. A lot. I have been dying to make peach cupcakes for a while ever since I pinned a recipe but opted instead to scour the internet for the perfect vanilla latte cupcakes. Do you know how many latte cupcakes are out there!?! Somehow I stumbled upon one recipe that called for filling the cupcakes. Um. Yes please. Although it meant more steps I couldn’t pass up the idea.
Unfortunately my hands were full with Little yesterday so I couldn’t personally deliver them. Becky’s husband, Halsey, was my partner in crime and came to pick them up at my house mid afternoon so they would be waiting at home for her when she returned from work. Yey for birthday cupcakes AND surprises!
Happy happy birthday Becky. I hope you enjoyed them.
Vanilla Bean Latte Cupcakes (makes 12)
1/2 vanilla bean
3/4 cup milk
6 Tbs unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
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 fluffy. 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
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.
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.
Notes- This frosting is out of this world good. I am going to remake it and use it to fill chocolate macaroons. Also this is an amazing vanilla cake recipe. These cupcakes are best after being refrigerated for a couple of hours. When you are finished coring, filling, and frosting the cupcakes you might find yourself with leftover cake bits, filling and frosting. Don’t toss them! Make tiny trifles by layering the leftovers in shot glasses and save for a late night treat for you and someone special.