Doesn’t this cupcake make you want to want to stand up, put your hand over your heart and recite the pledge of allegiance? Pretty sure I still remember the entire thing from having to recite it every morning in elementary school. And I still feel that surge of pride every time I hear the national anthem or watch the fireworks. Let not forget this is to celebrate the birth of our great nation, and a lot of brave men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice in order to keep it that way. So let us enjoy this Fourth of July with our families and loved ones, cooking, playing and of course eating, but while remembering many countries in this world are not afforded this luxury. So let’s stay humble for us, optimistic for the others, safe for ourselves.
This has been A Swede Tooth Public Service Announcement. Ha.
How cute is this Ohio State cutting board? It’s made by my friend Britney from dental school, and she has mad skills with not only putting fillings in, but with crafting too. She’s multi-talented! (Us dental people are an artsy bunch, aren’t we?) She’s also got her own Etsy shop called bncraftsshop if you want to partake in the fun with one of your very own!
These cupcakes are easy as can be to make, and feature my new favorite extract: Vanilla Butternut from King Arthur Flour. I’ll link to it below if you want to pick some up (it’s definitely worth it), but if you want to make these cupcakes now, you can feel free to add almond extract instead, it will still taste amazing. The frosting strikes a perfect balance of sweet, salty and bitter. I also was inspired by all the tons and TONS of maple syrup I got on my trip to Vermont last month. And this combination of sweet vanilla, bitter bourbon, and smoky maple syrup should be joined together in culinary matrimony forever.
Now that’s one wedding I would happily attend.
For the cupcakes themselves, I wouldn’t worry about sifting your cake flour like a lot of recipes call for. I really don’t do that unless it’s something that’s not going to get combined for long periods of time, but in our case we’re going to mix this in a stand mixer and there will be other ingredients to help any lumps incorporate themselves. Plus, cake flour is finely milled as it is so as long as your mixing thoroughly you’ll be just fine. So don’t waste your time on tedious tasks like that in this case, just make sure it’s all mixed in well. That’s why you have me and this blog, I’ll let you know where you need to spend your energy to make something great that will taste amazing…and when you don’t. And it will likely be because I myself in the past have sat exactly where you are having realized I just sifted 3 pounds of confectioners sugar for absolutely no reason. And those are the kinds of things that can make cooking and baking less fun for you, and I totally get it. So whip up these cupcakes to dazzle your friends and family with, then get back to celebrating however you see fit…like playing cornhole and impressing everyone with your ability to flawlessly recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
They’ll be impressed, trust me.
Triple Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bourbon Maple Buttercream
Triple Vanilla Cupcakes:
1 ¾ C. Cake flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ C. Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 C. White granulated sugar
2 large eggs (at room temperature)
¼ C. Sour cream
¼ C. Vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp vanilla paste
1 tsp vanilla butternut extract
Vanilla Bourbon Maple Buttercream:
3 C. Powdered sugar
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp bourbon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Patriotic star sprinkles, or whatever kind you’d like!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and place cupcake liners in a standard size cupcake tin. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
Add in one egg at a time until well combined, then the sour cream and oil.
Pour in the vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, and the vanilla butternut extract (or almond if you so choose), and mix for a few seconds to combine.
Using a ice cream scoop, place a heaping spoonful of batter into the cupcake liners until they’re about 2/3 full, and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for several minutes until completely smooth. Add in the salt, and slowly put in half the powdered sugar and mix on LOW (lest you be caught in a powdered sugar avalanche), and once incorporated add in the second half.
Pour in the maple syrup, the bourbon and the vanilla bean paste, and beat the icing until smooth *but can still hold itself up for piping! If it seems too soft, add in some more powdered sugar and mix for a bit, trying it again until it’s secure.
Put a third of the buttercream into a piping bag with ¼ inch of the tip cut off. Pipe a circle around the edge of the cupcake top and then dip the sides into the sprinkles.
Put the rest of the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a closed star tip and pipe onto the rest of the cupcake on top of the sprinkle section.
Inhale immediately, or store in the fridge until ready to serve!