so i normally don’t really celebrate valentine’s day, because i feel that there shouldn’t be a specific day that you show your loved ones you care for them. that should be every day, am i right? well anyways, i’m not one of those people who despises it either. sure, it’s a hallmark holiday made so people can spend lots of money and eat lots of candy and buy and receive flowers. but it also means you can bake some cute things for your loved ones (or for yourself)! i didn’t have much time to bake on valentine’s day because i did have work, but i had enough time to whip up a batch of cupcakes for my boyfriend. he’s a simple guy, and likes simple desserts. he loves my carrot cupcakes, and after this valentine’s day, he has a new favorite. and nope, i didn’t make a traditional red velvet cupcake. i made vanilla bean cupcakes with a strawberry buttercream frosting. whatever i was going to make, i wanted it to somehow represent the holiday, and the pink frosting did the job.
i originally tried making a swiss meringue buttercream, but completely failed. i think the thermometer i used was broken, and i didn’t heat the ingredients up long enough. whatever the case, i will try again in the near future. so after that miserable failure, i decided i needed to whip up a quick buttercream frosting to go with my strawberry puree. let me tell you, the frosting turned out fabulous. you can really taste the strawberries, it doesn’t taste like artificial strawberry frosting in a can, it tastes like the real deal – because it was! all i did was made a simple butter cream frosting – confectioners sugar, butter, vanilla extract and a tbsp of milk, and added about 1/2-1 c of strawberry puree. i have no idea how much of it i actually added, because i tend to not measure things out in the kitchen if i somewhat have the hang of what i’m doing. i don’t even measure out my confectioners sugar, because i like to control the sweetness of my frosting. sometimes the frosting tastes too powdery, sometimes it doesn’t taste sweet enough – so i adjust everything to my own liking.
as for the vanilla bean cupcakes, i got the recipe from Annie’s Eats and they turned out superb. i didn’t actually have any vanilla beans to use for the recipe, so i used the equivalent of vanilla powder. the cupcakes turned out perfectly moist, with a light vanilla flavor. it paired perfectly with my strawberry buttercream frosting. it’s definitely a versatile cupcake. since the flavor is so light, you could pair it with nearly any type of frosting. you might be able to tell the frosting isn’t completely solid on the cupcake. i think i did add a little too much strawberry puree. but kept in a cool area (for instance, my refrigerator) the frosting does stiffen up, and therefor makes the cupcake almost perfect. !
Visit Annie’s Eats for the vanilla bean cupcake recipe.
Strawberry Buttercream frosting adapted from here.