Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Joan's on Third Vanilla Cupcakes

I've been fielding excuses to make these cupcakes. I've been secretly hoping for a birthday to crop up or a pot luck that I forgot about, but they have been evading me. So finally when my friends and I decided to go see She & Him at Millenium Park, I knew I had the perfect opportunity. I baked these on Saturday, knowing that they would have to hold up till Monday. I was worried that they would get dry, and yes, I know, I could have frozen them, but it was only a few days so I thought by the time they get frozen, I'd have to defrost them again. They were definitely more moist on Saturday, but they still tasted great. There's nothing worse than ending up with two dozen dry cupcakes. What a waste. But I was pleasantly surprised at how moist these were. The flavors are very subdued and simple, but it hit the spot for me. I think I found my go-to cupcake recipe folks. Thank you LA Times.

Vanilla cupcakes
adapted from Joan's on Third

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin cups with paper liners. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter. Gradually add in the sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until fully incorporated.

Beat in the flour and milk mixtures, alternating one-third of each at a time, until each mixture is fully incorporated and the batter is smooth.

Fill each muffin cup three-fourths full of batter.

Bake the cupcakes until puffed, set and lightly golden, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes before frosting.

Vanilla (or Chocolate) Frosting

1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
5 cups (1 1/4 pounds) powdered sugar, sifted and divided
1/4 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter with one-half of the powdered sugar until combined. Beat in the milk and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl, and beating until smooth.

With the mixer set to low speed, gently beat in the remaining sugar until combined. Increase the speed and continue to beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. This makes about 2 1/2 cups frosting. I took out half of the vanilla frosting and reserved it. To the remaining frosting, I added 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and beat it until smooth. I frosted half of my cupcakes with vanilla frosting and the other half with chocolate.

Frost each cupcake with a generous 2 tablespoons frosting. There you have it, perfectly moist and flavorful cupcakes. These were a hit with Soomeenshee & Them. =)


  1. yes! they were awesome! DE-LISH! i'm gonna have to try the recipe myself sometime. :)

  2. haha, yay! I'm glad you liked them. If I make these again, I will make you some frosting shots. =) Did you like the Soomeenshee & Them reference? I thought of you when I wrote it, you and your 10 variations of She & Him.

  3. OMG.... great timing. I need to bring dessert to a birthday party friday... I guess I know what i'll be making!! thanks.... how did you spread the frosting?

  4. I just got a knife and spread it on top. hahaha. If you want to make it pretty you can pipe it on, but I did not have the luxury of time. =) I frosted this the morning of. Oh btw, if you make the cake ahead of time, I'd wait to frost till day of serving. Otherwise it's hard to store.