Cupcakes rich in vanilla flavor get a little bit of summer flair with candy mermaids and popsicles. Get the recipe for Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting AND learn my secret to these easy and impressive decorations.
Disclaimer: This post and recipe was created for #SummerDessertWeek! I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies but as always opinions are 100% mine.
Today is my last recipe for #SummerDessertWeek (be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post!) and I’ve got a twofer for you. A recipe and some decorating tips. Neither are difficult, but both wowed my friends when I brought it to dinner one night recently.
Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
First, the cupcakes. Both the vanilla cupcakes and the vanilla buttercream were rewitten but barely adapted from The Cupcake Project. The major change I made was using vanilla paste, and not bothering with making vanilla sugar with a vanilla bean for the cupcakes (if you want to make it, you can look at the original recipe or follow my directions for making vanilla sugar here – bonus tip: it’s worth making, if only to add to your coffee and tea!), and doubling the frosting recipe to cover the whole batch of cupcakes. Let me tell you, the cupcakes are delicious – and my girlfriends raved about them – but for me, the vanilla buttercream was the star of the show. I usually only like frosting in small doses, but this one? I could eat with a spoon. The vanilla really shown through.
I also found this particular recipe perfect in size. One batch made about 16 cupcakes, which is perfect if you’re having a few families over for dinner and don’t want a dozen extra cupcakes sitting around the house.
Decorating Cupcakes for Summer:
Aren’t these cupcakes the cutest? Want to know my secret? I used Wilton’s DIY-Lish Kits and they were easy as can be.
No, seriously. These kits were perfect for creating fun, seasonal cupcakes without a lot of hassle. The kits included everything needed to make these: step-by-step instructions with pictures, the candy molds, bags of candy melts, sprinkles, bags for piping, decorating tips, cupcake liners (in the mermaid set), and popsicle sticks (in the popsicle kit). Apart from providing the cupcakes and frosting, and a few extra cupcake liners, everything was in there.
While I made these by myself for a summer BBQ, I think these would make a super fun activity to do while home with kids on a rainy day, or as part of a summer party, to keep the kids entertained. Between these kits and a few extra sets of sprinkles and store-bought candies, you’d be set.
Tips for Hosting A Cupcake Decorating Party:
- Have cupcakes already made, and if you’ll have young kids, pre-frosted.
- Have an assortment of fun sprinkles and candy pieces (either purchased, made ahead, or made at the party) for decorating.
- An easy take home? Cute little bottles (like the one in the photo above, with the popsicle-topped cupcakes) from the craft store that the kids can fill with their own sprinkles mixes. I did this for my daughter’s birthday party a few years ago and it was a big hit!
Much of these things can be purchased pretty inexpensively at your local grocery store or craft store – I know mine carry a huge amount of Wilton products. But if you’re having trouble finding ones you link, there’s always Amazon (affiliate link).
Tips For Working With The DIY-Lish Kits:
- I froze the treats instead of letting them sit at room temperature. 10 minutes in the freezer and the popsicles and mermaid tails popped out beautifully.
- Heat the chocolate a little longer than you think you should. The warmer it is, the smoother it comes out when you’re piping it into the molds. I heated mine for about 1 1/2 minutes total.
- For a clean back, use an offset spatula or butter knife to smooth the chocolate after filling the mold.
Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Cupcakes rich in vanilla flavor, topped with vanilla buttercream frosting, get a little bit of summer flair with candy mermaids and popsicles.
Ingredients for the Vanilla Cupcakes:
- 1 3/4 c. cake flour not self-rising
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 c. granulated sugar (I used Dixie Crystals)
- 1/4 c. unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/3 c. sour cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla paste
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- 2/3 c. whole milk at room temperature
Ingredients for the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 c. unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 Tbs. vanilla paste
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 c. confectioners' sugar
Ingredients for Decorating (optional; choose one or multiple)
- 1-2 Wilton DIY-Lish Decorating Kits
- seasonal sprinkles
- other store-bought candy pieces
Make the Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350F. Take standard muffin pans and line 16 cups with cupcake lines. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar on slow speed, just to combine. Add butter and beat on medium-low speed for 3 minutes, until mixture is fine and crumbly.
While butter is being mixed in, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, vanilla extract and vanilla paste in a small bowl. When butter is incorporated, slowly pour wet ingredients (all but the milk) into the mixer until just incorporated.
Scrape down sides of the bowl. Return mixer to medium-low speed and slowly pour in milk, until just incorporated. Scrape down sides of the bowl and the paddle, and mix until all of the batter is at the same, liquidy consistency.
Portion batter evenly into prepared muffin tins. Each cup should be a little more than halfway filled with batter.
Bake 14-16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make Vanilla Buttercream and Frost the Cupcakes
When cupcakes are completely cool, start the icing.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Scrape down sides of the bowl and on medium-low speed, add vanilla paste and salt. With the mixer still running, add confectioners' sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time until frosting reaches desired consistency for piping (it may be a little more or a little less than the 3 cups).
Transfer to a disposable decorating bag fitted with the decorating tip to get desired shape (I used the 1M tip), and frost cupcakes.
Decorate the Cupcakes:
While cupcakes cool, make any decorations, as desired. DIY-Lish Kits should be made according to directions inside the package (taking into consideration the tips listed above).
Decorate cupcakes using candy, sprinkles, chocolate, etc.
Serve cupcakes at room temperature.
More Summer Dessert Week Deliciousness:
Welcome to the 3rd Annual #SummerDessertWeek event hosted by Angie from Big Bear’s Wife. This week-long summer time event is filled with some down right amazing sweet recipes from fantastic bloggers and we’ve got some great giveaways from our generous sponsors for y’all too!! We can’t wait to share all of these summer-themed desserts with you and celebrate sweet, sweet summertime all week long!
- Mermaid Pineapple RumDum from Big Bear’s Wife
Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts:
- Cotton Candy Cupcakes from Daily Dish Recipes
- Drumstick Layered Dessert from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Mermaid Milkshakes from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Mojito Popsicles from The Spiffy Cookie
- Fried Ice Cream Cake from Cookaholic Wife
- Unicorn Milkshake from For The Love of Food
Sweet Summertime Cakes and Cupcakes:
- Mojito Cupcakes from Jen Around the World
- Pina Colada Cupcakes from The Beard and The Baker
- Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Cupcakes from Doughmesstic
- Easy Pina Colada Poke Cake from Love and Confections
- Classic Vanilla Cupcakes + Summer Cupcake Decorating from Books n’ Cooks
- Almond Cupcakes with Almond Buttercream Frosting from The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
- Jam Breakfast Cake with Streusel from Shockingly Delicious
- Summer Berry Cupcakes with Lemon Icing from Nancie’s Table
- No Bake Treats:
- Million Dollar Bar Pies from Fake Ginger
- Blackberry Cream Cheese Dessert from Eat Move Make
- No Bake Lemon Cheesecake from Cooking With Carlee
- Baked Desserts:
- S’mores Cheesecake from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Strawberry Cheesecake Shortbread Bars from The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Drumstick Babka from Sweet ReciPEAs
- Raspberry Lemon Brownies from Sweet Beginnings
- Peach Streusel Crumb Bars from Blogghetti
- White Tea Peach Panna Cotta from Palatable Pastime
- Homemade Strawberry Swirl Marshmallow from My Sweet Zepol
- Blueberry Lemonade Lollipops from Our Good Life
There are 45 incredible bloggers participating in this year’s #SummerDessertWeek event! Thanks to those bloggers, we have over 168 summer time sweet treat recipes being shared this week! Grab a few recipes to try out and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!
Scroll down to take a look!
Dixie Crystals is giving away one (1)Keurig® K-Select® Coffee Maker
Prize #2 — Adam’s Extract is giving away – 1 Gift Pack – including Adams Poundcake Kit, Adams Best, Adams Lemon Extract, Adams Natural Food Color, and Adams Cinnamon Sugar
Prize #3 —Wilton is giving away a Wilton Gift Pack – including – Bake and Bring Geometric Print Non-Stick 13 x 9 -inch Oblong Pan, Bake and Bring Geometric Print Non-Stick 8-inch Square Cake Pan, Bake and Bring Geometric Print Non-Stick 8-inch Round Cake Pan, Peach Cobbler Candy Melts Candy, Blueberry Lemonade Candy Melts Candy, Orange Crème Candy Melts Candy, Key Lime Pie Decorating Icing Pouch with Tips, Orange Crème Decorating Icing Pouch with Tips, Pop Art Triangle and Solid Cupcake Liners, Geometric Print and Solid Green Cupcake Liners, Balloon Dog Icing Decorations, Assorted Brights and Pastels Sprinkles, Blue Sprinkles Tackle Box, Coral Sprinkles Tackle Box, DIY-Lish Mermaid Kit, DIY-Lish Candy Lollipop Kit and Disposable Decorating Bags with 1M Tips
Prize #4 — Sweets & Treats Boutique is giving away 1 (one) baking supply box including an assortment of sprinkles and cupcake liners as well as one of Love From The Oven’s recent cookbooks!
Prize #5 — Anolon is giving one (1) winner an Anolon Advanced Graphite 9″ Round Springform Pan & an Anolon Advanced Graphite 9″ Square Springform Pan
Update: The Rafflecopter was removed in October 2020, as the giveaway had long since closed.
Giveaway open to US Residents 18 years or older. All entries will be verified. No PO Boxes Please. Prizes will be sent directly from sponsors to winners, bloggers are not responsible for prizes. This giveaway runs from July 7th – July 14th at 12AMEST. Winners will be selected soon afterward and contacted by e-mail. Winners will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. There are a total of 5 (five) prizes and therefore we will have a total of 5 (five) winners. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.
Disclaimer: These posts and recipes are part of the week-long event, #SummerDessertWeek but all opinions are 100% mine! We would like to Thank our amazing sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Adam’s Extract, Wilton, Sweets and Treats Shop and Anolon ! These wonderful sponsors provided the prize packs for our giveaways and also sent samples and products to the #SummerDessertWeek bloggers to use in their recipes.