I was on a baking binge this week. While randomly searching the internet, I found two new vanilla cupcake recipes that I couldn’t wait to try.
Recipe #1, from Recipe Girl, was absolutely intriguing. It used two unconventional ingredients – boxed cake mix and sour cream. I had to try this recipe out if for no other reason than the fact that it is was so unique.
Recipe #2, from Cookies & Cups, caught my eye because of its backstory (and because it was m first yellow cake recipe). This baker’s husband has taste-tested all sorts of cupcake recipes that his wife has made, but none of them ever impressed him more than standard box mix. He always had a complaint about the homemade recipes (too dry, too dense, not enough flavor, etc.). However, this particular vanilla cupcake recipe blew him away. After reading that description, I knew that I had to give this recipe a try, too.
I have found my perfect buttercream icing. However, for these new cupcake recipes, I didn’t want to make the same old buttercream. So, I found several fun icing recipes online and made small batches of each to taste test.
Icing # 1 – Brown Eyed Baker’s Peanut Butter Frosting
Icing # 2 – Martha Stewart’s Honey Cinnamon Frosting
Icing # 3 – Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting
Icing # 4 – Eat, Run, Read’s Cherry Frosting
Cupcake Recipe # 1 made a batter that was very runny (see below). However, it produced a moist cupcake that rose well. Unfortunately, the texture was too spongy and sticky for my liking and, like my previous vanilla cupcake recipe, the flavor was not prominent enough. Once iced, I couldn’t taste the cupcake flavor at all.
Cupcake Recipe # 2 turned out to be exactly what I’ve been searching for! I got a super fluffy, moist, medium-crumb cupcake with a wonderful flavor. In the future, I would still add a bit of extra vanilla extract to enhance the flavor even more, but overall I was very impressed with this recipe.
The honey, cinnamon icing was my favorite flavor, without question. However, the honey makes this icing very sweet. If you don’t have a well developed sweet tooth, you might want to try a different flavor. — The peanut butter icing was rich, smooth, and flavorful, as you would expect. However, as you might also expect, the peanut flavor tends to overpower the cupcake flavor, so this should be kept in mind when crafting your cakes. — I love mint chocolate chip anything, so that icing was bound to be a winner. It totally delivered. — Cherry is also one of my favorite flavors. I supplemented the online recipe with a bit of cherry extract to kick up the cherry flavor, but it still fell flat. I liked the color of this icing, but found the taste to be mostly disappointing.