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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

My 3-year-old son loves these vanilla bean cupcakes! Flecks of vanilla bean in the moist, tender cupcakes gives them special-occasion status. —Alysha Braun, St. Catharines, Ontario
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1-1/2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup 2% milk
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Assorted sprinkles and coarse sugar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Split vanilla beans lengthwise; using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape seeds from the center into creamed mixture. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  • Fill prepared cups half full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Decorate with candies and coarse sugar as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled cupcakes in resealable freezer containers. To use, thaw at room temperature. Frost as directed.
Nutrition Facts
1 cupcake (calculated without decorations): 266 calories, 13g fat (8g saturated fat), 56mg cholesterol, 143mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

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