Have I mentioned how much I freaking love small batch recipes? Especially these days. As I have mentioned before on the ol’ blog, most of the time, my coworkers and friends reap the benefits of my baking shenanigans. However, there are times in which one of the following scenarios occur: a) I’m not in the mood to share; b) I just have a sweet tooth and need a quick but homemade fix [I’m pretentious like that, I guess]; c) I want sweets but do not need to eat ten cookies; d) I have no desire to frost more than four cupcakes; or e) all of the above.
Small batch recipes come in handy for all of the aforementioned situations. Now, I’m no recipe expert, so I generally don’t like to screw around with baked good recipes very often. Once I have made something a few times, I’ll make my own alterations, of course. And, I usually have no issue with cutting recipes in half. However, I am not quite brave enough to scale recipes way down. But that’s where the Dessert for Two blog comes to save the day. Christina – the blog’s author – has experimented with recipes enough to scale them down to make just enough tasty baked goods for herself and her man. Then she shares them with the world. I’m telling you, she’s a genius. Every recipe of Christina’s that I’ve ever tried has always impressed me, and I’m kind of hard to please when it comes to baked goods.
stalked followed Christina’s blog for quite awhile now, but I just recently purchased her new cookbook. These vanilla cupcakes are the first treat I decided to make from the book. As expected, they turned out awesome! Also, her cookbook is just lovely. It never really occurred to me until recently that no other such book really exists for small batch baking. And I think that it’s a really awesome concept, especially for bakeaholics such as myself. Sometimes it’s just really nice to bake only a few treats, and then enjoy them by myself [or I share with Brian when I really feel like it… hehe].
The cake is really tasty; it’s simple, which I love, and it’s just plain good. I whipped them up on my lunch break while I was working from home last week, and I just love how quick they are to make. These cupcakes get a bit more browned on the tops than I was expecting, but they are really good. I added vanilla bean paste to mine in lieu of the extract, just because I love those little vanilla bean flecks. I have a feeling that these cupcakes would do well with a few little adaptations, such as making small batch chai cupcakes, or perhaps small batch snickerdoodle cupcakes! Let’s just say that I’ve got some inspiration up my sleeve. 😉
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Small Batch Vanilla Bean Cupcakes.
Yield: Four regular-sized cupcakes.
– 4 TBS. unsalted butter, at room temperature
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1 large egg white
– 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste [You can use vanilla extract in lieu of the paste, but I love using vanilla bean paste whenever I can! Note: The quantities of both are interchangeable.]
– 2 TBS. sour cream [I use whole fat sour cream. I’m just not about that non-fat stuff.]
– 6 TBS. all-purpose flour
– 1/2 tsp. baking soda
– Pinch of salt
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with four cupcake liners [Note: Use the cups on the outside of the pan}, and set aside.
2. Using an electric hand mixer [Note: You can use a stand mixer; I did, because I’m lazy, but that’s kind of overkill for such a small amount of batter], cream together the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy.
3. Add the egg white, vanilla bean paste, and sour cream to the butter/sugar, and beat until combined.
4. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt into the wet ingredients, and mix until combined. Divide the batter among the four prepared cupcake liners. Bake the cupcakes for about 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean [or with a few moist crumbs]. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack, then once they’re totally cooled, frost as desired. Enjoy!
– Vanilla cupcake recipe barely adapted from Dessert for Two: Small Batch Cookies, Brownies, Pies, and Cakes, by Christina Lane. She’s also the author of the lovely blog, Dessert for Two. I would highly recommend buying this cookbook, though. It’s totally worth it!
– Vanilla bean frosting recipe was basically just made up by me, but here’s an actual recipe that’s similar to what I did for the frosting.