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Well, it uses much less sugar and much less butter than most of the cupcake recipes out there.  And doesn't sugar and butter make everything good??  And their mixing method wasn't the traditional creaming method.  Instead, you first combine all the dry ingredients with the butter and mix it until you get a crumb mixture ... then add the wet ingredients.  The ever-so-slight modification I made was to increase the vanilla, as the original recipe called for only 1/4 teaspoon, resulting in a too-faint vanilla flavor for me.  With this one small change, these cupcakes were vanilla cupcake perfection!

Vanilla Cupcakes
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • A scant 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 T. butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. whole milk (I also tried it with 2% milk, and it worked fine)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter in mixing bowl. Beat on slow speed until everything is combined and you have a crumb mixture with a sandy consistency. Gradually pour in half of the milk; beat until the milk is just incorporated.
  2. Whisk together the remaining milk (1/4 cup), egg, and vanilla. Pour into the flour mixture and beat until all ingredients are just incorporated. Beat for about another 30 seconds to one minute until the batter is smooth. Do not over mix.
  3. Spoon batter into muffin pan cups lined with paper cupcake liners, filling cups 1/2 full. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, or until light golden and the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool slightly in the pan before removing cupcakes to a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
  4. NOTE:  This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.  And it really does make 12!  Fill your cups only 1/2 full, as this batter rises quite a bit.  When I divided the batter between only 10 muffin cups, I had several that rose over the sides of the cups way too much.  If you're like me, you'll feel like there's not enough batter to stretch to 12 cupcakes ... but there really is.

Coffee Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 1/2 T. instant coffee granules
  • 1 1/2 T. water
  • 1 1/2 T. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 lb. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 c. confectioners' sugar
  • 3 T. milk
  • chocolate covered espresso beans for garnish, optional

  1. Combine water, coffee granules, and vanilla extract in a small bowl; stir to dissolve coffee. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter in bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating for a few seconds between each addition. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the coffee mixture and milk; beat on low speed to combine. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Frosts 18 cupcakes.

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