vanilla bean cupcakes stuffed with marmaladeI’m not aware of anyone who doesn’t love a good vanilla cupcake.  What’s even better is when there’s a little something inside to catch us off guard!  For these cupcakes, I used a white cupcake base, added some vanilla beans (for a little bit of class), filled them generously with some yummy marmalade, and topped them off with a buttery light Swiss meringue frosting and a fondant daisy.  These are certainly cupcakes that are guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s dial.

vanilla bean cupcakes stuffed with marmalade

I, once again, turned to Martha Stewart’s amazing CUPCAKES cookbook for the recipes.

These recipes make enough for 24 cupcakes.

INGREDIENTS
WHITE CUPCAKES (makes 24)
3.25 cups sifted cake flour
1.5 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 vanilla beans (substituted instead of 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract)
1 cup plus 2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup plus 6 tbsp (1.75 sticks / 200 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1.75 cups sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature

STUFFING
1 large jar of good quality marmalade

SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM (makes about 5 cups)
5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks / 453 g) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Orange food colouring to taste (red & yellow gel paste combined)

DIRECTIONS

WHITE CUPCAKES
Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  Sift together cake flour, baking powder & salt.sift dry ingredients together

Stir vanilla into milk.mix vanilla into milk

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until smooth.cream butter until smooth

cream butter

Gradually add sugar, beating until pale and fluffy.gradually add sugar

Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until just combined after each.add flour and milk mixture

In another bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (do not overmix).whisk egg whites to stiff peaks

Fold one third of the egg whites into batter to lighten.  Gently fold in remaining whites in two batches.fold in the egg whites

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.  Firmly tap the tins once on countertop to release any air bubbles.

Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centres comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.  Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.baked cupcakes

STUFFING
Core out the centres of the cupcakes – I use a small Japanese vegetable cutter and then the end of a spoon to lift out the cut outs from the cupcakes.shelled out

Fill with a good quality marmalade.  I like to pipe the filling in because it keeps it a bit neater and more uniform.filled with marmalade

SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water.  Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.  Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.

With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla.  Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth.  Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.  Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

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I added some red & yellow food colouring to the buttercream to make it orange and then, using a Wilton 1M tip, piped the frosting onto the filled cupcakes.topped with swiss meringue buttercream

I made some fondant daisies using fondant cutters and ready made fondant.fondant daisies

These daisies were used on top of the cupcakes to make them even more joyous than they already were..finished off with a fondant daisy

So what are you waiting for?  Why not stuff your next cupcakes with something yummy!in all its gloryIt’s easy to do and it adds an element of surprise…

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