Imagine our lives without chocolate! The news/rumor that chocolate would not be as readily available as it is now and it would become a thing only rich could afford is scary. How can you just switch off the chocolate-craving mode? Go to your happy place and think about an alternative… a real one… not something like fake chocolate. Caramel can be a safe bet. These vanilla cupcakes are just yum. Very moist, not over buttery, with simple basic ingredients…exactly how life should be. I prefer a good unfrosted cupcake or muffin over a bland one, no matter how well garnished it is. Frosting should be complimenting the basic cake without overpowering it. See these cuties? Full of flavour even without any icing. This is a basic vanilla cupcake, add chocolate chips, espresso (I did), some dry fruit, cinnamon or fill them with jam or pie fillings as you please.
ingredients: for basic vanilla cupcakes: ( 12 cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
5 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, grind a little if granules are big
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
2 cups sifted icing sugar
7 tbsp butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp milk
3/4 tsp vanilla essence
4 tbsp caramel sauce
extra caramel sauce to drizzle
Line a muffin tin with paper cases. Preheat the oven at 180 degree celsius. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together in a medium bowl with electric mixer for about 2 minutes at low speed. Add eggs one by one, continue beating after each addition. Add milk and vanilla essence, mix well. Gradually add flour in two batches, scraping the bowl well with a rubber spatula, do not over mix just stir with the spatula. Add espresso if using and mix. Fill 3/4 of muffin cases and bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool completely before frosting.
For frosting, combine icing sugar, butter, milk and vanilla essence in a big bowl. Using an electric mixer beat well till you get desired consistency. Add 4 tbsp of caramel sauce to the frosting and give it a gentle stir to get ripple effect. DO NOT try to mix it all otherwise there wont be a two toned effect.
Fill a piping bag and frost as you like. I used a big star shaped nozzle. Drizzle some extra caramel sauce.