Monday, August 20, 2012

Cupcakes & Jam {the only cupcake recipe you need}

A couple weeks ago, I saw this post on Joy the Baker's blog {Love her!}.  I don't know anyone who doesn't need Strawberry Raspberry Vanilla Quick Jam in their life.  The recipe looked simple enough and the jam my mom and I made a few weeks ago turned out so delicious {see post here}, I thought we needed to try this one as well.  
{Vanilla cupcake topped with Strawberry Raspberry Vanilla Jam}

Joy's recipe was so easy and so delicious.  Instead of using a vanilla bean we used vanilla paste {found here}.  Every baker should have this in their pantry.  It's amazing.

 We doubled her recipe and made about 4 fairly large jars.  We didn't do the whole canning process like before.  We figured we'd freeze a couple jars instead. 
{Now that we've tasted it there will be no need to freeze any. We'll go through it pretty fast, I'm sure.}  Start to finish it took us less than 30 minutes.  Love that!  

After we made it we started looking around the kitchen for things we could put it on. {I'm not joking.} 

This isn't a typical jam.  It's kind of like jam's super sexy cousin, it's a bit syrupy, but has some thickness to it as well. Joy recommended it as a topping for yogurt or ice cream aside from your standard toast and jam.

Our eyes fell upon the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.

This was my favorite bakery when I lived in London.  I used to take the bus to South Kensington, wait in the "queue" that reached out to the sidewalk and down the street, just to buy one of their delicious cupcakes.  A tourist once stopped me while I was waiting in line and asked if they we're giving out free cake.  I told him no, that it was just that good.

We found a few different ways to use the jam with the cupcakes:
{see cupcake and frosting recipes below}

1.  Jam filled cupcakes - when we poured the cupcake batter in the pan we added a bit of jam to the middle of a few of them, covered it with a bit more batter, and baked it as the recipe directed.  It turned out perfectly.

2.  Vanilla cupcakes with berry frosting - we mixed a small amount of jam with the vanilla frosting which made this beautiful pink frosting and topped with a strawberry, so pretty! {I may have frosted the cupcake a bit too soon, which is why it looks a bit melted.}
{My mom decorated the one on the right with pansies.}
Can you see the black specks of vanilla bean in the frosting? So delicious!

3.  Vanilla frosted cupcake topped with berry jam

4.  Or my personal favorite:  Cupcake - sans frosting, topped with plenty of strawberry raspberry jam.  Fork and napkin necessary.

This is the only vanilla cupcake recipe you'll ever need.

Vanilla Cupcakes {modified from Hummingbird Bakery}
  makes 12 cupcakes

 - 1 cup all-purpose flour
 - 3/4 cup sugar, scant
 - 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
 - a pinch of salt
 - 3 tbls unsalted butter, at room temperature
 - 1/2 cup whole milk
 - 1 egg
 - 1 tsp vanilla bean paste {found here} or pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter until everything is combined.  It will be a sandy consistency.  Slowly pour half the milk in the mixture and beat until incorporated.

In separate bowl, whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk together.  Add to flour mixture until combined.  You may need to scrap the sides of the bowl to get everything incorporated.  Mix until batter is smooth.  Be careful not to overmix.

The batter will make exactly 12 standard-sized cupcakes.  Spoon batter equally into cupcake pan lined with papers (approximately 1/2 full).  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cake bounces back when touched.

Let cupcakes cool in pan for a few minutes.  I like to turn them sideways so that the air can circulate.
Move to wire rack to finish cooling.  Once cupcakes are cool, spread with Vanilla Frosting.  If you frost them too soon the warm cupcake will melt the frosting.

Vanilla Frosting {modified from Hummingbird Bakery}

 - 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
 - 5 tbls unsalted butter, at room temperature
 - 2 tbls whole milk
 - a couple drops of vanilla bean paste {found here} or pure vanilla extract
 - 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Beat sugar and butter together until well mixed.  Combine milk, vanilla and lemon juice in separate bowl.  Add to butter mixture slowly until combine.  Turn mixer/beater on high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).




  1. Umm, YUM! All those cupcakes look delish! Need to try them out!


  2. Uhm yes please! These sounds delightful :)

  3. I NEED more cupcakes in my life. It's been decided. I will have to check out her blog! xo


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