Simple Vanilla Cupcakes

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Baking is such a fun hobby to take on. Not only do you get to enjoy yourself by doing what you love, but your friends and family can enjoy them too. They’ll secretly love you more (than they already do of course :) ). Since I don’t have much family and friends around me, I either give them to my co-workers and/or D-’s co-workers. It boosts up morale in the office and you get to hear what people think of them. I love how I can bake treats for D- and his co-workers because with much stress at work, there’s a little glimmer of happiness when treats are being passed around.

I’ve had Joy’s cookbook ever since it came out in March…  I went to one of her San Francisco book signings!  If I had a free moment, I would just read her cookbook, just for fun and took a mental note of what I wanted to bake… but there was so much I wanted to bake, that I didn’t know where I should start off. So I began with these simple cupcakes. I made them even more simple by just using pre-made cream cheese frosting and used soy milk instead of whole milk.

Let me tell you, these cupcakes will definitely make you so loved by anyone who eats them. They are slightly nutty from the soy milk and the vanilla is not overpowering. I love the texture because it doesn’t fall apart in your hand when you eat it, but it’s not too dense. I also made them mini cupcakes because everything looks cuter when it’s tiny! Not only that, it’s easy for co-workers to just bite and get back to work. It’s good for a quick snack … or two.

Here’s basically how you make ‘em.

Line your cupcake pan.

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You start off with the dry ingredients.

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Then you combine all the wet ingredients. I used all vanilla extract instead of some vanilla extract and some vanilla bean. Just cuz… you know… I didn’t have them on hand.

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This is how the batter looks like.

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I like how it doesn’t make too much, for people who just like to bake for fun.

Then here it is in the mini cupcake pan.

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I was scared that filling it pretty much to the top was going to be dangerous because usually you only fill it 2/3′s full….

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Thank goodness they turned out pretty darn good. Not too humpy on the top.

I added some pretty jimmies on top to make it festive and not so plain. I use sprinkles as a distraction… they hide all frosting faults! :D

I had a blast making these with D-.  It’s so fun to share the joy of baking with someone you love.  It makes it that much more fun to bake.  Baking really does bring people together…. or is that food?  Well, either way, it’s true!

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These cupcakes were such a hit with people (and me!) that I can’t wait to bake more of Joy’s recipes in her cookbook.  Thanks Joy!

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook
makes 24 mini cupcakes

1 1/3 cupcakes all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick unsalted butter), softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup soy milk

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a 24-cup mini cupcake pan with paper or foil liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract until well incorporated.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until almost incorporated. Add the milk. Blend. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until almost incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula.
  5. Divide the batter between the cupcake liners. Bake for 16 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Frost with some cream cheese frosting (I used some pre-made frosting, because I had some left over from making these).
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