I {Heart} Vanilla Cupcakes

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It’s true. I’m in love. It’s like the candy heart just magically knew what I was thinking as these cupcakes were coming together. 
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I think it’s what you call love at first sight. I might even go as far to say it was love at first thought. Pink. Heart-shaped. Vanilla. Frosting. Sprinkles. Candy. 
All rolled into one precious cupcake. 
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Yes, that is love. 
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Oh yeah, there’s also this guy in my life that I’m going to marry in about 3 1/2 months (!!!!!). You could say I’m pretty in love with him too. But you don’t need to hear about all that right now. 
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These little cake-of-the-cups have the most perfect, simple vanilla flavor. Some people may associate vanilla with ‘plain’ or ‘boring.’ But not here. Not now. 
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Make these cupcakes for the one YOU love this Valentine’s Day and I promise they will love you even more. Make them for yourself and well, if you don’t love yourself after that, then all hope is lost.
In all seriousness, I hope you love yourself anyway. Eating cupcakes or not, just love yourself.

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I {Heart} Vanilla Cupcakes 
Makes 12 cupcakes
Ingredients:
For the cupcakes-
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 + 1/3 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
Red food coloring
12 candy hearts
Sprinkles

For the frosting-
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk

Directions:
For the cupcakes-
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with liners of choice, heart-shaped if you have them!
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand-alone mixer, add butter and sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and creamy. Add egg white, followed by vanilla extract and beat until well incorporated. Turn to low speed and add half of the flour. Slowly add milk, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Beat until well combined.
4. Pour half of the cupcake batter into a separate bowl. Add 2-3 drops of red food coloring to one of the bowls of batter. Mix thoroughly, adding more food coloring as needed to reach your desired shade of pink/red.
5. Drop pink/red batter by the tablespoon into the cupcake wells. Then drop a tablespoon of the white batter into the wells. Use a toothpick to gently swirl the batter together in each of the wells.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
7. Frost as desired. Top each cupcake with a candy heart for the full Valentine’s Day effect 🙂

For the frosting-
1. Add butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand-alone mixer. Beat on medium speed for about one minute. Add the vanilla and milk while continuing to beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Be sure to scrap down the sides of the bowl as needed.

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8 thoughts on “I {Heart} Vanilla Cupcakes

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