Vanilla Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Food memories are some of the strongest. When I smell onions being caramelized with peppers in olive oil I’m immediately transported to when my parents would make fajitas. Or when I smell tomato sauce cooking on the stove it usually meant lasagna was on it’s way. But those are both memories conjured up mostly from smell. These cupcakes, while only just a small fraction of the food I’ve been made by my grandmother and probably only made a couple of times by her, are something that everytime I go to visit her, I think of these cupcakes. 

 Perhaps these cupcakes were just that amazing when I had them as a kid. Who knows? When I asked my brother about these famous cupcakes I remember so well he didn’t even remember them for the longest time. Why they stuck with me I have no idea but in honor of my grandmother making them at least once for us, I thought I would make some for her.

Here’s to taking chances and feeding a cook something they can probably do better than you. Gotta live on the wild side! 


Vanilla Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting

(Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita)
1 1/4 cup + 2 tbls ap flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, room temp
1/2 cup milk
3/4 tsp vanilla
2 sticks butter, unsalted, divided
4 ounces good milk chocolate, I used Callebaut
powdered sugar as needed, roughly 1-2 cups
2 tbls cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake tray with 12 liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners and bake in middle of oven until tops turn golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out just clean (a few crumbs is okay), about 18 minutes.
Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
For the icing, melt chocolate and 1 tbls butter over double boiler.
Meanwhile, with a paddle attachment, start whipping the remaining butter with about 1 cup powdered sugar and cocoa powder until light and fluffy.
Once chocolate is melted, let cool slightly, then with mixer on low, begin pouring the chocolate in. Scrape down the sides and add more powdered sugar if needed.
Whip for about 10-15 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.
Frost cupcakes and enjoy!

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