Billy’s Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes

Ever since Billy Reece from Billy’s went on Martha Stewart’s show the cupcake world has been baking up these delicious treats.  For my daughter’s first birthday I wanted to keep it simple.  I made these cupcakes with the following recipe and they probably are the best I’ve ever tasted.  They really did taste like they came from a bakery!  Definitely a go-to recipe for vanilla cupcakes any time.

The frosting was much much thinner than I had expected – even after putting in 5 cups of powdered sugar.  I would recommend a different buttercream like Wilton’s if you are going to make fancy decorations.  The flavor of Billy’s frosting was great.  I believe the greater amount of milk really made it spread thin.  My house wasn’t that hot and I added plenty of sugar.

Billy’s Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes
yields 24 cupcakes

1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°.   Line the cupcake pans with liners.  On very low speed, combine the dry ingredients together in the mixing bowl: flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Now add the cubes of butter and mix on low to medium until the butter is cut into the dry ingredients and no larger than the size of a peanut.

2. In large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla.  Add this in 3 increments and scrape the bowl down after each increment.  The last time you add the wet ingredients, mix until just combined.

3. Using a large cookie scoop (3 Tbs.) or cup, divide the batter between the wells and fill 2/3 full.  Bake 17 to 20 minutes, until tester (or toothpick) comes out clean.

4. Cool completely on a wire rack.  I take my cupcakes out 10 minutes after cooling to cool on the wire racks to prevent the wrappers from coming off.  Some wrappers do that (the ones I bought at Michael’s) and some have done well (like the cheapies at Walmart surprisingly work better).

Billy’s Vanilla Buttercream
yield 24 cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Cream butter until smooth and creamy.  Slowly add 6 cups of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add additional sugar as needed.  For spreading, 5 cups will work.

** Again, I wouldn’t try fancy tips or decorating with this frosting.  After refrigeration, it was stiff and came to room temperature only to melt … which was fine with what I had in mind on the cupcakes.


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