Double Vanilla & Strawberry Jam Cupcakes

Every so often I'd bake experiments desserts/ sweets and share with my guinea pigs work colleagues. I get to practise my photography skills and enjoy the whole baking process and they get sugary treats. It's a win win situation. But on this occasion these cupcakes were actually baked for a work colleague's birthday because who wouldn't want cake on their birthday??

And it's not a birthday without sprinkles- I'm happy to announce that these cupcakes have just that; Enough to jazz up the classic appearance of a fluffy vanilla cupcake but not too much that you feel like you're eating a mouth full of crunchy sugar bits. There's a fine line, guys. Plus, I got to use these super cute party cat cupcake liners I'd bought ages ago- bonus! Cupcake liner and sprinkle coordination- #cakefashion. 

These cupcakes are so called 'Double Vanilla' thanks to the seeds of one whole vanilla pod in the fluffy and light sponge and two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract in the buttercream frosting. Swiss meringue buttercream is my all time favourite buttercream as it tastes less sickly than the traditional butter and icing sugar, is much more stable at room temperature and mostly importantly it is oh so delightfully silky smooth. 

And to cut through the vanilla sweetness, I've filled the sponge with a high fruit content strawberry jam. Pleasant surprise when you first bite into the cupcake, no?

Yields 12-15 cupcakes

Vanilla sponge adapted from Niner Bakes
Swiss Meringue Buttercream taken from Sweetapolita


Vanilla cupcakes:

160g plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 bicarbonate of soda
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
125ml milk
1 tsp lemon juice/ vinegar
125ml oil
2 eggs
150g caster sugar

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

150g egg whites
250g caster sugar
340g salted butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I use Nielsen Massey)

To Decorate:

High fruit content strawberry jam (or regular jam, if you prefer)
Your favourite sprinkles


For the Vanilla Sponge

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Line a 12 hole muffin/cupcake tin with your favourite cupcake liners. Set aside.
  3. Stir the lemon juice into the milk and set aside for 3-5mins.
  4. Meanwhile, sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  5. Using a hand held electric whisk/ stand mixer, whisk the eggs until frothy, add the caster sugar and vanilla seeds and whisk for another minute until pale and thickened.
  6. Add the oil and whisk briefly until incorporated.
  7. With the mixer on medium speed, alternate additions of the flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (3 additions dry, 2 additions wet) beating well in between each addition until incorporated.
  8. Divide the batter (it will be a bit runny) amongst the cupcake liners, filling no more than 2/3 full. (I use an approx. 2" diameter ice cream scoop to ensure even dividing- 1 scoop of batter per cupcake)
  9. Bake in the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes thoroughly on a wire rack.
  10. Repeat the process for any cupcake batter you may have left over.

For the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with a paper towel and lemon juice to remove any traces of grease. Add the egg whites and caster sugar, and place on top a pot of simmering water, careful to not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water- you don't want scrambled eggs!
  2. Whisk/ stir constantly with a hand whisk or spatula until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot. (You can test by rubbing a bit of the mixture in between your fingers- if there are no grains, it's ready)
  3. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, whisk the hot egg white mixture on medium-high speed until the meringue is thick, glossy and stiff peaks form. (The bowl at this point should feel neutral to touch.)
  4. Switch over to the paddle attachment and with the mixer on low speed, begin to add the butter, a cube at a time. Once all butter has been added, turn the mixer speed to medium-high and mix until the butter is fully incorporated into the meringue. If the buttercream looks curdled- don't be disheartened- keep mixing and the buttercream will eventually form!

To Assemble

  1. With a pointed knife cut a hole about 2cm deep into the top of each cupcake and full with 1/2- 1 tsp of strawberry jam.
  2. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle with the Swiss Meringue Buttercream and pipe a swirl on top of the filled cupcakes
  3. Top with your favourite sprinkles :)


  • These cupcakes are best eaten on the day but will store at room temperature, loosely covered for up 2 days. 


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Interior designer & part time baker. Lover of architecture, design and all things cute.