My friend’s son, Robert, wanted vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting for his birthday. I was like, what? “Vanilla” is used to describe something plain and I am anything but plain! LOL! So you know it had to be the best vanilla cupcake ever made with Mexican Vanilla! I had to put my creative spin on it somewhere so I opted for my favorite mocha mascarpone frosting and topped it with a chocolate covered espresso bean from starbucks. The combination of light fluffy whipped cream and creamy mascarpone is simply divine. Voila! No more plain vanilla chocolate combo!
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Preheat to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter mixture then add half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape bowl and beater often. Pour 1/4 cup batter into each cupcake liner. Bake cupcake until golden on edges, about 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.
Mocha Mascarpone Frosting
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 8-ounce containers chilled mascarpone cheese
Sift cocoa powder into large bowl; add espresso powder. Bring 1 cup cream to boil in small saucepan. Slowly pour cream over cocoa mixture, whisking until cocoa is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup cream and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours. Add mascarpone to chilled cocoa mixture. Using electric mixer, beat on low speed until blended and smooth. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until mixture is thick and medium-firm peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes (do not overbeat or mixture will curdle). Pipe onto cupcakes and top with a chocolate covered espresso bean.