I was dreaming of cupcake flavours one day, and this totally sophisticated vanilla cake bursting with chewy fig and delicate fig seeds with a not-too-sweet icing (that sort of tastes like cream cheese icing, but better) is what I dreamed up. These cupcakes tasted just as good as I imagined they might.
Here’s what you need:
For the cupcakes –
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup milk
Figs (either dried or fresh) (a note about the figs: I did half of my batter with the mashed flesh of about 6 fresh figs blended in, and half of it with chopped dried figs, and had some taste testers compare. The fresh fig cupcakes were more moist and soft, and the fig flavour was subtle but for the crunch of fig seeds. The dried figs provided a nice texture and a more prominent figgy-ness, if you will. Up to you)
For the Vanilla Mascarpone Buttercream –
I used my trusty vanilla buttercream recipe, as I’m wont to do, and mixed it nearly half and half with mascarpone cheese before piping it onto my cupcakes. You can use as much or as little mascarpone as you like…add a little and taste…add a little and taste…until it’s just right!
Here’s what you do:
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy, using either a stand mixer, electric beaters, or a very strong and tireless arm. Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture to incorporate each egg before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and the milk to the egg/butter mixture alternating in three additions (add in some flour, then some milk, then some flour, then some milk, then the rest of the flour) until combined.
Mix in your figs, and then distribute the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cupcake comes out clean.
While the cupcakes are baking, whip up your buttercream (or whenever, really…who am I to tell you when to make your buttercream? In your pyjamas at 2a.m.? Fine.)
Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost them using a pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Top with a slice of fresh fig, for fanciness.
Recipe is a Jessie original, using basic vanilla buttercream and vanilla cupcake recipes from Annie’s Eats.