Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Birdie Cupcakes {and Video Tutorial}
Moist, fluffy vanilla cupcakes topped with rich & creamy vanilla bean white chocolate frosting and topped with a hand-stamped fondant medallion.
For the stamped fondant medallions
  • ~5 oz 145 g white fondant
  • AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Navy Blue
For the cupcakes
  • 2-1/2 cups 275 g(10 oz) cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon 15 g baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon 5 g salt
  • 1 cup 237 ml whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites 60 g, at room temperature
  • 1 whole egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon 5 ml Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon 1.75 ml Pure Almond Extract
  • 1-1/2 cups 300 g granulated sugar
  • 1 stick 115 g(8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the frosting
  • 1 cup 227 g(8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 oz quality 175 g white chocolate
  • 1/2 vanilla bean seeded and scraped
  • 1/2 teaspoon 2.5 mL almond extract
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 3 cups 375 g(13.5 oz) sifted icing sugar
For the stamped fondant medallions {can make anytime in advance}:
  1. Roll white fondant on cornstarch-dusted (or icing sugar) surface until 1/8" thin, or even thinner and cut as many 2.25" diameter circles as needed (you will want to make a few extra). Let dry overnight.
  2. Apply a thin layer of soft gel paste (I used AmeriColor Navy Blue) onto a new, clean rubber stamp using a small angled paintbrush (that you designate for food use) and gently press down upon fondant circles. Touch up any unstamped spots with your paintbrush. Let dry. {see video tutorial}
For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and center the oven rack. Line 2 muffin/cupcake pans with your favourite standard-size cupcake liner, and put the first cupcake pan on a baking sheet. (You will place the second cupcake pan on the same sheet in the oven once the first tray is baked.)
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract in a medium bowl or large glass measuring cup.
  3. In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment (I used the whisk), cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until very pale and creamy, about 5 minutes.
  4. With the mixer still on medium speed, alternate additions of the flour mixture and milk-egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (3 dry additions, 2 wet), beating after each addition until incorporated. Continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  5. Divide batter evenly among your cupcake liners–about 2/3 full–and bake until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs only, about 16 minutes.
  6. Carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool on wire racks. Repeat with second tray.
For the frosting:
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 3-4 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.
  2. Melt chocolate in microwave in a small heatproof bowl, or over a pot of simmering water on the stovetop, stirring often. Let cool.
  3. Add melted chocolate to butter and beat until incorporated. Add extract, vanilla bean and salt and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Add sifted icing sugar, beating on low speed until just combined, increasing to medium speed until well combined.
Assembly of the Cupcakes
  1. Pipe a generous swirl of frosting atop each cupcake, using pastry tip 1M, or the tip of your choice.
  2. Gently press a fondant medallion upon each cupcake. Best enjoyed same day.