winter white cupcakes + nielsen-massey vanillas giveaway

December 27, 2012

in Cupcakes

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! Highlights for me included spending time with family, reflecting on the many blessings of the past year, eating wonderful food, and heading to the coast for a change of scenery. We began our celebration on Christmas Eve, finishing our meal with these winter white cupcakes. The light and fluffy cupcakes are laced with both a vanilla bean and vanilla extract; the irresistibly creamy vanilla-Mascarpone frosting is a new favorite of mine.

Winter White Cupcakes | Tutti Dolci

These beauties would make a perfect New Year’s Eve dessert along with flutes of champagne. As with any vanilla cupcake, the result depends on the quality of your vanilla products. My pantry is never without Nielsen-Massey vanilla, so I’m excited about today’s giveaway – see the details below.

Winter White Cupcakes | Tutti Dolci

Winter White Cupcakes
2 cups cake flour*
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk

Vanilla Frosting
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup Mascarpone, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp low-fat milk
Silver glitter crystals

Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup standard muffin pans with baking cups; coat lightly with nonstick spray. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat sugar and vanilla bean in a large mixer bowl at medium speed for 30 seconds; add butter and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined; beat in vanilla. Combine yogurt and buttermilk in a small bowl. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture (begin and end with flour mixture).

Divide batter evenly among cups (just over 1/2 full) and bake for 14 minutes, until cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 2 minutes in pans on a wire rack, then carefully remove from pans and place them on the wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting, beat butter and Mascarpone in a large mixer bowl on medium speed for 1 minute. Add vanilla and salt; beat another 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low and gradually add powdered sugar until incorporated. Add milk and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute, until frosting is creamy and smooth. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes; top with sprinkles. Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

*Make your own cake flour: place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in an empty 1-cup measure, then top up with flour. Sift the mixture several times to evenly distribute the cornstarch.

Yield – 20 cupcakes (serving size: 1 cupcake)
Calories – 212
Carbs – 32

Giveaway Details:
One winner will receive a 2-bean vial of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans, an 8.5 oz bottle of Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, and a 2 oz bottle of Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract. Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 5 pm PST. The winner will be selected by random.org and contacted by email. If there is no response after 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Open to US Residents.

Disclosure: Nielsen-Massey provided me with these products for recipe development. I received no compensation as part of this giveaway and all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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69 Comments

1 Tabitha P. December 27, 2012

i’d make choc cupcakes

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2 Liren December 27, 2012

Did you say mascarpone ice cream? Laced with my favorite vanilla!? Yes, please! A lovely way to celebrate the holidays, I just love how ethereal they look!

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3 Valerie December 27, 2012

Gorgeous cupcakes (and photos!). If snowflakes took on cupcake form, this is what they would look like! :D

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4 Suzanne December 27, 2012

Oh these are lovely little cakes and with the special vanilla I’m sure they were delicious as well. Great giveaway us bakers can really appreciate!

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5 Anne Hernandez December 27, 2012

I love vanilla! When you use the good stuff you get such a depth of flavor. I’d start with the cupcake recipe above, but that’s just for starters. :oD

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6 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious December 27, 2012

These cupcakes are so sparkly and gorgeous! And thanks for the awesome giveaway! The first thing I’d make is some vanilla cupcakes for my niece and nephews!

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7 Jen @ Savory Simple December 27, 2012

Laura, these photos are some of my favorites so far on your site. Just gorgeous. Nielsen Massey is the only brand of vanilla I will work with. Amazing stuff! I will make your beautiful cupcakes if I win :)

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8 Heather @ Bake, Run, Live December 27, 2012

I would make vanilla sugar cookies and a batch of vanilla ice cream!

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9 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet December 27, 2012

So gorgeous! The frosting sounds so delicious – it would have to be made first!! :)

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10 Mary Ann December 27, 2012

I would use the vanilla to make your gorgeous looking white cupcakes.

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11 Averie @ Averie Cooks December 27, 2012

They are stunning! I love the whiteness of them! And the first thing I’d make with the vanilla is cookies or bars!

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12 Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers December 27, 2012

I was magnetized with your winter white cupcakes! I had to scoot over and see what these beauties are made of. And I was right! Vanilla and mascarpone. Yum! I’m glad you had a wonderful X’mas celebration!

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13 Terri C December 27, 2012

Those cupcakes are beautiful ! My favorite flavor for just about everything is vanilla. I would make some vanilla ice cream first to serve with the vanilla sugar cookies I make. Yum!

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14 foodwanderings December 27, 2012

What elegance. Absolutely winter wonderland cupcakes, Laura. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and wishing you a Happy 2013.

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15 Ilene December 27, 2012

Maybe some snickerdoodle blondies

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16 Kate December 27, 2012

I would make a vanilla bean frosting

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17 Liz December 27, 2012

I would make vanilla bean caramels

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18 brighteyedbaker December 27, 2012

I know there are a ton of recipes using vanilla as the start ingredient that I would love to try if I had these Nielsen-Massey products. I think some vanilla bean scones would be delicious for my first pick, or biscotti!

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19 Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel December 27, 2012

Oh my goodness, hello delicious! I love Nielson-Massey vanilla products and use their vanilla bean paste ALL the time. I’ve been dying to make some super vanilla bean snickerdoodles lately :)

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20 Jeffrey December 27, 2012

Cupcakes with vanilla buttercream!

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21 Becca Z December 27, 2012

Frozen yogurt

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22 angela @ another bite please December 27, 2012

I just got this vanilla for Christmas…I am so excited to bake with it…I think the first thing will be some kind of banana bread since I have 2 very ripe bananas that can’t go to waste!

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23 Liz December 27, 2012

These are just gorgeous, Laura! Love how you gave them a bit of sparkle…perfect for the New Year!

My hubby would want me to make chocolate chip cookies (his answer whenever I ask what he’d like me to bake!). I’m a huge fan of Nielsen-Massey!

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24 Meghan Finley December 27, 2012

I’d make creme brulee

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25 Happygirl December 27, 2012

That vanilla mascarpone frosting sounds heavenly!

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26 Kristin December 27, 2012

Maybe some really great creme brulee!

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27 Stephanie @ 52 Kitchen Adventures December 27, 2012

I love your beautiful winter cupcakes! They do remind me of my champagne ones. The sparkles make them perfect for NYE or any other celebration!

If I win the giveaway, I’d make the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes from the Cupcake Project. They’re the best vanilla cupcakes!

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28 Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom December 27, 2012

Doughnuts or vanilla cupcakes?? :)

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29 Reem December 27, 2012

Gorgeous! !!
I’m specially loving the mascarpone in the frosting…
Lovely Pics.
Wishing you n your loved ones a very Happy New Year!

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30 sara December 27, 2012

Vanilla pound cake!

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31 Deborah December 27, 2012

These are gorgeous – what a perfect Christmas dessert!!

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32 Jen L | Tartine ans Apron Strings December 27, 2012

I ONLY use Neilsen-Massey vanillas in all my baking! They are the best! Too bad this is for US only. No Canada? Sob, sob…great giveaway, though! I can’t say enough good things about Neilsen-Massey vanilla products. Not only vanilla, I also love all their other extracts like almond, coffee, chocolate, orange blossom…I have them all in my pantry!

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33 Susan December 27, 2012

These are just gorgeous, Laura!

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34 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella December 28, 2012

We always start on Christmas Eve too! I think as kids, we figured why wait an extra day? :P These beauties would be totally welcome at our table, they look delicious!

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35 Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon December 28, 2012

These little cupcakes are so pretty – I love the silver glitter!

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36 Carol | a cup of mascarpone December 28, 2012

Gorgeous cupcakes, Laura!!!

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37 rosemary December 28, 2012

This is the only vanilla I use. I love their vanilla bean paste which is easier to keep and makes the flavor more intense. I put vanilla in everything I bake, it is just so good. My mom’s italian biscotti is always a fave during the holidays.

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38 Cassie | Bake Your Day December 28, 2012

These are fabulous, Laura! I love the mascarpone in the icing – I can only imagine how dreamy it is!

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39 Kate@Diethood December 28, 2012

Oooooh I am jealous of your white on white photos!! I can’t do that! Teach me!! :-D
And about those cupcakes… um… that frosting needs to make it to mah belly ASAP!

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40 Kate@Diethood December 28, 2012

I should have said that I would use the vanilla extract to make your beautiful frosting.

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41 Laura December 28, 2012

These cupcakes are absolutely gorgeous – they’d definitely be first on my list! Love the addition of marscarpone in the frosting.

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42 Elin December 28, 2012

Cheesecake!

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43 Kristen M. December 28, 2012

I’d make vanilla custard.

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44 Sandra's Easy Cooking December 28, 2012

Wow, Laura! Those look amazing and so delicious…I could eat at least 3 right now! I hope you had great Christmas too, and I wish you wonderful New Year! xo

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45 Jennifer @ Mother Thyme December 28, 2012

These are absolutely stunning! I love Mascarpone and I just love that you used it in the frosting. So pretty, especially for New Year’s Eve. I would love to use this vanilla in fresh vanilla bean frozen yogurt.

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46 Amy (Savory Moments) December 28, 2012

These cupcakes are beautiful and so it the photo – I love all the white and silver. It’s like snow. I love real vanilla beans and use them quite often.

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47 Elizabeth Baxter December 28, 2012

I’ll make vegan vanilla bean cupcakes — I’m not vegan, but I made them once with a friend and they were even better than regular cupcakes.

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48 Patty December 28, 2012

Beautiful cupcakes and A Very Happy New Years to you;-)

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49 karen December 28, 2012

Probably a pound cake to really show off the delicious vanilla!

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50 suzanne Perazzini December 28, 2012

You have made these look totally gorgeous in the photo with such a wonderful white Christmas look.

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51 Lora @cakeduchess December 28, 2012

I for sure would make these gorgeous cupcakes:)These are so pretty and sparkyly. The mascarpone frosting is delightful:)

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52 Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today December 29, 2012

Most probably I’d make this cupcakes out of the vanilla beans, hahaha. It looks too good not to use your recipe.

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53 claire @ the realistic nutritionist December 29, 2012

Oh Laura!! These are probably the prettiest cupcakes I’ve ever seen!!

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54 Deb December 29, 2012

I never tire of cupcakes! Every time I say I’m over them I fall hard and fast for another tempting treat! The Winter White Cupcakes have me charmed, an enchanting New Year’s dessert!

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55 Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} December 29, 2012

My favorite cupcakes or cake on earth is white cake with white frosting! Yours look wonderful and love the cover photo – very pretty!!!

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56 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts December 29, 2012

I love their vanilla – great giveaway. Your cupcakes are just gorgeous, so perfect for winter.
I would make creme brulee, it is on my list to do soon.

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57 Magic of Spice December 29, 2012

These cupcakes are just so beautiful and festive! Oh, and that frosting sounds delightful!

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58 Julia {The Roasted Root} December 30, 2012

Your cupcakes look so elegant and delicious! I love that they’re not piled with a mound of frosting – too much frosting can definitely overwhelm a cupcake. Looking great, my dear!

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59 Anne@FromMySweetHeart December 30, 2012

Laura…your winter white cupcakes are lovely! They really are festive but in such an elegant way. I think vanilla is underrated. And you are right, good quality vanilla products, like Nielsen-Massey make all the difference in the world! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all good things in the New Year! : )

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60 Sammie December 30, 2012

Oh wow! What beautiful gorgeous cupcakes!!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

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61 Dianne Shaw December 30, 2012

I would make chocolate chip cookies!

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62 Helena / Rico sin Azúcar December 31, 2012

Laura, they look absolutely beautiful and so delicate! (I personally prefer this mascarpone frosting rather than the usual buttercream) Delicious!

Happy New Year! ;-)

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63 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective December 31, 2012

Gorgeous! Happy New Year sweet friend!

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64 Erin M. December 31, 2012

i would make vanilla scones!

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65 Rachelle S. January 2, 2013

Mascarpone frosting? WOW. I’m not a huge buttercream person because it’s too dense and sweet for me, but this sounds even better than cream cheese!

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66 Terra January 2, 2013

When I saw this blog post on FB, I thought they were the prettiest cupcakes I have ever seen!!! Truly beautiful, Hugs, Terra

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67 Patricia Scarpin January 3, 2013

These cupcakes look heavenly, Laura! I make my own vanilla extract, but use Nielson-Massey’s almond extract and it’s wonderful!

Oh, speaking of giveaways, you’ve won a Zinio magazine subscription, just so you know it. ;)

xx

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68 Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) January 4, 2013

These are the prettiest cupcakes! How fitting for Christmas!

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69 Nami | Just One Cookbook January 5, 2013

I love your cupcake liners and silver glitter crystals (never knew until now such thing exists – need to bake more!). This is so pretty, Laura!

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