RECIPE: Kirsten Tibballs' Tahitian vanilla cupcakes

Friday November 10 is Vanilla Cupcake Day. And to celebrate, dessert queen, pastry chef and chocolatier Kirsten Tibballs shares with foodservice her recipe for Tahitian vanilla cupcakes made with vanilla from the island of Taha’a.


Preparation time: 25 minutes

Baking Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 12 cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes

155 g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
3 free range eggs
155 g brown sugar
200 ml Bulla crème fraiche
60 g unsalted butter
QS oil spray
2 Tahitian vanilla beans

  • Cut out 12 x 12cm squares of baking paper. Grease the muffin tin with an oil spray and press each paper square into the tin.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. Mix the eggs and sugar together in the bowl of a KitchenAid Stand Mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, until you have created a light foam. Use a spatula to fold through the sieved dry ingredients, followed by the crème fraiche. Melt the butter and fold it through the mixture.
  • Divide the cake batter into each cup of the muffin tin lined with the baking paper squares. Each cup requires approximately 60g.
  • Bake at 170°C for 15 -18 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and set them on a cooling rack to cool completely. Turn the oven off.
  • Cut the Tahitian vanilla beans in half and scrape out the seeds. Place the pods in the oven once you turn it off after baking the muffins. When the pods are completely dried out, place them in an airtight container as they will be used as a garnish later.

Vanilla Cream Topping
4 Tahitian vanilla beans
300 g pure icing sugar
195 g unsalted butter
3 tbsp Bulla pure cream
Pinch sea salt

  • Cut the Tahitian vanilla beans in half and scrape out the seeds. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Beat the butter, cut and scraped Tahitian vanilla beans and sieved icing sugar in the bowl of a KitchenAid Stand Mixer until light and creamy. Add in the fresh cream and salt. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large star piping nozzle.
  • Pipe the icing directly onto the cupcakes. Using a fine grater, grate the dried vanilla pods from earlier onto the icing.