eat. shop. love. nyc.

Who says vanilla is boring?
July 19, 2010, 11:53 am
Filed under: Cook, Eat, Love | Tags: , , , , ,

Martha Stewart Show

I was walking down 7th St. in the East Village yesterday and I heard a gentle whisper in the breeze: “Eat me… eat me… I am a delicious cupcake… eat me…” When I looked up, I saw Butter Lane looming overhead, like a beneficent, sugary angel sent from heaven to ease my shopping-induced hunger.

I think vanilla gets a bad rap. I hate it when people say, “That’s so… vanilla,” like vanilla is a bad thing. I’ve got news for you vanilla-haters: vanilla can be awesome, and I’ve got Butter Lane to prove it.

I’ve tried almost every cupcake combo at Butter Lane, and still I can’t resist the seemingly simple combination of the vanilla cupcake with the French Vanilla frosting. (The French Vanilla is different from the regular Vanilla because it’s made with egg whites instead of whole eggs.) The cake is so soft and moist and subtle, and the frosting is rich and light and so vanilla-y. I dare you to try it and tell me vanilla is boring.

After I devoured my first cupcake, I bought another one of the same. French vanilla on vanilla. I’m so gangsta.

I asked if Butter Lane was teaching people how to make the French Vanilla frosting during their cupcake classes, but

it turns out they are just teaching cupcake lovers how to make the American buttercream frostings. However, they did tell me to check their website under “Press” because the owner was on the Martha Stewart show demonstrating how to make the chocolate cupcake with French Vanilla frosting. So I went and got the recipe for you from the Martha Stewart website.

Butter Lane French Vanilla Frosting


Makes about 1 quart

  • 7 extra-large egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise


  1. In a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water, whisk together egg whites and sugar until sugar is melted and mixture reaches 140 degrees on a candy thermometer, 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on high until stiff peaks form, 12 to 15 minutes. Add cream of tartar and beat for one minute more.
  3. Reduce speed to medium and add butter, a few pieces at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and scrape vanilla bean seeds into mixture; beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator; chill for 15 minutes before using.
From The Martha Stewart Show, January 2009

Here is the recipe for the accompanying chocolate cake, but maybe you should take the class and just learn how to make the vanilla.


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