I have had a recent obsession with baking American treats for my International friends in my MBA program in the Champagne region of France. There is just something about the utter sweetness and basic lack of complexity in American treats that I have to say I miss a little. American desserts are so different from French, Chinese, Japanese, etc and on top of that I absolutely adore cupcakes.

These cupcakes above are white cupcakes with a vanilla bean, cream cheese, cognac frosting. I decided to decorate them with little scrolls tied with ribbons and little graduation hats with strings falling off the brim. I really wanted to buy fondant, dye it bright blue and yellow and do a perfect job. The problem is fondant is impossible to find in France and making it might of been a culinary disaster involving destroying my apartment table.

The cupcakes came out delicious and the recipes are below

  • Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients (3)

  • 3 Cups Flour (330g)
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt


  1. 2.5 teaspoons baking powder 2 pinches of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 3/4 cup sugar 2 eggs 1/2 cup whole milk 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt dash of vanilla
  2. Preparation Preheat oven to 170 or 350 degrees Fahrenheit Sift the flour with the baking soda and salt in one bowl In another larger bowl break up the butter into pieces and cream it with a mixer, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat in one at a time. Add in vanilla and slowly add 1/4 of the flour mixture and then add 1/4 cup of the milk and 1/4 cup of the yogurt. Keep alternating flour and milk/yogurt until all is incorporated.
  3. Pour into cupcakes tins (which you should be able to find in speciality stores in EU) and bake for about 20 minutes making sure to check them after about 15 minutes by inserting a toothpick or straw of pasta into the middle. You want the toothpick to come out clean. Be careful not to over-bake as they will lose their light fluffiness.
  4. Cream Cheese frosting infused with Vanilla Bean and Cognac 1 stick butter 8 oz cream cheese 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 vanilla bean (divided in 2 and scrape the inside black substance) 2 tbls cognac 4 cups powdered sugar a bit of heavy cream
  5. Preparation
  6. -Put butter in a large mixing bowl and blend. Add the cream cheese and blend the butter and cream cheese together until they are combined. Add vanilla, cognac and vanilla bean. Blend all together on medium speed and wait for it to get fluffy. Add heavy cream and continue to beat until it reaches a thick and fluffy consistency. Use or refrigerate.
  7. Decorative Toppings Ideas for Graduation Themed Cupcakes
  8. -Roll various very small squares of paper into little scrolls and tie with small bright yellow ribbon.
  9. -Take the Fondant or Pate d’almande and form into one small square for the base of the hat and then roll out some pate and cut it into a square for the top of the hat. Now take a small quantity of pate and roll it into a thin strip for the top of the hat string. Press a few indention marks on the end of the string to represent the straws at the end of the string.
  10. Voila!