This frosting is amazing! The vanilla bean gives the icing such a subtle flavor while at the same time leaving its tell-tale black flecks. When topped with a maraschino cherry I think that this is on of the most eye-catching ways to dress up a cupcake.
Start with a basic American icing and scrape all of the seeds out of a vanilla bean pod. and adding all of them to the mix.
1 lb butter
1 kg icing sugar
The seeds of one vanilla pod
Mix all together until light and fluffy. Add the amount of cream it takes to reach the consistency that you are looking for.