Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

This past year Stef over at the Cupcake Project set out on a quest for the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake recipe.  I was completely intrigued by this, Vanilla being my absolute favorite cupcake flavor.  When she posted the recipe for, what she declared, was the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake, I immediately printed it out and placed it in my "must try" stack of recipes.  That was at the end of September 2011.

It is now six months later and I have finally gotten around to testing out this recipe.  It is delicious!  I have made it twice this week already, it is that good.  I have posted other Vanilla Cupcake recipes on this blog and they are good, even great but this is the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake!  Thanks Cupcake Project for this amazing Vanilla Cupcake.
The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
by Stef at the Cupcake Project
Yield: 16 cupcakes / Preheat oven to 350 F

1 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
 2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk
Just look at those flecks of Vanilla Bean in the batter.  Yum!
In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean. (For those of you who are new to using vanilla beans, check out this video to learn how to get the seeds out of the bean.)

Using the back of a spoon, move around the bowl and apply pressure to break up any clumps of seeds and to better infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar. Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.

Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes.  Because there is so little butter, you'll end up with a very fine crumb texture.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined.  The batter will be liquid.  (Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong.  It's supposed to be that way.)

Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.

Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it.  The cupcakes should appear white with specks of vanilla bean. They should not turn a golden brown.  If they are not done, test again in two minutes.  If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.

When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don't own a cooling rack) to cool. Once cool, frost with your favorite frosting and decorate with your favorite sprinkles.  I chose to frost these with my Vanilla Buttercream.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening, not butter flavored
3 tbls milk
2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 lbs powdered sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment beat butter and shortening on high until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.  Mix in milk, vanilla and salt.  Gradually add powdered sugar until frosting is of the desired consistency for piping.  Using your favorite piping tip, pipe frosting onto cupcakes, sprinkle with your favorite decors.


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  1. I would love it if you would join me in linking up at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

    I hope you can make it!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

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