ultimate vanilla cupcakes

vanilla cupcake main
Last weekend while I was on my quest for the ultimate chocolate cupcake, I discovered the ultimate vanilla cupcake. Well, I didn’t really discover it, but I did make it, from the very same blog that is trying to find the ultimate chocolate cupcake.

I thought it would be super cute to make fourth of july cupcakes… ya know, red and white cupcakes with red, white, or blue colored frostings. I’m sure it would have been very cute, except that I ended up hating the frosting recipe and having to use my leftover chocolate frosting for them. I figured I would just use independence day sprinkles instead, but couldn’t find them. My choices were quickly reduced to Valentine’s sprinkles, Christmas sprinkles, or dinosaur sprinkles… and really, who doesn’t love dinosaurs?

These really are the ultimate vanilla cupcakes. They are the perfect texture and density and chock-full of sweet, vanilla flavor. I highly recommend these to anyone looking for a reliable vanilla cupcake.

I used Cupcake Project’s “favorite chocolate frosting“, which uses cream cheese as a base. A few people thought the cream cheese flavor overpowered the chocolate, so here are some other frosting recipes:

“Ultimate” Vanilla Cupcakes

[ Printable Recipe ]

Yield: 16 cupcakes

  • 1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) full-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk
  1. In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  3. 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. *If you’re a weirdo like me who keeps vanilla sugar in the pantry, go ahead and use that instead
  4. 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.
  5. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
  7. 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.
  8. Whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth in a separate bowl.
  9. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  10. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until incorporated.  The batter will be very liquidy.  (Don’t worry, it’s supposed to be that way.)
  11. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full (about ¼ to ⅓  cup of batter).
  12. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. 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 “done”, poking them with a toothpick should result in just a few moist crumbs sticking to it)
  13. When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and cool completely on a cooling rack.


[ Recipe from Cupcake Project ]

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