Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

 

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There are so many different cupcake recipes out there (remember my avocado cupcakes?), but sometimes the perfect vanilla cupcake adorned with a delicious buttercream is the ideal choice.

Wikipedia describes a cupcake as a small cake designed to serve one person. I also discovered that November 9th is National vanilla cupcake day. Mark your calendar friends, this sounds like a pretty important occasion to me!

I can’t even begin to count how many vanilla cupcakes I have baked in my lifetime.  My children and grandchildren love cupcakes.  My children refer to themselves as cupcake “snobs”.  I remember buying cupcakes in a local supermarket bakery and when I served them for dessert, they asked me what I was trying to pull serving them store bought baked goods.  Ooops….sorry!!

Two of my grandsons prefer a vanilla cupcake over any other flavor.  I made a strawberry shortcake cupcake last summer.  I think it was one of the best cupcakes ever! It had so many components,  but they were NOT a fan.  My adorable granddaughter, on the other hand, was all about it (you go Evie Girl!).

Evie eating a cupcake
This is how you eat a cupcake!

So this cupcake recipe goes out to all the vanilla cupcake lovers out there (or cupcake lovers…period).  These cupcakes are my go to vanilla recipe and will be yours too!

Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (200 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar (I use an extra fine baking sugar, but granulated works also)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) full fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (123 grams) *buttermilk room temperature

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

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Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

 

In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer with whisk attachment), cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about two minutes).

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Mix in the eggs and vanilla bean extract. Mix until combined.  Mix in the sour cream and mix until incorporated (about 30 seconds).  Scrape down bowl and paddle as needed.

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Add the flour mixture and mix just until flour is incorporated.  With your mixer on low, slowly pour the buttermilk into the batter.  If you would like, you can use a hand whisk at this point.  Do not over mix!

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Scoop into paper cups filling them 2/3 full.  You can use a large ice cream scoop or two spoons, whichever you prefer.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes.  All ovens are different, so begin checking for doneness at 17 minutes.  If the toothpick has a few crumbs attached, remove from oven.  The cupcakes will continue baking after they are removed from the oven.  You don’t want to over bake them or you will end up with a dry cupcake!

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After 2 minutes, transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.  Top with my simple buttercream frosting.  Don’t let the name fool you.  It may be simple to make, but it’s oh so good!!

Simple (but delicious) Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups (455 grams) confectioner’s sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) heavy cream

Instructions:

Cream butter until fluffy.  Slowly incorporate confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time. Make sure your mixer is on a low speed (trust me on this…you will have a sugar mess!  I learned this the hard way!!). Add the salt and vanilla extract.  Drizzle in the heavy cream to desired consistency.  Add more or less until you achieve this.  Of course, at this point, you can make your icing any color you would like using liquid or gel food coloring. The possibilities are endless!

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You can ice your cupcakes using a small spatula or place the frosting in a decorating bag with a piping tip.  I used a bag for these cupcakes.  I like to use a large star shaped tip to pipe the frosting in a swirling motion.  Top with sprinkles.  Don’t forget the sprinkles!!  Enjoy!!

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*If you don’t have buttermilk (I never seem to have it when I come across a recipe that calls for it), you can make your own by adding 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to your milk.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.  It will become thick as it sits.

It is important to allow your ingredients to come to room temperature (the ones that are called to come to room temperature).  This includes your butter!  Your batter will not come together accurately, and your finished baked good won’t turn out perfectly.  You don’t want to waste your time and cost of the good ingredients you are using in your baked goods!!

 

 

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