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Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

I’ve thought a lot about what makes the perfect vanilla cupcake… will it be moist? dense? crumbly? cakey? white? cream? vanilla beans? extract? I’ve tried a lot of recipes, but none really taste like vanilla… just plain cake.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes  | JavaCupcake.com

I posed this question to you on Facebook & Twitter, “What ingredients make up the perfect vanilla cupcake?”… and this is what you said:

  • vanilla bean powder
  • vanilla beans
  • coconut flour paired with a good vanilla bean extract
  • vinegar
  • homemade vanilla extract
  • whipped egg whites folded into the batter
  • box of vanilla pudding mix

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes  | JavaCupcake.com

Yesterday, I ventured into the kitchen to make a vanilla cupcake that truly tasted like vanilla.  I began with Sweetapolita’s recipe for vanilla cake and added my own spin on it to really bring out the vanilla flavor.  I did things like steep the milk in vanilla beans, use my homemade vanilla extract and vanilla sugar and of course use the seeds of 2 fresh Madagascar vanilla beans.

And, after tasting them… I’m pretty darn certain that these are one of the most delicious vanilla cupcakes I’ve ever tasted!  I’m definitely adding this recipe to the rotation!

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes  | JavaCupcake.com

PS… Love these liners?  I got them from Sutton Gourmet Paper!!

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Yield: 18-20 cupcakes
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 3 minutes

Ingredients

Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup milk steeped with 2 vanilla beans/pods and strained/cooled
  • 1/4 sour cream, room temperature
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp Madagascar vanilla bean extract
  • 2 cups cake flour, sifted 3 times
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/8 cup Madagascar vanilla bean sugar
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, soft & at room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable shortening

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound powdered sugar, SIFTED
  • 1 Tbsp Madagascar vanilla bean extract
  • 1/4 cup Madagascar vanilla bean infused milk/cream, room temperature (use same method as used for the cupcakes)
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. Split 2 Madagascar vanilla beans and scrape out the seeds. Combine the pods and seeds in a small sauce pan with 1 cup of milk and bring to a simmer over med-high heat while whisking constantly. Remove from heat as soon as it begins to bubble and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup for the buttercream.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  3. In a small bowl , whisk together the egg whites, egg, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup of the vanilla milk and sour cream. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, sift the cake flour three times. Add the baking powder, salt and sugar and sift two additional times.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour mixture with the butter and shortening on medium speed for about 30 seconds or until it looks finely clumped.
  6. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla milk and mix until just combined. It will be thick. Scrape the sides of the bowl again.
  7. Add the egg mixture in three parts, mixing for 20 seconds on medium speed and scraping the sides of the bowl between each addition. NOTE: DO NOT OVER MIX the batter. You want it to be smooth with all the ingredients incorporated.
  8. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 17-19 minutes, rotating pan after 12 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean when they are done.
  9. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. One cup at a time, add the sifted powdered sugar and mix on high until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined.
  4. Add 2 Tbsp of the milk and beat on high for 3-4 minutes or until frosting is smooth and fluffy. Add more milk if necessary to reach your desired consistency. NOTE: Make sure to add as many as the vanilla bean seeds as you can to the frosting!
Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving Calories 0Total Fat 0g

Debra

Sunday 25th of February 2018

Hi can you make the frosting the day before

Debra

Saturday 24th of February 2018

Hi was wondering how u make your buttercream icing white

Betsy Eves

Saturday 24th of February 2018

Use heavy whipping cream instead of milk and whip it until it turns white, light & fluffy.

Naomi

Monday 11th of April 2016

Hi! As I live in the UK I can't get hold of cake flour...what can I use as an alternative please? Thank you! Naomi xo

Betsy Eves

Monday 11th of April 2016

Hi! To make one cup of cake flour, put 2 tbsp of cornstarch in the bottom of a 1-cup measuring cup, then fill the cup as usual with all-purpose flour and level top. Hope this helps :)

Alicia DeGregoria

Sunday 24th of May 2015

Hello, I want to make this as a cake, what size pans do you recommend..Also,I would like to make the frosting a day ahead, can the steeped milk mixture stay over night?..Thanks

Rebecca

Monday 4th of May 2015

Hi!

What is the vanilla bean sugar you mention in the recipe for the cake? Can I use regular granulated sugar?

Betsy Eves

Monday 4th of May 2015

Hi Rebecca - vanilla bean sugar is just granulated sugar that has been infused with a split vanilla bean. This is optional, but if you're going for a strong vanilla taste in your cupcake, I'd go for it! It's super easy... a few days before you want to bake, split a vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds for later use and add the pod to your container of granulated sugar and close the lid tight! After a few days, the sugar will be infused with the vanilla! Super easy and so yum! Happy baking!

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