These are my go-to tried and true vanilla cupcakes! I have made these too many times to count and they have always been devoured within minutes.
These cupcakes are very simple to make and it’s great that I always have all of the ingredients on hand. I love to substitute vanilla paste for vanilla extract in most of my recipes. Vanilla paste provides those beautiful vanilla seeds/flecks (and an amazing vanilla flavor) that you would get if you used expensive vanilla beans. You can find vanilla paste all over but I usually get mine from Williams Sonoma.
Last but not least, the frosting! It is AMAZING! I actually came up with this recipe since every other recipe I tried tasted more like butter than delicious buttercream frosting. I think my husband and I both gained a few pounds while testing this frosting again and again. But it was worth it! I’m happy to say this is the only buttercream I will ever make!
Yield: 12 cupcakes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla paste!)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Prepare frosting. Decorate cooled cupcakes as desired.
Source: cupcakes: adapted from Joy of Baking
My Favorite Vanilla Buttercream Frosting!
Yield: enough frosting for 24 cupcakes
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
5-6 cups confectioners’ sugar (20 oz)
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
Slowly add the rest of the ingredients a little at a time. I usually start by adding a cup of confectioners’ sugar along with the salt and vanilla extract. Then I add 1/4 cup heavy cream, slowly add in more confectioners’ sugar and heavy cream until all 5-6 cups (or so) of confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 cup of heavy cream are added. (Do not add all 5-6 cups of confectioners’ sugar at once or you’ll have a mess)
Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice.
Decorate cooled cupcakes as desired.
Source: Melissa Bakes Original