Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Plain Jane, or just Plain Delicious

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Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes

You know the reputation vanilla gets for being plain, well I'm not sure why because who doesn't like vanilla?! So why not double the delicious flavor and make it even better? I may be a bit biased because I always prefer vanilla but I guarantee you will too once you try these cupcakes.

I made these for a friend who order a batch for their office. They wanted a REALLY good vanilla cupcake. I was going to get creative with the icing but wanted to really show up how wonderful vanilla is. So I went with a basic vanilla buttercream. The cupcake however was a bit different. I wanted a cupcake that had a lighter texture but HUGE vanilla flavor.

I did my research for the best vanilla cupcake. I found that the ones with the best reviews all had a different method of how they add the butter. They don't cream the butter and sugars together instead they mix it into the flour to make little crumbles before adding in the wet ingredients. It is a very thin batter but rises a lot which makes it light but not too light. I am in love with this recipe and I think I am going to use this as my go to vanilla recipe. I found several I really likes but this one from The Cupcake Project is my favorite so far.

So these are my Not So Plain Jane Vanilla Cupcakes.


Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes
Adapted from The Cupcake Project

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (I skipped this and doubled the vanilla extract later)
  • 1 3/4 cupcakes cake flour, not self rising
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup full fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract ( I used two because I did not have the vanilla bean)
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. If using vanilla bean:  combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla 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.
  3. If not skip this and just set 1 cup of sugar aside.
  4. With electric mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the vanilla bean sugar/sugar and mix until well combined.
  6. 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,)
  7. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  8. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  9. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined.  The batter will be liquid. 
  10. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
  11. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done, with a toothpick.
  12. Remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack to cool.

Basic Vanilla Buttercream

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 cups confectioners sugar ( I tend to only use 3)
1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract ( sometimes I use the clear vanilla so it doesn't alter the color, but I don't get the vanilla flavor I'm looking for)
1/4 cup milk

  1. With an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. With mixer on low speed, gradually sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy.
  3. Add more sugar and/or milk to your liking.


  1. Vanilla is a great change of pace and I believe that it can sometimes be better than chocolate. This does look like a tasty recipe and your picture is stunning. Thanks for sharing-yum!

    1. I have made this recipe several times - love it!

    2. Aww yay! Im so excited that you checked out m blog but also made something from here!