Chocolate gets a lot of hype, but a delectable vanilla cupcake will always be a tasty classic. The secret is to make sure they are moist and fluffy. While the quick box mixes can get the job done, there’s something special about whisking a batch up from scratch.
Sour Cream Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 16 cupcakes
14 oz. all-purpose flour
8 oz. granulated white sugar
A large pinch of baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
A large pinch of kosher salt
6 oz. melted unsalted butter
3 egg whites separated from yolk at room temperature
1 tbsp real vanilla extract
4 oz. sour cream at room temperature
4 oz. warm whole milk
Vanilla Buttercream Icing Ingredients
32 oz. confectioners sugar sifted
16 oz. unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 oz. real vanilla extract
1/2 oz. heavy cream
1/4 oz. kosher salt
1/4 oz. whole milk
* Preheat the oven to 350F
* Prepare cupcake or muffin tin by lining with cupcake paper liners.
* Using a large bowl, place the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda in a sifter and sift into the bowl. Whisk to add air.
* Separate the eggs, setting the yolks aside for another use.
* Whisk together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Do not be alarmed if the batter is lumpy.
* Slowly blend the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients until completely combined.
* Fill each of the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way from the top.
* Place in oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes. They are done when the center springs back when touched.
*Remove from the oven and let cool completely
Buttercream Icing Instructions
* Prepare your stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
* In the mixer bowl, add the softened butter and cream.
* Slowly add the 1/2 of the confectioner’s sugar, fully blend and repeat with the second half.
* Add cream, milk, salt and vanilla extract. Continue mixing until fluffy.
* Ice the cooled cupcakes with a piping bag or a warm spreading knife.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes – Gluten Free
Makes 12 cupcakes
4 oz. cooking oil of choice
6 oz granulated white sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
10 oz. all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
1/2 oz sea salt
1/4 oz. baking powder
4 oz. milk of choice.
1/4 oz. vanilla paste or real vanilla extract
Vanilla Frosting Ingredients
4 oz. butter of choice at room temperature
1/4 oz. vanilla paste or real vanilla extract
24 oz. powdered sugar
1 oz. milk
*Preheat the oven to 350F and place the oven rack in the center height position.
* Line the cupcake or muffin tin with cupcake papers.
* Combine sugar and oil in a medium mixing bowl
* Using an electric mixer, add eggs and mix on medium speed for one minute.
* Then add the flour, salt, milk, baking powder, and vanilla. Continue to mix on medium speed for another minute.
* Spoon batter into liners until the liner is 2/3 full.
* Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the center springs back when touched and they have a light brown color on top.
* Allow to cool for at least five minutes on a rack and then cool completely before icing.
Vanilla Frosting Instructions
* Using a medium mixing bowl, blend the butter and vanilla until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
* Slowly add the powdered sugar, eight ounces at a time, blending well. Add a small amount of the milk, mix and repeat until all ingredients have been used.
* Add small amounts of milk until you have the consistency you want.
* Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
Tips To Remember
Make sure you measure the flour you are using, accurately. Too much flour and your cupcakes will come out dry. Too little flour and they will be gooey and not set correctly. Use a measuring cup and level the top with a knife.
You don’t have to use expensive ingredients for the cupcake, but a word of advice is to use real vanilla extract or paste, not the imitation. It is noticeable in the taste. Using the paste, you will see flecks of the vanilla in the end product.
Creativity can show in the icings and toppings. Natural food coloring can be used to spice up the look. Think sprinkles or fruit such as sliced strawberries, to add on top of the icing.
Ovens range in temperature. The baking time is an estimate. Generally, you can start checking the cupcakes after they have been in the oven for 15 minutes to be sure they come out perfect.
Always let the cupcakes cool completely before icing them. It is frustrating to have them baked and ready, only to see the icing slide off the top. This is very prone to happen if you use butter in the icing recipe.
You can make extra cupcakes to freeze, but don’t ice the ones you want to save for later. The cupcakes will last about three days after baking. In the freezer, about two months. If you plan to freeze them, you may want to use oil in the recipe instead of butter as they will stay softer.
Cupcake liners can come in different sizes, this is another reason to watch the baking time due to the amount of batter they will hold. No one likes to have dark edges around their cupcakes rim.