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Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream recipe

So, my oldest turned 10 recently. I was surprisingly and uncharacteristically mushy about the whole thing. He is a joy, and I cannot believe that I have been his mom for 10 years. Birthdays are about celebration and celebrations would be not a party without cupcakes. Or cinnamon rolls, or red velvet cake. My son has high baking demands when it comes to his week-long birthday extravaganza. He requested cinnamon rolls for his class treat, red velvet cake for his actual birthday dinner, and cupcakes for his friend party. The rest of my family is completely unaffected by my baking abilities, but William really appreciates a homemade baked good. He has learned to capitalize on it (flattery and his big blue puppy dog eyes work like a charm) and uses his birthday to see what I am really made of. He tests my baking chops.

This year he wanted to have a few of the boys from his class over to make homemade pizza. They were pros. They didn’t even make a mess of the kitchen, it was great. They played Madden until their thumbs were weak, we didn’t hear a peep other than the occasional touchdown noise, and it was one of the most enjoyable parties we have ever had. When it came to his kid party cake, he told me to surprise him. I know what you might be wondering, why did you pick a boring vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream? Well, because I heard that these were the best. Alison from The Alison Show talked about them on Instagram, and I figured that if she said that this was the best vanilla cupcake recipe, it was worth a go. Guess what? She was right. These cupcakes are divine. The thing about the batter and the buttercream is that both recipes  have some specific steps – and that is what sets them apart from all others. The batter needs to rest. Makes perfect sense, so does pancake batter, why didn’t I think to rest my cupcake batter? The buttercream is the best I have ever had. Light, not too sweet, and the perfect texture. These cupcakes are from the Trophy Cupcakes & Parties book. I buy a lot of cookbooks, it is sort of my thing. A lot of books I skim through once or twice and shelve. This book I go to all the time. I love this book and it is a great one to add to your collection.

P.S. Alison has no idea who I am, but I love her. Any girl that appreciates a fountain soda and loves to dance in the kitchen as much as I do is okay in my book.

P.P.S My recipe below for buttercream is half of the original recipe. I had just enough frosting for 24 cupcakes. Next time, I would make the full recipe (so double this one) and have some leftover.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream recipe

Vanilla Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons half-and-half
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs

vanilla cupcake recipe

In a large bowl sift together flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

vanilla cupcake recipe

In a pitcher, whisk together milk, half-and-half, and vanilla. Set aside.

vanilla cupcake recipe

Cream together butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

vanilla cupcake recipe

Add eggs one at time, mixing well and scraping the bowl after you add each egg.

vanilla cupcake recipe

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture.

vanilla cupcake recipe

Add 1/2 of the milk. You add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, and the liquid in 2.

vanilla cupcake recipe

When everything has been added scrape the bowl one more time. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with paper liners.

vanilla cupcake recipe

Fill the paper liners three quarters of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

vanilla cupcake recipe

The cupcakes will be pale in color. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

vanilla buttercream recipe

Vanilla Buttercream

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

best vanilla buttercream recipe

Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until the butter is pale, very smooth, and makes a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. This takes about 30 seconds if you butter is really soft, a bit longer if the butter is cooler.

best vanilla buttercream recipe

Add the sugar one cup at a time. Mix until it is incorporated before you add the next cup.

best vanilla buttercream recipe

When all of the sugar has been added, scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt, beat on low speed for 15 seconds.

best vanilla buttercream recipe

Increase the speed to high (or just high enough so that it doesn’t make a mess). Beat until whipped, light, and perfectly smooth, about 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl once or twice. The frosting will look like it is getting really soft, but it will stiffen and increase in volume.

best vanilla cupcakes recipe

Add the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

best vanilla cupcake recipe

Add sprinkles. It’s a birthday after all.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl sift together flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a pitcher, whisk together milk, half-and-half, and vanilla. Set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add eggs one at time, mixing well and scraping the bowl after you add each egg.
  3. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Add 1/2 of the milk. You add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, and the liquid in 2.
  4. When everything has been added scrape the bowl one more time. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with paper liners. Fill the paper liners three quarters of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The cupcakes will be pale in color. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
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Vanilla Buttercream

Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until the butter is pale, very smooth, and makes a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. This takes about 30 seconds if you butter is really soft, a bit longer if the butter is cooler.
  2. Add the sugar one cup at a time. Mix until it is incorporated before you add the next cup.
  3. When all of the sugar has been added, scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt, beat on low speed for 15 seconds.
  4. Increase the speed to high (or just high enough so that it doesn’t make a mess). Beat until whipped, light, and perfectly smooth, about 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl once or twice. The frosting will look like it is getting really soft, but it will stiffen and increase in volume.
  5. You can use this right away, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
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25 Responses to Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

  1. Hi fountain Diet Coke drinking friend! Your cupcakes look fabulous and I can’t wait to try this recipe! I have been looking for a go-to vanilla cupcake. Pinned and printed the recipe – now I’ve got to run to Sheetz for a Diet Coke :) Happy Thursday!

  2. Jeena says:

    Hi,

    Cupcakes looks so yummy. Can you pelase tell me whats this half and half?

  3. Omotayo says:

    Love this! Which baking cup did you use and what size is it? I only have one 12 hole muffin tin. Can I bake it in 2 batches or they all have to go in the oven at the same time?

  4. Carrie says:

    Just made this vanilla buttercream. It is amazing! Great flavor and texture! I had plenty to frost a 2 layer 9in round cake with this plus many “taste test bites”. Thanks for sharing, Bree!

  5. Kadee says:

    I’m excited to try this recipe! I have my all-time favorite chocolate cake recipe but I have tried DOZENS of vanilla and just can’t find one that takes the cake! ;) Perhaps this resting trick will do the job! Thanks for posting!

  6. A good vanilla cupcake recipe never goes out of date! Your photos are beautiful :)

  7. Memoria says:

    Happy birthday to your son! The cupcakes look delightful and yummy!

  8. Tina Johnson says:

    Is the cake flour necessary? Will it drastically affect the outcome of the cake? If you say it will then I will definitely get some cake flour ;)

  9. […] added a generous layer of colored frosting in between each cake layer. Then I gave it a thin crumb coat and froze it for about an hour or so. […]

  10. Susan says:

    You and Alison are right – these are the best vanilla cupcakes I have ever made. I made half a batch, just to try them out, and they are moist, light, and delicious. I also made the buttercream and used it on my favorite chocolate cake – also the best I have ever made. So hard to find “the” recipes for such staples but, for me, these are IT.

    • bakedbree says:

      Yeah! I am so glad. And I so agree with you. Once you find it, stick to it. And then play with that one. This is a great base recipe to play with flavors.

  11. yola says:

    I tried your recipe twice, and it was magic.. my son loves it, everybody loves it too…
    Your vanilla is my saviour for my son’s snack time..

  12. […] tastes better, and I control the amount of salt in a recipe. If it calls for room temperature (for cakes and cookies) then it needs to be left out for a few hours. If it calls for cold (like for scones […]

  13. […] Gaufres alléchantes by Sprinkle Bakes – Layer cake coloré by Call Me cupcakes – Cupcakes tout aussi colorés  by Baked Bree – Roulés cannelle – framboises by Bakers […]

  14. Catrina says:

    The flour listed 2.5 cups is it Self rising or all purpose flour?

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