The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes

That’s not just a clever name, y’all.

These are ultimate vanilla cupcakes.

Sometimes when people think of vanilla cupcakes, they think of plain, non-exciting, average, run-of-the-mill cupcakes. These are anything but. They have more than just vanilla extract in them. They have actual vanilla beans in them. If you’re unfamiliar with vanilla beans, you’ve got to get on board. I’ve recently developed a slight (read: big time) obsession with vanilla beans (maaayyybe partially because of this recipe), and I want to put them in everything. Everything.

Vanilla beans can be pretty expensive. I ordered mine from eBay and paid $10.99 for 30 beans, which is kind of a steal. I have a feeling the 30 beans won’t be lasting me all that long. But I digress…

These cupcakes are going to be my new go-to (provided I have the beans on-hand). They are deliciously moist and loaded with tons of vanilla specks so you get a mouthful of flavor in every bite. The frosting is…well…what’s better than wonderful? Spectacular? Stupendous? INCREDIBLE?!

Y’all, it’s like topping your already-amazing cupcake with some pretty awesome vanilla ice cream. It’s just…there are no words.

Here’s your homework:
1) Get on eBay
2) Buy vanilla beans
3) Make these cupcakes. Try not to die when you taste them.
4) Top with this frosting. Try not to die again.

Aaaannnddd…GO!

The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes
makes 16 cupcakes (I got 21 out of it)
recipe from Cupcake Project

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 3/4 cup 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 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream (full-fat)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
2/3 cup whole milk

Frosting Ingredients:
(amounts have been doubled from the original recipe)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (I used 4 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 [scraped] vanilla bean)
2 teaspoons milk

Directions:
To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cupcake tins with 16-21 liners; set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and the seeds from the vanilla bean (if you’re unfamiliar with vanilla beans, watch this video on how to prep a vanilla bean).
Using the back of a spoon, break up any clumps of vanilla seeds as best you can. Stir the mixture well to infuse the flavor. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix well to combine.
Add the butter and mix on medium-low speed for 3 minutes. (Because there isn’t much butter being used, it will be a crumb-like consistency.)
In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla until smooth.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the milk. Mix until just combined. (The batter is very runny- don’t worry!)
Fill the  liners with the batter, filling about 1/2 full. Bake for 14 minutes, then test to see if they are done. (They are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If they are not done, test again in 2 minutes. If still not done, test again in another 2.)
When the cupcakes are done, immediately (carefully!) remove them from the tins and let cool on wire racks.

To make the frosting: Mix together the sugar and butter until they are blended and creamy. Add the vanilla bean paste and the milk and continue to beat for another minute. If desired, add more vanilla bean paste to taste or more powdered sugar if you need to make it stiffer.
Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

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One Response to The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes

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