Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

I’m apparently out of my cupcake rut. Last week, I made S’Mores Cupcakes, which were a HUGE hit, both with the family and at work. I’ve had more requests for those than I think even Red Velvet Cupcakes. Which is fine. It’s fun playing with my kitchen torch. But sometimes, it’s nice to revisit the classics. I love a rich, decadent cupcake as much as the next person, but occasionally I like something more basic. As much of a chocoholic as I am, I do enjoy the simple beauty of a vanilla cupcake with vanilla bean buttercream.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream 1

And these are perfect. Sweet, light, just the way a vanilla cupcake should be.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream 2

They probably would’ve been even lighter had I used cake flour, but I didn’t want to spend the money on it (I am cheap). Even still, I think they’re delicious.

Yield: 48-52

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes


For the Cupcakes:

  • 3 1/2 C -1 Tbsp. A/P flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 C milk
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 C sugar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

For the Buttercream:

  • 5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 lbs. (32 oz.) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 C heavy cream


To make the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 or 3 muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste at medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, or until the butter and sugar are very light. Drop the speed to low, and add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, alternating 3 additions of the flour with 2 additions of the milk.

Once ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, beat the batter on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Fill the liners about 2/3 full with batter, and bake 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the buttercream:

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and vanilla bean paste on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until well blended. Add in 3 tablespoons of heavy cream. Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream if necessary. Beat on high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Frost as desired.

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I will say, as vanilla-infused as these are, there was something about them initially reminded me of cornbread. That would’ve been before I frosted them, though.

Unfrosted vanilla cupcakes

After frosting them, they tasted fine. Just like a cupcake should. Classic vanilla cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream 3

And hopefully they result in a happy Monday for my coworkers, since the bulk of them will be heading there!

No doubt you’ll have noticed I changed my theme again. I found a free framework I liked, only to discover that the developers have abandoned it. Boo! Even still, I like it enough that I’ll keep it until I can afford to pay someone to design something for me (hence the extra ads too). I even went back to my old logo that Jay designed for me a few years ago. I think I’ve got things mostly the way I want them, but if you notice anything odd, just let me know!

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