Perfect Vanilla Cupcake

I realize that this title sounds a little conceited, but I really do love this cupcake.  This recipe is the product of so much trial and error working to find the perfect texture and flavor.   I wanted a cupcake that was light but wouldn’t immediately crumble in the hands of a three year old (ok, they still get squished but its not immediate).  I wanted a cupcake that the vanilla flavor was subtle and the sweetness wasn’t so much that it was overkill with the addition of frosting.  I really think this cupcake hits all of my wants.  I am super excited to get this recipe into the blog and I can finally throw away the envelope that I have had it written on with all of the notes and corrections.  All of my best ideas seem to be written on the back of junk mail, I don’t want to know what this says about me as a person.

I know I sound like a broken record, but lets start off with saying all our ingredients should be room temperature.  Take your butter, eggs, buttermilk all out of the fridge about a half hour before you start baking.  I feel like its even more important here than with my chocolate cupcake, just because the texture we are looking for is so critical. K, now we can start.  Let’s begin by getting all of the dry ingredients sifted together. I am using a combo of all purpose flour and cake flour today.  I like using both to get the light texture of the cake flour, and a little bit of sturdiness from the regular flour.   I have the normal players going on in my dry mix other than that – some baking soda, baking powder and salt.  (You can see my very important envelope recipe card down in the corner there, haha)DSC_0001

Next we get going on the butter.  I like to start my mixer with just the butter in the bowl for about thirty seconds before I add the sugar.  Once the sugar gets added I will let that go on a medium speed for about a minute or two to really combine.  I then add one egg and mix for thirty seconds and then the second egg and mix for thirty seconds.  I really want these ingredients well combined.  DSC_0016

I scrape down my bowl and then get my wet ingredients together.  I pour my buttermilk into a measuring cup and add my vanilla into that.  Its time to combine my dry and wet ingredients into the butter and eggs.  I start by adding about a third of my dry ingredients (I always mess this part up and add too much). I mix this on low while I count to five and then I stop the mixer.DSC_0018

Then I pour in half of my wet ingredients. I turn on the mixer to low and count to five again and then turn off.DSC_0021

Then another third of my dry ingredients (or about half of the dry ingredients that are left if you majorly over added in the first place), and then we pour in the remaining buttermilk and vanilla mixture and after that the rest of the dry ingredients. I do the five count mix after each addition.  DSC_0023

See all of that flour!  I scrape down the sides of the bowl and do a ten count mix on low. I don’t want to mix any more than that if I can help it.  This is crucial to the texture of the cupcake, over mix now and we will have a tough cake. I get this into my lined cupcake tins.  I fill my cupcakes up with about two tablespoons of batter in each cup.  I like to weigh my batter because I am a notorious over filler.  I add 1.4 ounces of batter for each cupcake. These get put into the oven at 350° for about twenty minutes.  I like to start checking them at eighteen minutes though.  I test with a cake tester and see no crumbs and am ready to eat, shoot they have to cool!DSC_0027

If you want to have a little fun, decorate with some rainbow swirl frosting!

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Servings: 16 Cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A cupcake with a light and airy texture and great flavor.


  • ¾ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • ¾ Cup Cake Flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ½ Cup Plus 2 Tbsp Buttermilk
  • ½ tsp Vanilla


    Preheat oven to 350°
  1. Sift together all of your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt)into a medium bowl.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, this takes one to two minutes on speed four.
  3. Add eggs one at a time beating for a half a minute after each egg.
  4. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring cup or a cup that is easy to pour.
  5. Add one third of dry ingredients to butter and mix on low for 5 seconds.
  6. Add half of wet ingredients to mixer and mix on low for 5 seconds.
  7. Repeat step five and six and then add the last third of dry ingredients. Mix for five seconds and then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  8. Pour batter into lined cupcake pan. Use two tablespoons of batter per cup.

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