Sunday, April 22, 2012

Vanilla bean cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream

As you all know, my daughter Addison turned 2 last weekend. Since I constantly bring treats into her daycare, I knew that this day would be no different. I had to submit my ingredient list to the school in advance to check for potential allergens.  I didn't want to make anything too fancy since the people enjoying my sweets would be mostly 2-year olds. Most of them are only familiar with vanilla or chocolate so I opted to keep the flavors simple.

Because I bought a 1/4 pound package of Madagascar vanilla beans a while ago, I wanted to use them for Addison's birthday cupcakes. I found these vanilla bean cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream on My Baking Addiction. I was able to bake and frost these in less than an hour, so this recipe was not time-consuming at all.

These cupcakes were nice and fluffy and didn't get dry overnight. I devoured the one cupcake without the frosting but did have a little taste from the bowl - it is full of vanilla bean flavor and is the perfect buttercream. I heard that Addie's classmates and teachers enjoyed eating these!

Cupcake Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (I used all purpose flour and removed 4.5 tablespoons of it and replaced it with 4.5 tablespoons of corn starch)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Buttercream Ingredients
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (this helps maintain the bright white color)
  • 1 ½ pounds (24 ounces or 3 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
Cupcake Directions
Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.

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, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla bean seeds at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the butter and sugar are very light. Add in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth, then add the last of the dry ingredients.

Once ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter between 18 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full.

Bake for 18-24 minutes (I baked for 21 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come clean. Cool on wire rack.

Buttercream directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and seeds from vanilla bean until fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until well blended.

Add in vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened.

Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Note: I used a Wilton #1A tip for the large swirl. 

Yield: I got 22 cupcakes and enough frosting for 21 cupcakes.


  1. This looks great! I love that you can see the specks of vanilla bean in the! I can practically taste it.

  2. I love vanilla on vanilla! This makes me wish I worked at your daughter's daycare :)

  3. I've been looking for a classic cupcake. Will have to try these. And thanks for sharing the tip #. I was going to ask because it's so cute :)

  4. They look great! Your frosting looks just about perfect!

  5. I bet the 2 year olds had a blast. My daughter will be turning 3 in a couple of weeks. I am sure the daycare staff would love these treats too...=)

  6. Just curious, why did u replaced some of the flour with corn starch?

    1. Great question! I didnt have cake flour, so a good substitution is to replace 2 TBSP of flour with 2 TBSP of corn starch for every 1 cup of cake flour. Since the recipe called for 2 1/4 cups of cake flour, I removed 4.5 TBSP of flour and replaced it with 4.5 TBSP of corn starch. Hope that answers your question!

  7. I used this recipe for my gender reveal party! They were a hit! Loved them SO much! Thanks for sharing it. I'll def. be making these again. :)

    You can see the cupcakes here if you're interested.

  8. I loved this recipe the cupcakes came out really soft and fluffy, I got it right on the first try it's my new favorite recipe :)

  9. This recipe is amazing ,I got it right on the first try the cupcakes came out super fluffy and not dry this is a must try ,my new favorite recipe and works great with real vanilla bean!



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