Double Vanilla Cupcakes

This vanilla cupcake recipe uses vanilla beans in both the cupcake and the buttercream frosting.This, this is how to make vanilla cupcakes that truly highlight and celebrate the flavor of vanilla.

  • Yield: Makes about one dozen cupcakes.

Ingredients

Cupcake

  • 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (or one whole bean if you can spare it)

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)

Method

1 Steep vanilla bean and seeds in hot milk: Preheat oven to 350°F. While the oven preheats cut open and scrape out the seeds of a vanilla bean.

Place the seeds, empty bean, and the milk into a small saucepan. Heat to just under a simmer for a few minutes being careful not to scald the milk.

Remove from heat and allow the milk to steep and cool. (Be sure to remove the bean after it cools. Wash it and then place it out to dry so it can be used again.)

2 Beat butter and sugar, add egg whites: Beat the butter for about 3 minutes on medium speed, then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat for 30 seconds. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds each.

3 Whisk together dry ingredients In one bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

4 Whisk vanilla milk, extract, and sour cream: In another bowl whisk together the vanilla steeped milk, vanilla extract, and sour cream.

5 Combine wet and dry ingredients: Add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter sugar egg mixture in alternating additions (dry-wet-dry method), starting and ending with the flour.

Mix until just combined being sure to not over-beat.

6 Bake:  Divide the batter into cupcake papers in a muffin tin and bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes or until slightly golden brown.

Be sure to rotate the cupcakes after the first 15 minutes to ensure even baking. Be sure to keep a close eye as these can get over-baked quickly.

7 Cool: Allow to cool on a wire rack. Frost when cooled.

Frosting

Beat the butter and slowly add in the powdered sugar. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean (or vanilla extract if using) and beat in.

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