Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

by Jamie on July 27, 2011

Post image for Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

I get so caught up with trying to create new cupcake flavor combinations that I often forget that sweet simplicity is still insanely delicious. So after countless requests from readers, I am finally sharing a basic vanilla cupcake recipe.

I tried a few different recipe adaptions in search of vanilla bliss and after a couple of test batches, I think this recipe may just be one of my favorite combinations to date. It starts with a vanilla bean infused white cake that has an incredible crumb. It’s light, fluffy and is the perfect foundation for a huge dollop of vanilla bean buttercream.

Although this combination may certainly be a little traditional, it’s anything but boring. In fact, Brian, a die hard chocolate fan fell in love with this cupcake immediately and said it was one of his new favorites.

Jazzing these babies up with bright liners* and a sprinkling of pearlized jimmies*, makes them sassy enough to serve for any occasion. And there you have it, my absolute favorite vanilla on vanilla cupcake recipe.

Save Recipe Print

Vanilla Cupcakes

July 27th, 2011

Yield: 18-20 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes

2 1/4 cups cake flour (I used Swan’s Down brand)
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

For the Buttercream

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) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk


For the Cupcakes

1. Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack.

For the Buttercream

1. 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.

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

3. 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.


- Cupcakes were frosting using the large round tip from Bake It Pretty
- *Cupcake liners from Bake It Pretty
- *Pearlized Jimmies were purchased from Bakers Nook
- Cake recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake

Copyright © My Baking Addiction

{ 249 comments… read them below or add one }

tina August 14, 2014 at 1:44 pm

For the cake ..do you have to use pure vanilla extract or will using the imitation clear be okay? Also where can u buy vanilla beans? Besides online.


Jamie August 15, 2014 at 8:54 am

Pure vanilla extract is best but just use what you have on hand. Vanilla beans can usually be found at your grocery store near the extract. Thanks for stopping by.



Vicki September 4, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Most grocery store carry Vanilla Beans


Amanda August 18, 2014 at 10:22 pm

I made these cupcakes except i used vanilla bean paste and regular flour. They came out GREAT!! Thanks for sharing this recipe! It is by far the best recipe I have ever went by.


Jamie August 19, 2014 at 11:27 am

So glad you found success with this recipe! I appreciate you stopping by.



Suzan August 25, 2014 at 11:00 pm

We don’t have cake flour in Australia. What can I do?


Jamie August 26, 2014 at 11:57 am

Hi Suzan,
You can use all-purpose flour and remove two tablespoons of the flour and replace it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for each cup of flour. I hope this helps!



Bianca September 23, 2014 at 4:09 am

Hi Suzan (and Jamie) I’m very new to baking (or anything food related) I looked it up you can use as Jamie said or in the flour aisle of your supermarket they have lighthouse brand pastry and cake flour. Apparently it works really well. :) I’ll be trying it once I get the courage to attempt this recipe. :/


Jamie September 24, 2014 at 11:13 am

Thanks for the information and for stopping by.



veronica pallante September 2, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Can I make the cupcakes in advance and freeze them and then thaw them and frost them?


Jamie September 2, 2014 at 11:19 pm


Yes, that should be completely fine. Enjoy!



Ashley September 19, 2014 at 7:33 pm

I made these today for my sons birthday and they are seriously amazing!! I love Panera Breads vanilla cupcakes, but these are 100x better!! Well worth the $12 I paid for 2 vanilla beans! …excuse me while I go gorge myself on cupcakes lol…


Jamie September 20, 2014 at 10:11 am

I’m so glad the recipe worked for you. Thanks for stopping by.



Maria October 9, 2014 at 4:49 am

i just want to know that can i use regular salt instead of kosher salt because it is unavailable in my local grocery stores


Jamie October 9, 2014 at 11:52 am

Maria –
Regular salt will work just fine. Thanks for stopping by.



Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: