Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Best Vanilla Cupcakes

For Evan's birthday I knew I wanted to make him either a sprinkled cake, sugar cookies or cupcakes. I had envisioned myself trying to cut into a giant cake at the park with no table and tons of kids running around. Then I saw myself dropping that cake on the floor and crying in a corner over it and the kids just going at it like barbarians, shoveling the cake in their mouths straight from the ground. So I scratched that off my list. I then thought "Cookies!" Then I remembered all of that dough chilling, counter flouring, dough rolling and cookie cuttering (yes I've used that as a legit word). That's just too much work. And that's when I settled with the idea of cupcakes. Cupcakes are easy, quick and I'll be done in no time. Yeah, 5 hours later... I guess I should have known I was in over my head when my first batch I had to dump because they didn't rise enough, the second batch was under cooked on the tops but it was too late for me to put them back in the oven. But batch number 3 made it all worth it because they turned out PERFECT! A million dozen cupcakes later, I was finally done! Moving on to the next morning, it was now time to frost those bad boys, which only took me an additional 2 hours...Now I can see why people just buy boxes of cupcakes at overly priced bakeries, to keep their sanity. In the end, the cupcakes were a hit, the kids loved them, I loved them and my husband who is not a fan of cupcakes, loved them. I hope you enjoy them as well!

Perfectly Vanilla Cupcakes
makes approx. 24 cupcakes

2 1/2 cups *cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canola oil
1 cup *buttermilk 

*Cake flour substitute: Place 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour in a bowl. Remove 5 TBS of flour and replace with 5 TBS corn starch. Sift together multiple times. I sifted mine 6 times just to ensure that the cornstarch and flour were well incorporated. Do not get lazy with this!
*Buttermilk substitute: make your own using 1 cup milk plus 1 TBS white vinegar, let it sit for 5 minutes before using. It should be lumpy looking by the time you're ready to use it.

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In a medium sized bowl, whisk your cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
-In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat your eggs for about 30 seconds. Add your sugar and beat until combined. Then add vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed until it's well incorporated. 
-Reduce your mixer speed to low and add half of your flour mixture and then half of your buttermilk. 
-Scrap down your sides and add the rest of the flour mix and the rest of your buttermilk. Mix until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over mix! I will usually just beat the last bit for a few seconds and then continue to hand mix until it's combined. 
-Fill your muffin pan with cupcakes liners and fill each liner 3/4 full. 
-Place your muffin pan on a cookie tray for easy transferring
-Bake for *12-20 min. Mine took about 16 min but my last tray took 20 min? I was confused over that. 
-Once they're baked through, let them cool for a few minutes in the pan before transferring them to a cooling rack.
-Let them cool completely before attempting to frost them. Like at least an hour.

*My advice is to check them at 12 min to see if they're still jiggly or if  they've started to set. I will usually check on my baked goods every few minutes after that point until they look stiff and then I'll start to check them with a tooth pick until it comes out slightly clean. I know bakers will say to not do this because opening and closing the oven is bad, but I'd rather do that then have under or overcooked cupcakes. Just my opinion. 

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 sticks salted butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar, depending on your sweetness
3/4 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

-Using an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar and mix until smooth (about 2-3min)
-Add milk and vanilla and beat another 2-3 minutes. Frost your cupcakes to your hearts desire

Assorted sprinkles

-place your sprinkles in shallow bowls and fill it with enough sprinkles to where you won't touch the bottom when you dip your frosted cupcakes in. My bowl was a little less than half filled.
-carefully dip a side of your cupcake in the bowl of sprinkles, and repeat until every section of frosting is covered in sprinkles
-now with your fingertips, very gently and lightly tap the sprinkles in place and smooth out any bumps in your frosting. 


  1. Looks yummy! Now I want one!

  2. you crack me up. your thought process with figuring out what to make sounds like something i would have had as well. can't go wrong with cupcakes!! and you should be seriously proud of all your hard work..those things look seriously PROFESSIONAL. you've got talent! ;D and how rewarding for you that in the end everyone, even the cupcake disliking hubby, loved them :)

    so glad to find your blog! i'm excited to follow along!!