• 1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) full-fat sour cream (I used light sour cream and they were still very good)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk (I used 2% milk as well as some organic vanilla coffee creamer)
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp Red Raspberry Instant Jello
  • 2 cups confectionery sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp milk

I finally found the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe! Homemade vanilla cupcakes are not as simple as they might seem.  I have tried many different recipes, but they are just never as moist as your average boxed cake. Unfortunately, boxed cakes are filled with unrecognizable ingredients and chemicals so I really try to stay away from them. Thanks to Stef’s Cupcake Project blog, I don’t think I’ll ever have to try vanilla cupcakes again! I wish I had the vanilla bean to add to the sugar because I’m sure it would have kicked them up a notch. I made these sports-themed cupcakes as well as the Pirate-themed Chocolate S’more cupcakes for a 6-year-old’s birthday party. They came out really cute and tasty. Hopefully, his kindergarten classmates enjoyed them!


The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean.
  3. Using the back of a spoon, move around the bowl and apply pressure to break up any clumps of seeds and to better infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
  6. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes.  Because there is so little butter, you’ll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
  7. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  8. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  9. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined.  The batter will be liquid.  (Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong.  It’s supposed to be that way.)
  10. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
  11. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it.  The cupcakes should appear white with specks of vanilla bean. They should not turn a golden brown.  If they are not done, test again in two minutes.  If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.
  12. When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don’t own a cooling rack) to cool.
I made these in my Sunbeam cupcake maker and they came out perfectly!
For the butter cream, beat all of the ingredients together until smooth. Use a piping bag to frost cupcakes. I used a large star shaped tip t0 make this design. I also added some red sugar and red sprinkles. I added sport themed chocolate balls to make them more fun.
This is definitely my new favorite vanilla cupcake recipe. I love that it’s so versatile and you can play around with fillings and frosting!

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