I have learnt recently that there are a lot of things I take for granted.
For instance, having an oven. That works!
Remember this day? I thought I was just having a bad baking day. Turned out, the bottom element on my oven was broken, which was bad news, but it definitely made me feel a little better about my baking abilities! But no oven?…kind of like someone cut off my hand.
So of course, even though I have a ton of no bake recipes, I had a sudden overwhelming desire to bake vanilla cupcakes over the weekend. Lucky for me Josh’s mum lives next door and her oven was working!
This vanilla cupcake recipe is my all time favourite. I have absolutely no idea where it came from – I have it written down in the little pink notebook I wrote everything in while I was at Uni. Some of my favourite recipes are in there – mostly recipes that I wrote down while I was on the phone to my mum and desperate for some home baking, and there have been a couple of times over the last few years where I thought I had lost the notebook and it was panic stations. I think it might be time to work through the recipes and put them on here!
Over the last few years I’ve tried a few different vanilla cupcake recipes in the search for “the perfect one” and I always end up coming back to this. It’s simple – butter, eggs, sugar, milk, flour, baking powder and vanilla. Nothing fancy, you don’t have to buy anything especially, just plain old regular ingredients that create the most perfect cupcakes.
The key with these cupcakes is to use good quality vanilla extract. Vanilla essence will work in a pinch but because of the simplicity of the recipe, you really want the vanilla to shine. You can make your own, or buy it. The bonus with making your own is that you will have the beans leftover and I like to put a small spoonful of these in to really kick it up a notch!
The best part about these cupcakes though is the frosting. While I am a big fan of buttercream, when it comes to cupcakes I can’t go past my go-to vanilla cream cheese frosting. It’s still buttery and sweet but the cream cheese gives it a bit of a tang. Which means you can eat more cupcakes. Winning! It’s also extremely easy – throw all ingredients into a mixer and mix for 5 minutes. It’s the perfect pipe-able consistency so that you can make pretty swirls on your cupcakes!
Top them with some homemade sprinkles and you have the cutest vanilla treat out!
- 125 g butter softened
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/8 tsp vanilla beans optional
- Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
- 30 grams butter softened
- 80 grams cream cheese room temperature
- 2 cups icing sugar sifted
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
For the cupcakes:
In a stand mixer cream butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
Add eggs 1 at a time and beat for 30 seconds after adding each one and for another minute until well incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides if necessary.
Add vanilla and mix in.
Mix flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl.
Add half the flour mixture and half the milk to the batter and beat slowly until combined.
Repeat with the remaining flour and milk.
Add vanilla beans if using and mix for 1 minute.
Scoop the batter into lined muffin tins and bake at 180 degrees C for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Place cupcakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high speed for 4-5 minutes until frosting is fluffy.
Add colouring if desired and either pipe onto cooled cupcakes or spread using a knife.
Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.