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Vanilla Cupcakes

August 27, 2010

I used to think that “baking a cake” or “baking cupcakes” meant taking out a box of cake mix, dumping in the requisite oil and eggs and presto-chango… cake! Ever since I got my handy dandy stand mixer, though, I’ve come to realize that making cake from scratch isn’t that hard at all, and it tastes fantastic. To me, vanilla cake is harder to screw up than chocolate cake. I don’t know why… I think it’s because chocolate cake promises so much that it’s easy to be disappointed. I’m on the quest for the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe and you can be sure I’ll post it here when I find it. For now, though, this vanilla cake is delicious. The frosting I used for these cupcakes is a swiss merengue buttercream, and it’s so tasty and delicious I’ll be talking about it in another post. For now… behold the vanilla cupcake!

This recipe yields 12 cupcakes. I doubled it with no problem. I figure if you are going to go to the trouble of making them… make a lot! There are always neighbors you can win over or office breakrooms to leave them in!

Vanilla Cupcakes, adapted from the Joy of Baking

Printer-Friendly Recipe


1/2 cup unsalted  butter, room temperature

2/3 cup white sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

zest of 1 large lemon (Joy of Baking says this is optional, I think it’s essential and actually increased this to 1 and 1/2 lemons)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2. tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tins with 12 liners
2. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time being sure to combine well after each addition. Beat in lemon zest and vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt.
4. Turn the mixer on to low speed and add in dry ingredients, alternating with milk. (Begin and end with flour.)
5. Fill muffin cups with batter and bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Let cool completely before frosting

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Suzanne permalink
    August 27, 2010 7:28 pm

    These look awesome!! I LOVE cupcakes!!

  2. August 29, 2010 10:58 am

    You sent me this recipe, but I have to say that it made an AMAZING chocolate cake. I made some of it into cupcakes and just baked until a toothpick came out clean – maybe 15 or 20 min? So when you get ready to try chocolate…

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