The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake

These are it. The ultimate vanilla cupcake. Fluffy and light with an explosive flavor, this cupcake is the secret cupcake that I talked about in my post yesterday about Vanilla Bean Buttercream. The original recipe was tested by 50 “Explorers”, and then approved by a 2/3 majority. In other words, which means that over 33 individuals have tested and considered this to be the ultimate cupcake recipe.

This experiment was initiated by the Cupcake Project. Check out the process and recipe of the ultimate vanilla cupcake here.

Heres some statistics. I doubled the batch and made 32 of these cupcakes. Rarely do I ever follow a recipe exactly when it comes to technique, but for these babies I did. Out of the 15 people who had a cupcake, 12 had it day one and 3 had it day two. All 15 people loved the cupcake. Multiple people stated that it had the best frosting they’ve had in their life.

I highly suggest all of you to try this cupcake as soon as possible. Even if that means skipping down to the recipe right now. If you want to try and make your cupcakes look like the ones i had in the pictures, pipe the vanilla frosting Fan out sliced strawberries and decorate with blueberries.

Vanilla beans aren’t the cheapest thing that’s used in baking. Regardless of how expensive vanilla beans are, this cupcake was definitely worth every cent. That said, when preparing this recipe I strongly urge all of you to use the best extract and high quality beans. At my local grocery store, they sell for as much as 10 dollars per bean. Fortunately, you can get a good deal from JR Mushrooms & Specialities or IndriVanilla for prices as low as 50 cents per vanilla bean.

On a side note, became the batter was so liquidy, I was able to use a pitcher to pour the batter easily!

The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Yield: 16 cupcakes

Recipe from the Cupcake Project (with minor notes in the recipe)


  • 1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 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
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk
  • Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  2. Scrape the vanilla beans and combine with sugar applying pressure to break up any clumps of seeds and to better infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar. Sift to help remove large clumps of vanilla and pod scrapings. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
  5. 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.
  6. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  8. 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.)
  9. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

Week 1 of NaBloPoMo, Check!

2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake

    • Thanks!! I love your blog so much you’re such an inspiration! Good luck on the ultimate chocolate cupcakes and I can’t wait to try those!

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