Vanilla cupcakes are probably my least favourite of all cupcakes. However, in as much as I avoid making them, I believe that as a baker, it is an absolute must for me to have a delicious and foolproof vanilla cupcake recipe in my repertoire. That and chocolate cupcakes at least. I have tried many different recipes over the years, mostly from famous bakers and bakeries, but never was I completely happy with any of them. Mostly, the cupcakes were too buttery and/or oily and were no good for more than a day. And almost always, no matter what recipe I used, after beautifully rising in the oven, the cupcakes sank after baking. So frustrating! Really an enigma how something supposedly so basic can be so hard to perfect.
I don't know why I didn't think of trying this before. Yesterday, using the red velvet cupcake recipe that always gave me perfect cupcakes, I made a few adjustments and came up with my own vanilla cupcake recipe. And what do you know, I baked my best batch ever!
The cupcakes were very light and tender (owing to the use of buttermilk), had a fine crumb, with just the right sweetness and vanilla flavour. They rose to a good height and did not sink at all :)))). Definitely much better than any other vanilla cupcake I have ever made.
On to the recipe.
VANILLA CUPCAKES (makes about 20)
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/4 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Line muffin trays with baking cups.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, starting from a low speed gradually increasing to high, cream butter and sugar together until very light in colour and fluffy.
4. With mixer turned down to medium-low speed, beat in eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla extract.
5. In three additions, alternately add in flour mixture and buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape bowl as needed to ensure that everything is incorporated well. After the last addition,
beat at high speed for the last time for about 45-60 seconds.
6. Using a 2" ice cream scoop, fill each baking cup with the cupcake batter.
7. Bake for about 22-25 minutes. Transfer each cupcake immediately to a wire rack to cool completely.
How did I finish off these cupcakes?