Sunday, February 12, 2012

vanilla bean cupcakes

I'm slowly realizing that I need to be planning fun, festive recipes weeks before a holiday actually hits so I can post them pre-holiday. Since I've surprisingly never baked cupcakes for my blog, I decided Valentine's day was the perfect occasion to try something new. My plan was to bake cupcakes with pink hearts baked into the middle. I decided to stick to basics with vanilla bean cupcakes so that the pink heart in the middle would really pop. But bad news, the pink heart would not stand up! I dyed about a cup of the cupcake batter pink and baked it into a thin layer, let it cool, cut-out small pink hearts with a cookie cutter and tried standing the hearts in the tin on a small amount of cupcake batter. But for some reason my pink hearts would not stand up in the cupcake tin. I keep telling myself they wouldn't stand up because the cupcake hearts were just so fluffy, but I'll probably never know because it was discouraging. Even through the hearts didn't work out, these cupcakes are so delicious and super vanilla-y. I can count the number of times I've used actual vanilla beans on one hand because they are expensive and a bit of a hassle but these cupcakes made me realize what a flavor difference they can make. Happy almost Valentine's day, hope you celebrate with someone special!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
makes 18 cupcakes

for the cake:
2 1/4 c. cake flour or all-purpose flour would work
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. whole milk, room temperature
4 egg whites, room temperature
1 stick of butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
seeds from one vanilla bean
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

for the buttercream:
3 sticks of butter, softened
seeds from one vanilla bean
2 tsp clear vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds of powdered sugar
4 tbsp whole milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla bean seeds at medium speed until butter and sugar is light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture and mix well. Beat in half of the milk/egg mixture and then beat in half of the remaining flour mixture. Add the rest of the milk and eggs and beat mixture until it is smooth. Then add the last of the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Pour batter into cupcake tins.

Bake cupcakes for 18-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.

To make the buttercream, beat butter and vanilla bean seeds until fluffy. Slowly add confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Add in vanilla and 3 tbsp of milk, blending on low speed until combined.

Recipe from My Baking Addiction


  1. Just plain ol' Vanilla. Lovely.

  2. Such a gorgeous cupcake. I love your photo!

  3. These are beautiful! I love vanilla bean and just love how you incorporated it into this delicious cupcake!

  4. I love these. You did a beautiful job. This is the perfect occasion for cupcakes. I love these!

  5. They are so cute! I love how the buttercream looks so fluffy!

  6. I'll have to try these. I LITERALLY *just* got ingredients to make cupcakes with vanilla beans for my son's birthday, but didn't have a good solid recipe.

  7. I ate 5 (maybe even 6) of these in one sitting. I'm pretty sure it's safe to say these are the best cupcakes you have ever made!

    1. I would take that as a compliment except I NEVER make cupcakes! :)

  8. I am excited to try the buttercream...Love the heart shaped candies you used.

  9. This is on my to-do list. Thanks for sharing.

  10. absolutely gorgeous looking cupcakes !!!
    Those little hearts are adorable...

  11. 1.5 lbs of powdered sugar and 3 sticks of butter? Very indulgent :)

    I like your recipes, but for baking you should seriously consider using weight in grams rather than volume for dry goods. Makes the recipe easier to replicate. A kitchen scale is inexpensive and useful.

  12. Made these cupcakes yesterday and they received rave reviews! I will say, if you are trying to eat healthy, stay away from this one. But, for those of us who like to indulge, this is an awesome cupcake recipe. I love frosting and this recipe has very heavy buttercream. At first I was going to fill the cupcakes with frosting as well, but after actually making the frosting decided against it. Having it on top of the cupcake was enough.

  13. hi there! do you think it'll hurt the frosting if i just use regular pure vanilla extract? i can't find clear vanilla extract anywhere...


  14. I made these last week and they turned out amazing! I used two vanilla beans and the vanilla extract as well as subbed out half the butter for unsweetened apple sauce and I was asked whether I bought them or made them! Thank you!

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