Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

[Note: Since posting this recipe, I have a newer, improved vanilla cupcake recipe that I would recommend over this one. You can find it here >> Classic Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting]

I can’t remember if I mentioned to you our little jaunt to Georgetown over the summer. I don’t think I did, did I? In any case, we descended on Georgetown with the sole purpose of taste testing cupcakes. Our first stop was naturally Georgetown Cupcake, which is featured on the TLC series “DC Cupcakes”. After struggling to find a parking spot and then standing in a 30-minute line on the hottest day of summer (I think the temp topped 110 that day), we finally got to place our order. We decided to get a 1/2 dozen of assorted cupcakes – vanilla/vanilla, chocolate/chocolate, chocolate/ganache, salted caramel, vanilla/chocolate, and chocolate/peanut butter. From there, we headed to a different area of Georgetown to check out Baked and Wired. They are a small, hip little establishment that sells not only cupcakes but also slices of pie, quiche, and some other baked goods. We got a strawberry and red velvet there. Our verdict? The red velvet and strawberry at Baked and Wired were phenomenal and better than any of the ones we got at Georgetown Cupcake, but the best one there was definitely the vanilla/vanilla. Inspired by the trip, I’m sharing these cupcakes because I think everyone needs a classic yellow cupcake recipe and fabulous vanilla frosting stashed away in their recipe binder. Don’t ya think?

This is a great combo of cupcake and frosting, and both are super duper easy. The cupcakes are buttery, melt-in-your-mouth delicious and the frosting definitely gives the cupcakes a run for their money. Not surprising that I think that since I AM a frosting girl at heart. This is my absolute favorite frosting recipe, one that I concocted a few months ago and that I used as a basis for such things as my Espresso Buttercream Frosting (which made an appearance on top of the Mocha Cupcakes), Maple-Bacon Buttercream Frosting (which topped the Pancake Cupcakes), and The Best Chocolate Buttercream for Cupcakes. Needless to say, it is my go-to frosting recipe, and I hope it will become yours too!

Stay tuned… the next cupcake posted will be red velvet!

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Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg , room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks , room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.
  3. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.
  4. Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
  5. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.

 

Recipe Notes:

You can store any unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container; let it come to room temperature and then give it a quick whip in the mixer before using.

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(Cupcake recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated; Frosting recipe is a Brown Eyed Baker original)

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