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Recipe: Vanilla Cupcake with Buttercream Frosting

November 6, 2008

You can dress up any cupcake with sprinkles, confetti or
candy decorations


These vanilla cupcakes have a tender crumb, and follow the same basic recipe used for the vanilla cupcakes at Best Buns Bread Co. in Arlington. Canola oil is used in the cake batter instead of butter.

If you have a scale, weigh the cupcake flours and sugar for best results.

Makes 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes

  • • 3/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon flour (3 3/4 ounces)
  • • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon cake flour (2 3/4 ounces)
  • • 2/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • • 8 ounces sugar (a generous 1 cup)
  • • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • • 2/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

For the frosting

  • • 5 1/3 tablespoons (1/3 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • • Pinch salt
  • • 2/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • • 8 ounces confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more as needed
  • • 1/2 teaspoon low-fat milk, plus more as needed


For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 paper baking cups.

Sift together the regular and cake flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt, preferably onto a large piece of wax paper or parchment paper.

Combine the oil and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or a hand-held electric mixer. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed, until smooth and well incorporated, then reduce the speed to low and add the egg; beat for 1 minute, until well incorporated.

Add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract; beat for 1 minute.

Add the sifted dry ingredients in 1 or 2 additions; beat (on low speed) for 1 1/2 minutes once they are fully incorporated, making sure there are no lumps in the batter. With the motor on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk then beat for 1 minute, until well incorporated. Transfer the batter to a large liquid measuring cup with a spout; the batter will be pourable.

Fill the cupcake liners no more than two-thirds full with the batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes are barely golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out fairly clean, with only a few loose crumbs.

Let the cupcakes sit in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely while you make the frosting.

For the frosting: Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until creamy. Reduce the speed to low and add the salt; beat for 30 seconds. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 30 seconds; stop to scrape down the bowl during this process as needed. Add one-quarter of the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat for 3 to 5 minutes, until incorporated, then add the remaining sugar in one-quarter increments and beat until well combined.

Add the milk, then increase the speed to medium; beat to a smooth and spreadable consistency, adding confectioners’ sugar or milk as needed. Use a small offset spatula to frost the cupcakes.

Recipe Source:

From chef Carlos Fernandez at the Best Buns Bread Co.

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