I came across this recipe years ago from the Nate and Lacy at Wanna Bite blog. This recipe is a true keeper. The cupcakes are incredibly moist with a hint of vanilla bean. These are the best vanilla cupcakes I have ever made….and I’ve tried many. The only change I made was reducing the sugar from 2 cups to 1 3/4 cups.
Prep Time 30 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Total Time 45 Minutes
Servings 18 Cupcakes
• 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 2 tablespoons baking powder
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 1 cup nearly boiling water
• 1 cup milk, preferably whole milk
• 2 eggs at room temperature
• 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
VANILLA BEAN BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
• 4 oz unsalted butter, 2 sticks, softened
• 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
• 3-4 tablespoons whole milk
• 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
• 1/8 tsp salt, small dash
• 1 teaspoon titanium dioxide (dissolved in 2 teaspoons water)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread a thin layer of softened, but still solid, coconut oil, or Crisco if prefer, over the top of the cupcake pan to prevent sticking in case cupcakes rise over edge when baking. Fill with liners and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer sift your dry ingredients. Make sure to spoon your flower into your measuring cup to avoid packing flour. This can dry out your cupcakes.
3. Add oil, hot water, and milk. Mix for one minute over medium speed. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula to ensure even mixing. Next add your eggs one at a time along with vanilla bean paste. Beat for another minute. You batter should look thin at this point.
4. Pour batter into a 2 cup, or more, measuring glass with a pouring spout. If you do not have one no worries, as you can use any large container with a pouring spout, 1/4 cup measure or a large ice cream scoop. I find it easier to pour the batter in because it is rather runny, but can easily fill with other methods mentioned above. Fill each liner about 2/3 of the way full to allow some room for rising. This will be about 1/4 cup of batter.
5. Bake for 13-15 minutes. A wooden toothpick should come out clean or with a few wet crumbs when inserted. The will be a bit moist but this is okay, as long as your toothpick removes clean to show they are cooked through.
VANILLA BEAN BUTTER CREAM FROSTING
6. Place butter in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or large bowl if using hand mixer. Beat butter until smooth, about 60 seconds.
7. Add vanilla bean paste and mix another 30 seconds.
8. Slowly add powdered sugar 1-2 cups at a time. The mixture will become rather thick. Start adding milk 1 T at a time to help mixer along. May add food coloring and titanium dioxide at the end of mixing if using.
9. Once all ingredients are combined beat on medium high speed for another 1-2 minutes.
• May use vanilla extract instead of paste. The paste adds a nice richness as well as vanilla bean flecks throughout cake and icing. You may also use a vanilla bean. Contents of 1 bean is equivalent to approximately 1 tsp of extract.
• Titanium dioxide helps brighten your icing. It will also make white icing brighter. Make sure to look for organic and non -GMO versions. I linked the type I use in my baking products page.