Vanilla Cupcakes
INGREDIENTS
  • Servings: 24
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy and lighter in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in sugar 'till creamy.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides with a spatula when necessary.
  4. Beat in vanilla.
  5. Sift together dry ingredients: flours, baking powder, and salt.
  6. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined after each addition. (Over-beating will make your cupcake dense and tough.)
  7. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each cup 2/3 full with vanilla batter.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.( Watch for golden brown tops; insert a toothpick into the middle of cupcake and if it comes out clean and free of crumbs, the cupcake is done.)
  9. Let cool on a wire rack
  10. Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting.
  11. Garnish with colorful sprinkles, sugars, jimmies, and candies.
RECIPE BACKSTORY
The Big Four: Chocolate-Chocolate, Chocolate-Vanilla, Vanilla-Vanilla, and Vanilla-Chocolate Cuppin' Cakes I've been in San Diego for the holidays. My mother, who works as an ER nurse, had to work New Years Day and asked me to make some cupcakes for the hospital's buffet celebration. I read somewhere that the most popular cupcake in the world is vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting, followed closely by vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting. And after that, the same thing but with chocolate cupcakes instead vanilla. So I decided to make two batters, vanilla and chocolate, and two frostings, vanilla and chocolate, and make what I call the "Big Four." These homestyle-cupcakes are a favorite for a reason. The tried-and-true flavor combination works every time. The vanilla cake was buttery; the chocolate cake was rich and moist; the buttercreams were light and sweet. Perfect! Who doesn't feel like an eight-year old when eating these? (P.S: the hospital staff polished off all 48 cupcakes so they must have been good.)