Anyone who visits the blog often enough knows I have kind of a thing for cupcakes.  Of course, one of my favorite things about cupcakes is the frosting, both because it is delicious and because it makes them look so pretty.  This, however, is a case where the cake itself really shines through.  I’ve made this cake recipe a few times now, as a layer cake, a mini bundt cake, and these cupcakes – and let me tell you, this cake is so good that I love it without any frosting at all.  It is light, tender and moist with beautiful little flecks of vanilla bean throughout.  (If only I had had my new macro lens back when I made these to capture them in the photos!)

One great thing about such a lovely vanilla cake recipe is that it would pair beautifully with almost any frosting you can think of.  This time around I just used my usual quick vanilla buttercream but I think these would be amazing with a Swiss meringue buttercream, or any number of flavored frostings.  Also, for those bakers who take pleasure in a particularly thick, smooth batter, you will absolutely love this recipe.  The batter is one of the prettiest I have ever worked with and once you see it, it is no surprise how nicely the cake turns out.  This is surely a recipe I’ll be coming back to time and time again.


3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  Set aside.

  • 02

    In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together and set aside.  Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl of the mixer with the butter and discard the pod (or reserve for another use.)  Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.

  • 03

    Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.  Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.

  • 04

    Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full (you will likely have batter left over after filling 24 wells.)  Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Replace paper liners and bake remaining batter if desired.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.


  • That looks lovely :)

  • I’m a new reader. Love your site. Sorry about your macro lens. What happened? My camera fell over recently as I watched in horror. My macro lens rolled across the floor. Thought my life was over. Fortunately, no permanent damage was done.

  • Anna

    Looks so good – you do such a great job with the frosting!

  • HB

    Looks like it would taste! YUM!

  • Annie

    Romaine, sorry, I guess I wasn’t clear! I received my macro lens for Christmas, so I didn’t have it yet at the time I made these cupcakes. It is safe and sound!

  • Great job on the cupcakes! They look soo good and i love the color of the icing! :-D

  • Love the blue icing!

  • These look great and I am always looking for vanilla bean recipes since I purchased a large bottle of vanilla bean paste recently.

    The frosting is such a pretty color, and it’s simple and beautiful! Add a fancy wrapper and I would even serve these at a shower or wedding!

  • They are as pretty as a picture! Happy New Year!

  • Kate

    Hi Annie,
    I’m curious what size tip do you use when you frost cupcakes like that? I’ve used an 18 but it is much smaller…


  • I have been on the hunt for a good vanilla cake… I am trying this one this week! Thanks for the wonderful blog!!


  • Annie

    Hi Kate,
    This is a common question. You can find the info here.

  • Jennifer

    I’ll have to try these, since the cake is my favorite part. I have never been partial to frosting.

  • sarameyer926

    Where do you buy vanilla bean and what exactly do you do with it?

  • it’s so delicate looking!

  • Abby

    Hi Annie! I know you’ve answered this question before somewhere on your blog, but I can’t find it. Where do you get your beautiful icing colors from. Was it Wilton? If so, what set/color is this one? Thanks so much and beautiful cupcakes. I just love looking at it. :)


  • That looks great! Me, well I love the frosting too, but I am willing to be swayed by the cake too!

  • Liz

    These are definitely on my to-bake-list!

  • Caldwell

    Love the look of these. What did you use for such a great blue in the frosting? I am going to try these for my sons; and my colors are teal and red/white polka dots.

  • Annie

    Hi Caldwell,
    I used the Wilton gel coloring – I can’t remember if it was the royal blue, sky blue, or a combination. You can achieve just about any shade you want with gel colors! Have fun with the party :)

  • Annie

    Hi Abby,
    Yes, I use Wilton gel coloring, though I think any brand would be fine as long as it is the gel kind. I have heard good things about Americolor as well. You can achieve almost any shade with the gels.

  • Annie

    Sara, you can buy vanilla bean at grocery stores in the spice section, though they are incredibly expensive there (sometimes $6 per bean). I prefer to buy them online in bulk for a far better price. If you read the recipe for the cupcakes, it explains what to do with the vanilla beans. I also have recipes for vanilla bean ice cream and the hot chocolate mix in the blog which both use vanilla beans.

  • I have a bunch of vanilla beans sitting in my drawer aching to be used! I love how you frost your cakes.

  • Jackie

    Hi Annie

    I was wondering if I make this recipe into a cake layer, what size cake pans would I use and how long should I bake it.

  • Annie

    Hi Jackie,
    I believe I increased the amount of batter by 50% and baked in two 9-inch round pans. In hindsight, I don’t think it was necessary to increase the batter at all because I ended up with enough extra to make a mini cake, and the cakes overflowed a bit. I would suggest using the regular amount of batter and starting with a baking time around 30-35 minutes. You’ll just have to keep an eye on it and do the toothpick test to check for doneness. I don’t remember exactly how much time it took.

  • Diana

    Hi Annie,

    Can you substitute cake flour w/ AP flour? Would it make a big difference in taste/texture? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Hi Diana,
    You can Google substitutions of all-purpose for cake flour. You can sub, but if I remember correctly, it is not a 1:1 substitution. Cake flour has less protein and makes for a more tender cake, so I believe you use less AP flour in place of it.

  • sarameyer926

    Do you use Tahitian, or Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans?

  • Annie

    I believe I use Tahitian but I think any kind would be fine.

  • I feel I am constantly on the look out for the best vanilla cupcake recipe-this one looks like a winner, can’t wait to try it out!

  • These looks great! I’m going to try this this weekend, but only half recipe for the kiddos. Great blog!

  • HB

    Think I could sub vanilla bean paste for the vanilla bean?

  • Annie

    I would assume so, but I’ve never used it so I don’t know how it works.

  • Amanda Poninski

    Annie – I made your vanilla buttercream frosting but I think I may have done something wrong…it was WAY too buttery!! I do know I measured correctly, so can you tell me…does the temp of the frosting affect how strong the butter flavor is? I let it get close to room temp to make it easier to pipe from my #18 tip….

  • Annie

    Hi Amanda,
    Sorry you didn’t have good results. I usually have my butter at about room temp when I make the frosting and I’ve never had a problem. I’ve made this so many times I can’t count and never had a problem with it. I wish I had some advice!

  • Jess Clev

    I was wondering if this recipe was ever going to make the website =)

  • Meg

    Would you happen to have a substitute for the vanilla bean? Like how much tsp would this need if ever I was to used pure vanilla extract instead?? :D thanks!!

  • Annie

    Hi Meg,
    You can Google for a substitution, but I highly recommend the vanilla bean.

  • Pingback: Vanilla Bean Cupcakes « Lovestoeat’s Weblog()

  • Becky

    Just have to say, these lovelies are baking right now…and it’s a wonder any of the batter made it into the pans! :) Absolutely gorgeous thick batter, with amazing vanilla flavor. What a great way to use up my last vanilla bean. I ended up using 2 12-cup cupcake pans (24 cupcakes) and one small round cake pan. This just may become my go-to cake recipe. I am going to be making homemade chocolate frosting for these, but I think you are right that the cake will be scrumptious all by itself! Can’t wait till they come out of the oven…Thank you for posting this recipe (just in time for my birthday, too, hee hee!). :)

  • taylor

    Perhaps you aren’t mixing long enough? I’ve made buttercreams in the past and have ended up way too buttery…but I believe it was because I was only mixing until it looked like frosting texture. This time I made sure to beat it for the long 4 minutes, per the instructions, and it turned out excellently. Just keep whipping, I think…

  • Annie

    Who is your comment directed at? I love this vanilla buttercream and I didn’t say anything negative about it in the blog post. I make it all the time, always beat it for the recommended amount of time, and it’s always delicious. I was simply saying this cake would be great with any number of frostings.

  • Amanda Poninski

    Annie – I am pretty sure Taylor was addressing my question …I made the buttercream from your recipe and it was just way too buttery,…I was sure I did something wrong! LOL I will take her advice and mix longer,…she was right that I mixed until it visually had the frosting texture adn forgot to actually time it….I am also using a hand mixer, as I don’t have a stand mixer yet. Thank you so much for your tip!! I really do appreciate it :)

  • Julia

    I just stopped by to tell you that I made this recipe today…except made it as a layer cake. I frosted it with the Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate frosting. It turned out awesome!!!!! Thank you for sharing all of your delicious recipes…I LOVE coming here and seeing what new things you’re creating! You rock!!!

  • Pingback: Vegan Vanilla Bean Cupcakes «()

  • Lindsey

    I made these today and they were AWESOME! I made them with your vanilla buttercream frosting and decorated them for Valentine’s Day. They tasted amazing and got rave reviews from everyone! I got 28 cupcakes from the batter. Thank you for giving me a go-to cupcake recipe!

  • MissG

    I baked this as a cake last night. It was BEYOND good. I think it was the best cake EYE’VE ever made, which really isn’t saying much, but it’s still saying something.

  • Julie

    Do you use self-rising cake flour or regular cake flour? It’s not specified and usually authors will state whether or not to use either flours so I’m going to assume the former in this recipe but any clarification would be very useful!

  • Annie

    If it doesn’t say self-rising, than it would indicate regular, no?

  • Lindsey

    To make mini cupcakes, how long would you cook them? Same temperature?

  • Annie

    Lindsey, I’d probably start at about 8 minutes for mini cupcakes. The time can vary a lot though and I haven’t tried with this batter, so just keep a close eye on them. You always bake at the indicated temp no matter the size/shape of the cake.

  • Hi Annie,

    Just stopping by to say a huge thank you for posting your Vanilla Bean cupcake recipe.

    I bake a lot and had a fav vanilla cake recipe. That was until I read your blog! I couldn’t help myself after i read your description of them.

    I have to tell you they are amazing I have never baked a cake so moist, light a fluffy! I now have a new favourite for sure.

    I have eaten three lavished with Swiss meringue buttercream!!! oops just couldn’t resist!

    So thank you once again, keep up the good work!

    P.S I used s/r cake flour not sure if that was right but they were perfect!

  • Megan

    I have to say I just made these cupcakes and they were amazing! I’ve become quite the fan of your website and have decided to make my way down the cupcakes you have posted! I started a cupcake of the week club and these have been the favorite thus far! I don’t think I”ll ever return to a box cake mix again after making these. Thanks for sharing!


  • Nurse Nancy

    My friend Tara introduced me to your blog. We are great friends and we love to try out new recipes on each other, I must admit she makes more!! Your blog is awesome!! I will be making plenty of cuppycakes! <3

  • Tanica

    I made these awhile back and just wanted to say they were delicious! The first cake from scratch that has turned out moist and fluffy! I frosted with a lemon/lime buttercream, which added a fabulous balance to the sweetness of the vanilla cupcakes.

  • Stephanie

    Hi Annie! I found your website about two weeks ago and I’ve made 2 of your cupcake recipes already for parties (and the chicken caesar sandwich). Today I made the vanilla bean cupcakes for my son’s baseball team party. I loved the buttercream frosting! Super easy and so so good! Thank you!

  • Abi

    Hey Annie! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! It’s FANTASTIC and RIDONKULOUSLY GOOD!! I love everything vanilla and used a vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream to pair with the delicious cupcake. I bought my vanilla beans online, put my used pods in some sugar, and voila! Vanilla Sugar!

  • Amanda

    This is the best vanilla recipe that I have found:))) They were so moist and almost creamy!!

  • Adri

    omg i luv this website!!

  • Amy

    Holy hell!! These are AMAZING!!! I was going to give some away, but I don’t know if that is going to be possible after having one!

    Quick Question: Can you freeze cupcakes? Not for long, but like a week?

  • Annie

    Amy, I’ve heard you can but I’ve never done it myself.

  • chelsea

    Normally I don’t follow up on blogs where I find recipes at, but oh my gosh this one demanded a follow up! These were wonderful!!!!!!!!!! The batter was a total dream to work with, and they came out soo fluffy and tasty and light! I used vanilla bean paste and it was perfect. Thanks for the awesome recipe, I’ve been on a mad obsessive search for a go-to vanilla cupcake recipe and you’ve given me the perfect one!

  • I’m going to join the chorus of praise for these cakes. OMIGOD. I also used vanilla bean paste, and they are just. . .perfect. My dog agrees. He snatched six of them while I was letting them cool. I found one buried in my bed. But I can’t say that I blame him.

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I look forward to many years of making and sharing these little bits of heaven.

  • Bridge

    I made these cupcakes last weekend for my daughter’s 8th Birthday Party.
    They were AMAZING!!

  • Daniela

    OMG!!! Made these cupcakes last night and they are sooooooooooooo good!!!! Best Vanilla Cupcake recipe by far…. Thanks Annie

  • Morgan

    Will these come out with a different texture if i use a buttermilk substitute (milk mixed with lemon juice)? I tried this and they didn’t look like the picture. Yours are gorgeous!

  • Annie

    Probably, which is why I never recommend substitutions. I’ve only made them with buttermilk so I can’t speak from experience.

  • ChristIne

    I discovered your blog when searching for a vanilla cupcake recipe. I made this with the swiss meringue buttercream and it is amazing! I love how puffed up the batter is. I’ve been addicted to ones from a cupcake truck that comes by my office during the week, and this is the closest match possible. I think I might make the cake with a little less sugar next time to suit my taste…I’m thinking maybe 1/4-1/2 cup less. Have you (or anyone else) tinkered with the sugar and found a good amount to reduce?

  • ChristIne

    Oh, and I also meant to say that I LOVE the blog! I love the homey, unfussy food you feature and beautiful photography. Discovering it this late in the game is kind of nice because there are so many posts to look at! I’m amazed how you find the time to do this (and all the accompanying cooking and baking) with your busy schedule.

  • Annie

    I haven’t, I love it as is.

  • Kat

    I made this today and it turned out wrong! It was very dry and dense, and was definitely not fluffy. I followed the recipe to the dot and the batter was thick as mentioned. Any ideas on what happened? I really want to make this work! :(

  • Annie

    Either overmixing or overbaking. Maybe your oven runs hot. See my FAQ page on “what went wrong?”

  • Jessica

    I made these cupcakes tonight with the buttercream frosting. They turned out really well. The vanilla bean speckles look beautiful especially with the light blue icing. I didn’t let the ingredients sit until room temperature (everything was cold) and the cupcakes turned out great. Good Luck!

  • Kris

    I have found a great thing to do with the leftover vanilla bean is to create a special sugar container and toss the pods in with sugar and you get the most delightful vanilla sugar.

  • Neera

    Annie, when you are baking cupcakes, do you bake two tins at the same time? If so, side by side or one above and one below (rotating and switching positions halfway)? I bought some new wilton tins that if baked side by side on the same rack, touch each other. Wondering if better to do either one tin at a time or do one above and one below. Would love your thoughts.

    Thanks! So love your blog!

  • Annie

    I do both ways and haven’t really noticed a difference either way. The toothpick test is still the way to determine doneness so I don’t think it matters as long as they are all baked in the end.

  • Neera


  • Hi Annie,
    I dont know what i did wrong,the vanilla cupcakes smelled good while baking. I followed the recipe.. but its too dense… have you tried putting some oil in it?

  • nevermind, LOL.. i saw your reply on one of the questions.. i shall try again next time. it tastes good though!

  • Diana

    I’ve made these cupcakes with the milk and lemon juice substitution and they’ve turned out perfectly each time. Mine were light and fluffy and looked like the picture.

  • rams

    Hi Annie,

    Can i half this recipe for the cupakes and with out bean and with extract does it taste good or go bland…

  • Annie

    Yes, you can halve any recipe. If you omit the vanilla bean you should increase the extract.

  • Heather

    Just made these for my daughter’s birthday party tomorrow… YUM! They are definitely the best cupcake I’ve ever made. Thanks, as always!

  • i am totally in love with the colour of the frosting!

  • Christine

    Hi Annie,
    I made this cupcake the other day and I absolutely LOVE it! Will never go back to boxed cakes again. The flavor and the lightness of the cupcake were excellent! I did have a slight problem in the baking process. While in the oven they looked perfect and fluffy, but towards the last minute or so of baking they collapsed. I tried pulling them out earlier with the next batch but seemed to collapse even further. I tried my best not to overmix the batter… any ideas???

  • Annie

    It actually sounds like you are underbaking them. That is the only reason I have ever had cakes/cupcakes sink in the middle. You should use the toothpick test to determine when they are done.

  • Jeana

    Just made these, and they are so good! The flavor of the cake is one of the BEST I have ever had. It was my first time using a vanilla bean, and it really takes the vanilla flavor to another level. Can’t wait to make more of your recipes that use vanilla beans!

  • Karen Cole

    Hi Annie,
    I made this tonight, modified for gluten free. They are amazing! I have a new favorite vanilla cake recipe! Mike loved them too. I used SMBC which is always good, but you’re right, these are so good they don’t even need frosting at all!

  • These cupcakes are really, really good. Like a cross between a light pound cake and an angel food cake. Follow the directions exactly! It takes a lot of time (8 minutes to incorporate the sugar alone!) and expense (vanilla beans are costly!) but it is well worth it. Don’t fill the cups more than half full — they really rise! My daughter loved them. I had extra batter so I made a little square layer and I will make an ice cream cake with it next week! Terrific recipe!

  • Christina

    I just made these and I must say, I am hard to ‘wow’ and I was AMAZED! Soooo delicious and fluffy and moist and just scrumptious!!! They held their structure even though I was so scared they were going to fall because of how tender they seem. Perfect for decorating. I am so glad I finally found a good vanilla recipe. I can’t wait to send them to work with my husband and I will be making them for a baby shower coming up. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  • Kim

    These are amazing. I can’t believe how great the cake tastes. They don’t need icing. I’m a surgical resident with a toddler at home and have become cupcake obsessed recently. Your site has become my go- to site for recipes. Thanks.

  • Melissa Woodruff

    I didn’t read all the comments so hopefully I’m not repeating a comment. I love the texture of cakes made with cake flour, BUT mine always shrink. Am I doing something wrong?

    Thanks for the wonderful web site!

  • Annie

    Usually a sinking cake is due to underbaking. It shouldn’t be related to whether or not you use cake flour. Good luck!

  • Wanda

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I have been on the hunt for a delicious vanilla cupcake, and I must say it is one of the best tasting recipes I’ve come across thus far.

  • Natasha

    So I have made these 2 different times now… they have GREAT flavor! I have read through all of the comments to see if anyone else is having the same problem as me. And I see that a few have. My cupcakes are sinking! :( I do the toothpick test AND they are starting to brown on top. At this time they have a nice round top. As soon as I remove them from the oven they FALL…. I have messed with the cooking time and nothing is changing this so I know that I’m not under baking them. Would the placement of the rack have anything to do with it? I have just made 2 additional kinds to cupcakes and I didn’t have this issue with either of them? Not sure what else to prevent this from happening?!? :(

  • Annie

    These really don’t have round tops. Not all cakes do. Mine are always flat, but that doesn’t stop me from loving them :)

  • cakebatteraddict

    I’m just baking the second 24 mini cupcake load of cupcakes. I’m sure there would be over 72 mini cupcakes if I wasn’t eating the batter like yoghurt. I knew straight away from tasting the batter how good this recipe was. Nothing boring about vanilla!

  • Lesley

    Hi Annie! Thanks for this recipe…my family loves these cupcakes! I have made them twice now and both times, I noticed that the liners are peeling away from the cakes. I do not leave them in the pans for more then a minute and put them on cooling racks but it seems to happen right after I remove them from the pan. I’ve searched online for a solution but am following all of those instructions. I’ve only had it happen with this recipe. I wondered if you have this issue and/or if you have any suggestions. I only use good quality grease proof liners from
    Thank you!

  • Annie

    Lesley, this is a common problem that I have heard of from readers with different cupcake recipes/different liners/different settings. I’ve researched and researched and talked with all my baking-minded friends and none of us can figure out a reason for it. My personal feeling is that it has something to do with humidity in your individual environment, but I really don’t know for sure. I think there are a lot of factors that go into it. Sorry I can’t be of more help and tell you exactly how to fix it!

  • I just made these cupcakes for my brother and his girlfriend’s Halloween party and everyone loved them. They immediately knew that these were homemade vanilla cupcakes and many commented on how buttery and moist that they were. This will be my go to vanilla cupcake recipe. Every recipe that I’ve tried from your site has just been absolutely delicious…Thank you!

  • Michelle

    Hi Annie, i will be making these vanilla bean cupcakes and i was thinking of trying this frosting that you used on them. I usually always use the Vanilla swiss meringue buttercream. Can you tell me which of the two is more sweet between the quick vanilla buttercream or the vanilla swiss meringue?

    Thanks so much,

  • Anonymous

    A traditional buttercream is much sweeter than Swiss meringue.

  • annieseats

    A traditional buttercream is much sweeter than Swiss meringue.

  • Michelle

    Thanks Annie, i didnt think this post went through so i asked on the buttercream page, you can ignore that comment.


  • Ladybranstetter

    Bummer. Mine were flat and dense too.

  • Michelle

    Hi Annie, to make this recipe into a cake do you have a specific size pan you would recommend and would i need to double the recipe?

  • Anonymous

    Please see the FAQ page. Thanks!

  • Lettekersey

    Just made theses cupcakes, they are by far the best I have ever had, they are light and fluffy. Also made the toffee cupcakes, they were also good, I plan to try all recipes. Thank Annie, your just as amazing as your cupcakes.

  • made these last night… YUM YUM YUM!!! They are soft and fluffy and taste like eating a cloud :) I used my own buttercream recipe and did half with vanilla buttercream and half with chocolate. I also added chocolate chips to 6 of the cupcakes before baking (for my chocolate chip loving son) and they were also very delish! He said it was the best cupcake he has ever eaten. Thanks for my go to vanilla cupcake recipe!

  • Dinah!

    delicious! I didn’t have any buttermilk; so I made some with heavy cream- and simultaneously made the butter I used in the recipe too! :)

  • Mommy2jands

    I just made these and they are delicious! I have a couple of questions though. What kind of cake flour do you use or do you make your own? Also how do you get your cupcakes filled so nicely? Do you use a scooper to pour them in?

  • Anonymous

    I just buy whatever box I see first – I’m not brand loyal in that regard. I do use a dough scoop to fill my cupcake liners. Glad you enjoyed them!

  • Anna

    This recipe was lovely – such a light and fluffy cake. Tasted like a cloud. I made a lemon version as well as the vanilla and both were delicious. Paired it with a slightly modified version of your swiss meringue buttercream (in both vanilla and strawberry), and it made a perfect cupcake. Thanks again for posting this recipe.

  • Daisey1467

    I just made these for my husband for a Valentine gift because he loves vanilla bean ice cream. They are so light and fluffy. They are time consuming to make but well worth it. I think I might try lemon flavor next time. Thank you for sharing.

  • Megan

    I made these last night and they taste amazing! I filled them with a dark chocolate ganache and topped with a vanilla bean buttercream and a chocolate dipped strawberry. Heaven in my mouth. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  • Stephanie120

    Hi Annie,

    I saw you addresses freezing on your FAQ page but I’m just wondering if I can refrigerate the batter for a couple of days, or if you recommend baking immediately. Not sure how refrigeration will affect the batter. Do you have any experience doing so?

  • annieseats

    I’ve never tried it, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I think it’s best to use when fresh.

  • Micaela Stein21

    Im going to make this as a cake and i was wondering if you knew approx how many cups of batter it made? Im making half a sheet cake with it so ill need about 8 cups? would this be enough batter or do you think i should double it? Also im making chocolate cake for the other half of the sheet cake and was wondering where you buy your dutch process cocoa power? i can’t find it anywhere! and last question have you ever made a half/half cake? if so whats the best way to put the 2 different batters in the pan or do you have any recomendations on the best way to do it?

  • annieseats

    I don’t know what the volume of batter would be so I can’t help you there. I buy my dutch-process cocoa online or in specialty stores (see the FAQ page) but my local grocery store also carries it. I am not familiar with what a “half and half” cake is.

  • Stephanie120

    Thanks Annie. My cupcakes turned out wonderfully. It was a test run for the cupcakes I will be making at my daughters birthday party. I’m going to attempt to decorate them like your sesame street tutorial. I don’t have much (any) experience piping…so we’ll see how that turns out. Am I crazy to try and tackle that for a first time piping project?

  • Annie… what did you change about the recipe to make them gluten free?

  • annieseats

    I used gluten free flour.

  • Lillian Wong

    This is by far the best vanilla cupcake recipe I’ve ever tasted in my life. I think I’m eating a vanilla cloud. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  • Christine

    I made this cupcake this past weekend and it tasted amazing. I loved using my first vanilla Bean, although this cupcake turned out more like a pound cake and heard from a few people that it was a little dry but not to dry. Any suggestions to make this more moist ? And what about using all purpose flour instead of cake flour?

  • annieseats

    If they were dry, they were probably a little overbaked. I’d bake them less next time. These are normally a very light and fluffy cupcake so overmixing may be an issue too (causing them to be dense and/or tough). All-purpose flour would make them more dry and less fluffy.

  • Nina H

    ughhmm this is WoNdErFuL!! wow! Annie you have consistently presented amazing recipes, gorgeous pics, and very well written commentary! My LONG search has ended- My official FAV cupcakes :)

  • Stephanie

    To everyone in the blogosphere… I am taking on my most important baking assignment to date: My sweet niece Ava.Mae’s 3rd birthday cake!! Last night I turned this vanilla cupcake recipe into 2 round cakes for layering (and made a mini test cake that was entirely consumed and to die for). Anyone in need of vanilla cupcakes or cakes, this is THE ultimate recipe. And not just that, the way Annie helps you understand the importance of whipping the butter, incorporating the sugar and eggs slowly – these are the steps that will separate your cake from everyone elses :) As always Annie, thank you for being my ultimate go-to for super special days and everyday recipes too.

  • annieseats

    I’m very glad you like the cake so much! I agree, this is my go-to recipe!

  • Fola

    Annie, what if I don’t have vanilla bean at home? What can I use to substitute? Thanks

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page. Thanks.

  • Koro

    I made these and although they were delish they fell apart. What did I do wrong?

  • annieseats

    I’m really not sure what would make them fall apart. Sorry to hear that happened!

  • cyertlego

    Thanks for the great recipe. I am farily new to your blog and this is the second recipe I have tried. I do not have a paddle for my stand mixer so they came out a bit chewy due to being overmixed. Everyone still loved them.

  • Chitra_visalakshi

    Thank u so much for this recipe! The cupcakes were like biting into a vanilla cloud! The instructions were clear and easy! I used ur cream cheese frosting, and they were amazing! Love u Annie! This is the 7th recipe I made, from ur blog!

  • Mandy

    Love, love, love these cupcakes!! They turned out so light and fluffy. A wonderful recipe Annie, thank you so much for sharing! Love that the recipe makes more than 24 too. Tried half of the batter with a touch of cinnamon – soo yummy! Used a regular vanilla butterecream frosting, but would like to try your cream cheese frosting with the cinnamon ones next time. I had been looking for a really great vanilla cupcake recipe and this is definitely my go to now! Thanks again! Also, a belated happy anniversary and congratulations on 5 successful years. Looking forward to following your blog and inspiring ideas for a long time to come. :)

  • Sara

    If I’m making a three layer 8 inch stacked cake, should I double this recipe or would that be to much?

  • annieseats

    Check out the lemon layer cake recipe – it’s the same cake base as these cupcakes, so that should have the quantity changes (if any) and correct baking times. Hope that helps!

  • A_nap5

    Hi, what is the paddle attachment on the kitchen aid? I might just not know your lingo but is it the flat beater?

  • annieseats

    It’s just the basic mixing attachment.

  • Cam Barnett

    For those of you who have baked cupcakes that shrink in the middle when you take them from the oven…One of the problems could be expired baking soda or baking powder, whichever you are using in your recipe. I have had that happen once or twice and found that I needed to replace one or the other. Even if there is still some time left before expiration and you have had the product a long time, it can’t hurt to replace it with new. Try this and perhaps that could solve your problem.

  • LaToya

    I have been unable to find regular buttermilk. The stores here are all selling reduced fat which is 50-55% less fat. Do you have any suggestions as to making up for that difference? I was thinking of adding a little more of the buttermilk to the recipe? I’m lost on what to do.

  • annieseats

    I believe most buttermilk is low fat. That’s what I use.

  • Jshosho

    These cupcakes were fluffy like a cloud in the inside, but I felt like the tops still could have been moister. I am guessing they were left in a min or so too long:( What can I do to make sure that I can get the top just as moist and sticky? Thank you for a great recipe :)

  • annieseats

    I guess just bake them for a shorter time next time around. Enjoy!

  • Suz Phelps

    BEST cupcakes I’ve ever made! Made for a shower and I know they will be perfect! Thank you!

  • Abdyer

    Just as most of the other 140 commenters have said- these cupcakesare are delicious! They are certainly worth taking the time to mix the sugar in slowly and waiting! I mill our wheat (to make flour) and so sometimes a sweet recipie comes out a bit “nutty”, but these were spot on! Thank you Annie for so many fantastic and reliable recipes!

  • cathsmeou

    Just made these last night… followed the recipe to a ‘t’, and the batter was utterly delicious – i was SO excited because it was light and airy and tasted like a dream. But alas, the actual cupcakes were very dense and compact… the taste was okay, but the texture ruined the cake for me. I had picked this recipe based on all the comments about how light and fluffy they were. I made sure not to overbake, so that wasn’t it. I did notice comments about not overmixing, but am confused about that as well, since the recipe first calls for beating butter for three minutes, then beating in between each addition of ingredients, as well as between addition of 5 eggs… so that IS a lot of mixing. But i stayed carefully within those directions, too. Anyway, just thought I’d post in case anyone else had same issues. Batter was beyond perfect, but the cakes were very heavy. Still love the blog and I’ll keep looking for new recipes!

  • annieseats

    Over-mixing is after adding the flour, as it can lead to dense or heavy cupcakes. The beating of the butter and sugar is not included in the over-mixing that people caution about, because you want those to be very thoroughly whipped. It’s certainly possible that your oven runs hot so over-baking is always a possibility. I’d just recommend less mixing after adding the flour and shorter baking time in your oven.

  • jenni bolnick

    OMG! These are amazing! I have been searching for a good vanilla recipe for some time now. It make take a few extra minutes to mix, but it is worth the wait. Thank you for sharing this with us :)

  • Angela B.

    I wanted to try these, but 30 cupcakes is too many, if I wanted 15 cupcakes instead, would I just cut the recipe in half?

  • annieseats

    Yes. Enjoy!

  • Angela B.

    would it be okay to substitute the vanilla bean for 3 tsp of pure vanilla extract and get the same results or does this recipe calls for exact ingredients?

  • annieseats

    You can substitute.

  • it takes just as long to answer the question than to write out to see the FAQ page. I cannot stand your blog, I’m not sure why I’m checking out your cupcakes, I think you are very rude to people who ask you questions. you sound like you hate blogging.

  • annieseats

    I’m sorry you are offended by my directing someone to the answer to their question.

  • Tara Caspar

    I was just going to ask about that… was looking to see if you had mentioned it. I assumed it was a spatula like attachment… but, is it just the whirly one that comes with mixers? I do not have a stand mixer, only a hand one with the regular attachment. is this doable with that?

  • annieseats

    Yes, you can use a regular mixer. Please see the FAQ page for more info.

  • Annie, I’m sorry that you have to deal with ungrateful people who are too lazy to read your FAQ page. I can’t imagine how long it takes to develop your recipes, photograph your work, write up posts, AND reply to readers with questions!! I LOVE your blog & I think people should take a sec, before they bite your head off, to appreciate that we’re getting your wisdom FREE OF CHARGE.

  • annieseats

    Amen to that :) Thank you very much. FAQ pages exist for a reason!

  • Cathy T.

    Could these be made into “funfetti” cupcakes?

  • annieseats
  • CatDubb

    This recipe is great! I had a cupcake emergency and didn’t have time to go out and buy a vanilla bean or cake flour so I just used the extract and all purpose flour (7/8 of a cup for every cup of cake flour). They turned out really yummy. I can’t wait to try it with the real ingredients. If it’s this good with substitutions I can’t imagine how great the real thing must be. Thanks!

  • Roxane Rushton

    Hi Annie, I’m a cake decorator in Canada and would like to start out by
    telling you how your cake and cupcake recipes are amazing and some of
    the best I’ve ever tasted. I’m using your Vanilla Bean recipe for a
    Wedding Cake in July the client needs the cake 2 days before the wedding
    and I’m unsure how long this cake stays fresh for is there any
    modifications to the recipe that I can make to ensure it’s freshness?

    Thanks Roxane

  • Colleen

    I cannot tell you how many times I have made these cupcakes. I didn’t have a whole vanilla bean so I substituted with a tablespoon of Vanilla Bean Paste. I then make a vanilla bean frosting and top with chocolate sprinkles. Awesome recipe Annie!

  • annieseats

    You’ll have to decide for yourself what timeline will allow optimum freshness for your needs. Good luck!

  • Chippegirl

    I just wanted to add that I’ve made this recipe a billion times now and I still cannot find any bakery vanilla cupcake that beats it. Thank you for sharing, Annie!

  • Hannah

    I made these cupcakes without the vanilla bean and I can honestly say they were the absolute best vanilla cupcakes I have ever eaten! I topped them with your vanilla buttercream, which is also amazing! I even adapted the cupcake recipe for high altitude and they baked up perfectly with amazing domes, a close to impossible feat! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your recipes, I never comment however I had to let you know how great these are!!!

  • annieseats

    Wonderful! I am so glad you enjoyed them :)

  • Amy

    I am planning on making these for my little mans family birthday party. After cooled would the leftovers be okay to freeze?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page. Thanks!

  • Deanna Henry

    After looking at many recipes I decided on this recipe for mini cupcakes. They were absolutely perfect! I have had trouble with liners pulling away in the past but it was a nonissue with this recipe. I made the vanilla bean frosting and chocolate frosting and they were both incredible. I will never use a cake mix again and this will be my go to recipe for the future. Love your blog!

  • Angela

    These were fantastic! I used browned butter frosting and they were just perfection. Thanks for sharing.

  • annieseats

    Sure! See the FAQ page for more info about converting cupcakes to cakes and vice versa. Enjoy!

  • Erin Abbamondi

    I’m sorry to bother you – I was wondering if it was possible to mix mini chocolate chips in this batter for chocolate chip cupcakes? Or if you think they will sink in the batter?
    Thank you!

  • annieseats

    You should be able to mix in chocolate chips and I don’t think they will sink. Enjoy!

  • April

    Hi Annie,
    If I want to make these cupcakes for the guests but also use some of the batter for a 4″ smash cake, how full do I fill the pan and what time range/temperature should I try for the cake?

  • Annie

    I would fill the pan about 1/2 to 2/3 full. I really don’t know exact baking time. Whenever I make different sizes/shapes, I just keep a close eye on it and use the fingertip and toothpick tests to check for doneness. My guess is a 4-inch cake wouldn’t be so different from the cupcakes themselves timewise, and I would just start them all together and go from there.