It’s sort of embarrassing for someone who enjoys baking, but there is something that makes a box mix cake so good. Not to mention how simple and convenient it is. However, I like to discover simple and delicious from-scratch recipes when I can!
A perfect vanilla cake recipe is something that I’ve been long searching for. I’ve tried many different recipes online and they usually end up being dry or having a cornbread texture/taste. It seems like a basic thing to make, but finding a vanilla cupcake with great flavor and texture is a challenge.
Today I decided to try another recipe that was “better than a box mix.” These cupcakes are best I’ve found so far! The flavor is good and the texture is pretty moist. I guess nothing homemade will be exactly like a box mix, so these come close!
I also made a simple vanilla buttercream to top off the cupcakes. This frosting works well with them! It includes powdered sugar, salted butter, and coffee cream. I used whipping cream but any type of cream should be fine.
I’m still on the lookout for more “perfect” vanilla cupcakes, so if you have a favorite vanilla cupcake or frosting recipe, please let me know! 🙂 I think I’ll try these or these next…
Better than a Box Mix Vanilla Cupcakes
Yield: makes about 15 cupcakes
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until blended, about 15-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil and beat until well mixed. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mix and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl. The batter should be thin.
Divide evenly among the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full, and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes: I used vegetable oil instead of canola. Also, I used cake flour but you can probably substitute for all-purpose flour. It may change the texture, though.
The Best Buttercream Icing
- 1 cup of salted butter
- 3 teaspoons of vanilla
- 4 cups of icing sugar
- 4-5 tablespoons of coffee cream (18% and up)
- Whip that butter, with a paddle beater if you have it, if not, don’t worry.
- Add in the icing sugar. **I came back to edit this to say that fresh icing sugar makes all the difference. Icing sugar goes stale, and you can sure taste it when it does! Crack open a fresh bag for icing, you won’t be sorry!**
- Add in the cream. Not milk, cream. I used 4 tablespoons for my preference, you adjust to what you want. Stiffer icing = less cream. Whippier icing = more cream.
- Add vanilla. I used 3 teaspoons, again, you can try a little more if you like.Then keep mixing it until fluffy and thoroughly combined