Double Vanilla Cupcakes

by byn on June 27, 2010

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Icing

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When I returned from Montreal, a package was waiting for me at home from Danielle. If you’ve been following along here at all, you know she’s responsible for introducing me to food blogs in the first place. Dani and I can easily spend an hour on the phone catching up on what we baked that week and the blogs we both read, plus she’ll listen to my endless questions about things I’m still scared of tackling in the kitchen, for example, bread. The girl made her own pitas, so I think we know who’s boss in that area. Anyway, inside the package was a jar with two vanilla beans and a cute little note that said, “I’m sure you came back from Montreal wanting to bake something so the vanilla should come in handy!”. So thoughtful!

I’ve never used vanilla beans before, but I knew right away what I would use them for.  My first baking project when I arrived home was birthday cupcakes for my friend Jen. I make her cupcakes every year for her birthday, and no matter how many links I send her to crazy cupcake recipes, she always wants plain vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. This was a perfect forum to experiment with vanilla beans. I did a bit of googling and found this cupcake recipe which turned out great.  If you look closely, you can see the vanilla bean seeds in the cupcake:

I used my regular vanilla buttercream recipe, and just added used the remaining seeds from the other half of the vanilla bean.  It tasted the same, but looks so pretty with the little flecks of vanilla seeds. Jen loved them, especially since she’d been a bridesmaid the weekend before I gave her the cupcakes and hadn’t been eating treats for a while in preparation :)

Double Vanilla Cupcakes

Source: Simply Recipes


1/2 vanilla bean (or one whole bean if you can spare it)

1/2 cup whole milk (I used 2%)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 egg + 2 egg whites

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt


  1. Using the tip of a small sharp knife, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Gently open each side, and using the knife, scrape out the seeds, getting as much of them out as you can. Place the seeds, empty bean and milk into a small saucepan. Heat to just under a simmer for a few minutes being careful not to scald (i.e. burn) the milk. Remove from heat and allow the milk to steep and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for a minute or so, then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, then add the whites one at a time until they are mixed in.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla steeped milk, vanilla extract, and sour cream.
  4. In another small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter mixture in three additions, starting and ending with the flour (i.e. add half the flour mixture, stir, all the milk mixture, stir, rest of the flour mixture). Mix until just combined being sure to not overbeat.
  6. Divide the batter into 12 cupcake tins, lined with paper liners or sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, and rotate the cupcakes after the first 12 minutes to ensure even baking. Cool on a wire rack and frost when cooled.

Makes 1 dozen.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Danielle June 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm

They look delicious! Always happy to inspire your baking! And don’t be afraid of yeast, you will have mad bread baking skills after I visit this summer!!


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