I bake cupcakes a lot. They're one of my favorite treats to make, and I love how versatile they are. I've made multiple batches for friends and family for birthday celebrations, and I feel like I have perfected the art of cupcake baking. This vanilla cupcake recipe is my very favorite go-to recipe. I've made it dozens of times and had perfect results every time. I decided to change things up just a little this time by using some vanilla bean paste that I got for Christmas, and I love the sweet little vanilla bean flecks, along with the delicious vanilla flavor.
I think the genius of this recipe really lies in the reverse creaming method, in which the butter is cut into the dry ingredients before the liquids are added. Once I tried the method the first time, I never looked back! It gives consistently great results. Every time I post a cupcake recipe, I get a bunch of comments about how I need to cream the butter into the sugar instead, but I stand by the reverse creaming method as the best way to achieve consistently good results. These cupcakes are perfect!
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
for the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups sour cream or greek yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
for the frosting:
1/2 7 ounce container marshmallow cream
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1-2 tablespoons half and half or heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350. Line two muffin tins with paper liners. In a large bowl or a the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the sour cream and vanilla bean paste in a measuring cup, and add about half of the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture. Beat until well blended and smooth. Add the other half of the sour cream mixture, and beat until smooth. Fill paper liners 2/3 full and bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, beat together the butter and marshmallow cream until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste, and beat until light and fluffy. Add half and half as needed to make a smooth, pipeable frosting. Frost cupcakes as desired. Enjoy!