Vanilla Bean Cupcake Recipe

From experience...

  1. Have all your ingredients at room temperature before mixing! Yes, even the eggs. This results in a more cohesive batter.
  2. I prefer to use unbleached pastry flour. If this is readily available in your area, then, yes, use this instead of the all-purpose and cake flours. You'll need 1 3/4 cups (9 oz) of unbleached pastry flour.
  3. Vanilla bean paste is optional, but then the recipe will be for Vanilla Cupcakes. If you're only using extract, then up the amount to 2 teaspoons instead of 1 teaspoon.

Now for the recipe... if this happens to be similar to another recipe elsewhere, it's purely coincidental. I developed this recipe a while back for my business.


  • 1 1/4 cups (6.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 oz) cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried lemon peel (optional)
  • 2/3 cup (5 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ea large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl oz) whole milk, warm


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the inside of 18 to 24 muffin/cupcake cups (standard sized) with ovenproof paper baking cup liners.
  2. Sift the flours and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper or parchment. This is an ingenious technique to easily pour the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl. And one less dish to wash. If you don't have either paper, then sift into a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter, lemon peel (if using), and salt in the large bowl of a freestanding electric mixer on moderate speed (on a KitchenAid, it's the 4 setting) for 3 minutes. Add the sugar in 2 additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing for about 20 seconds after each addition to combine. Blend in the vanilla bean paste (if using) and extract.
  5. On low speed, beat in half of the sifted dry ingredients and mix just until the particles of flour have been absorbed. Add the milk, mix to combine, then blend in the rest of the sifted dry mixture.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl thoroughly with a rubber spatula after each addition. The batter will be moderately dense and creamy.
  7. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups, dividing it evenly among them. I prefer to use a 2 oz ice cream scoop or disher. This easily and perfectly fills a standard sized muffin cup.
  8. Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for 18 minutes, or until risen, set, and a wooden pick withdraws clean. I use the touch method - using your finger, gently press the tops of a couple of cupcakes. If the tops spring back, then it's done. If it leaves an indentation, then they need a couple more minutes.
  9. Cool the cupcakes in the pans on racks for 10 minutes, then remove them to other cooling racks. Cool completely.