Gourmet Made Deliciously Simple

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

These are deliciously light and soft vanilla bean cupcakes, topped with sky-high silky smooth Swiss meringue buttercream and rainbow of sprinkles, of course!

These are deliciously light and soft vanilla bean cupcakes, topped with sky-high silky smooth Swiss meringue buttercream and rainbow of sprinkles, of course!

For the last two years, I’ve been in search for the best vanilla cupcake recipe.

By “best”, I mean the lightest, fluffiest cupcakes with delicious vanilla flavor throughout.

Finally, I have my very own go-to recipe now. Everyone should have a trusty recipe for basic vanilla cake. It’s simply a must! And if you’re in search of one, look no further.

These fluffy cupcakes speckled with tiny vanilla beans are so easy to make. No more cake mix!

These are deliciously light and soft vanilla bean cupcakes, topped with sky-high silky smooth Swiss meringue buttercream and rainbow of sprinkles, of course!

Throughout my journey in search of the best vanilla cupcakes, my biggest problems were too heavy, dense or dry textures, or not enough vanilla flavor, or too greasy. Forget about these problems.

Today, I’ll walk you through how to achieve perfectly fluffy, light vanilla cupcakes from scratch.

These are deliciously light and soft vanilla bean cupcakes, topped with sky-high silky smooth Swiss meringue buttercream and rainbow of sprinkles, of course!

By whisking the dry ingredients, we’re not only mixing everything together, but also incorporating air into the flour mixture. Don’t skip this step.

For these cupcakes, we’re using the creaming method. Creaming the butter and sugar until fluffy incorporates air into the mixture, therefore the cupcakes become light and fluffy. Rule of thumb, more air in the batter, fluffier and lighter the cupcakes become. So take your time for this step, no rushing here!

When you add the flour mixture, be careful not to deflate the batter. It’s also important not to overmix the batter after adding the flour. Longer you mix the batter, more gluten develops, which creates heavy cupcakes. A big no-no.

To ensure moist and soft cupcakes, I added a little bit of buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk, simply add a teaspoon of lemon juice in ½ cup of milk and let it stand for 5 minutes.

And one last thing, make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature, because ingredients mix better that way. 

These are deliciously light and soft vanilla bean cupcakes, topped with sky-high silky smooth Swiss meringue buttercream and rainbow of sprinkles, of course!

Now, let’s talk about the frosting. Although the basic buttercream is super easy, it’s just not my favorite frosting. To dress up these simple cupcakes, I made luxuriously silky Swiss meringue buttercream loaded with vanilla beans. Once you make this buttercream, you will never go back. It’s that good!

It’s silky smooth, light and buttery. It requires a little elbow grease, but the end result is totally worth it. You can read the detailed step-by-step instructions with my tips and tricks for perfect Swiss meringue buttercream here. Give it a try.

These are deliciously light and soft vanilla bean cupcakes, topped with sky-high silky smooth Swiss meringue buttercream and rainbow of sprinkles, of course!

And because sprinkles make everything more colorful!

These are deliciously light and soft vanilla bean cupcakes, topped with sky-high silky smooth Swiss meringue buttercream and rainbow of sprinkles, of course!

Those tiny vanilla bean speckles are just gorgeous. I bought a pack of fresh vanilla beans on Amazon. Totally worth the money!

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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

These are deliciously light and soft vanilla bean cupcakes, topped with sky-high silky smooth Swiss meringue buttercream and rainbow of sprinkles, of course!

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For cupcakes:
  • 1 ½ cup (190gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (75gr) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150gr) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup (110gr) sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup (113gr) unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • 1 vanilla bean

Directions:

To make the cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape the seeds inside.
  4. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add eggs, buttermilk, scraped vanilla beans and vanilla extract and mix well, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour mixture and mix until everything is well combined, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Divide the batter into 12 cupcake cups and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the inserted tooth pick comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
To make the Swiss meringue buttercream
  1. In a double boiler, whisk together egg whites and sugar until sugar melts and the mixture reaches 160°F (70°C) stirring continuously, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture into clean, fat-free mixing bowl with a whisk attachment. Whisk on low speed for a minute, then slowly increase the speed to medium high and beat until hard peaks form and the mixture is cool to touch, about 10 minutes.
  2. Cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape the seeds inside.
  3. Switch to a paddle attachment. Slowly add butter one cube at a time with scraped vanilla beans. Make sure the butter is fully incorporated before adding the next one. The mixture might curdle, but don’t panic. Continue to beat the mixture until smooth. (When the frosting reaches the right consistency, you will start hearing slapping sound.)
  4. Transfer the frosting into a pastry bag with decorative tip and frost the cupcakes nice and tall. (I used Wilton 2D tip.)

For step-by-step photos and additional notes, read the post above.

  • You can substitute 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract for vanilla beans.
  • You can use handheld mixer to make Swiss meringue buttercream. However, it will take twice as long to whip up the meringue.
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12 comments

  1. The Fresh Market sells Madagascar vanilla beans in glass tubes in twos. I always get them there. Second time making these. I can never go wrong with this recipe.

  2. Good vanilla is one of my very favorite flavors. I always get secretly annoyed whenever people write it off as plain. Us bakers know how awesomely delicious vanilla can be. These cupcakes look amazing. I must try.

  3. Swiss meringue buttercream tyrshij uzlee. undugnii tsagaan n goe utgurch baisnaa masloo hiisnees hoish keksnii zyyrmag shig shingen bolchihloo. ene yuniih ve?
    Maslo tasalgaanii temperatyrt baisan. unduguu 10 munit buyu hurtul ni mikserdsen ym.

  4. I’ve tried 43242 vanilla cupcakes buy never one with swiss buttercream. These look so yummy! pinned!

  5. I love vanilla bean in cupcakes and frosting and I must say your cupcakes and Swiss meringue look so delicious. Love the specks of the beans. I love Swiss meringue it’s silky texture , taste everything. This cupcake has it all. Pinned

  6. These vanilla bean cupcakes look SO good. Loving that thick layer of frosting especially.. could definitely devour a couple right now. Pinned!

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