The Perfect Vanilla Cupcake!

Baking By JohnnyCakes1966 Updated 15 May 2010 , 2:20am by msulli10

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 6:33pm
post #1 of 24

Here is a picture of THE perfect vanilla cupcake. It isn't mine, but I sure wish it was!! I'm trying to create/find the recipe that will produce this divine work of art. It is melt-in-your-mouth moist, not too dense or chewy but not too fluffy or light. It really is perfect! My recipe is close, but just not there yet....still too dry. Does ANYONE have a recipe that produces a cake that looks like this...that you're willing to share???
LL

23 replies
antonia74 Posted 1 May 2010 , 12:04am
post #2 of 24

have you tried the Joy of Baking vanilla cupcake recipe? It's awesome!!!

CakeJournal has a great article that shows how she mixes up the batter in two variations to produce two versions. It's JUST like your photo here, scroll down her pics in the article and you'll see. She uses the recipe and has a link to it.

http://www.cakejournal.com/archives/cupcake-decorating-part-2


thumbs_up.gif

LindaF144a Posted 1 May 2010 , 4:51pm
post #3 of 24

Where did you get the photo?
If you give us more info we might be able to help. Like the recipe you have already, then we can see where it can be changed up a bit. It sounds like you have done about 90% of the job and if we were to start guessing we could be doing something you have already done.

Bridy Posted 2 May 2010 , 12:33am
post #4 of 24

I make this one all the time.
I also find that they are even better if frozen for 1-2 days.
use 3/4 cup of milk. so yummy, I get many compliments.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Simple-White-Cake/Detail.aspx

kristieanna Posted 7 May 2010 , 11:19pm
post #5 of 24

I like to use the Joy of Baking vanilla cupcake recipe. I use 1/2 cup of milk instead of only the 1/4 and I only have to bake them for 16 minutes instead of the 18-20 it suggests.

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 8 May 2010 , 10:01pm
post #6 of 24

Oops....I didn't get notified that anyone had replied to this post.

The picture I posted is a cupcake from a local gourmet cupcake shop. I've had friends do a blindfolded taste test and they pick mine for flavor but theirs for texture. It really does almost melt in your mouth, it's so moist....but it isn't dense or chewy. If I could get my flavor and their texture, I'd have the best vanilla cupcake in town, hands down!!

I've tried the Joy of Baking recipe a few times and have never had good results. I love the flavor, but I just don't get the moist texture I'm looking for. I've used 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup. I've tried baking until a toothpick comes out dry and clean, and also comes out with slightly moist crumbs. Dry and clean results in a very dry cupcake and slightly moist crumbs results in a chewy, almost doughy cupcake. Or the bottom half comes out dry and the top half perfect. I bake them at 350 degrees. I once tried baking them at 325, but I guess the batter rose quickly but didn't cook quickly, because the batter ran over the sides of the cups and created a bit of a mess.

At the suggestion of a poster here, I baked them again last night using the "beat eggs and sugar together" and "melt the butter" method as recommended on CakeJournal. This method is supposed to create a lighter, fluffier cupcake. For me, the top 1/2 was perfect, but the bottom very dry. Great flavor though. I tasted one this morning and now the top is a bit dry, too. (They were covered overnight.)

I think my next test on my own recipe will be to whip the egg whites and fold them into the batter. Maybe that will create the moist but fluffy texture I'm looking for.

JGMB Posted 8 May 2010 , 10:15pm
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyCakes1966

Oops....I didn't get notified that anyone had replied to this post.




I've never understood why, but if you start a thread, you have to click "watch this topic" at the bottom of the page. Otherwise, you're not notified of replies. Yet, if you just reply to a thread, you do get notified without having to click that. Who knows?! icon_rolleyes.gif

csue Posted 8 May 2010 , 10:45pm
post #8 of 24

I got this recipe from another cake site. It is one of my favorite tasting white cakes. I have not tried it on a wedding cake because I worried about whether the cake could handle the weight of other tiers. I have not tried it as a cupcake recipe either. Good luck. (I've made the 1st version).

Betty Crocker Recipe - Silver White Cake

2 -1/4 Cups Cake Flour*
1 -1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
3-1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Stick of Butter (or 1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening)
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla**
4 Egg Whites

* If sifting your cake flour, measure after sifting
** You may substitute clear Almond Flavoring; or add 1 Teaspoon clear Almond Flavoring

Pre-measure dry ingredients and set aside.
Cream together, butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. After blended turn up to med-high and beat for about 5 minutes. While your mixture is beating; separate 4 eggs and set aside egg whites. Add 1 cup of flour, and baking powder, and blend well; add remaining flour alternately with milk and vanilla. After all the dry ingredients and milk are blended, beat batter mixture on med-high for 2 minutes.

While batter is beating, beat egg whites until frothy. Reduce speed and add "frothy" egg whites to batter mixture. When blended, beat batter mixture on high for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake in pre-heated oven.
_____________________________________________________________________

Betty Crocker Silver White Cake (with a few changes)

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp almond extract
4 large egg whites

Mix together dry ingredients. Mix in butter. Pour in milk, water, and extracts. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add egg whites to mix and beat for 2 minutes. Pour into two eight inch round pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until done.

redpanda Posted 8 May 2010 , 11:34pm
post #9 of 24

Have you varied where the cupcakes are placed in the oven? If they are too dry on the bottom half by the time they are cooked fully on top, they may be too close to the oven bottom, or you may have insufficient room around the pan for hot air to circulate. (Do you put multiple pans on one oven rack?

LindaF144a Posted 9 May 2010 , 3:28pm
post #10 of 24

I just made chiffon cupcakes yesterday. They use the method where you whip the egg whites and fold it in as you are thinking of doing.

It needs work, but show potential for what you are looking for. I believe the part that needs work was user error and not the process. So I say try the egg white thing and see what you get. But you may have to adjust your leavening a bit because you don't need as much doing it this way.

Also using cake flour over all-purpose flour will make a huge difference too. I might just take one of my standard vanilla cupcake recipe and try it with cake flour instead of AP flour too. If you try this you need to add 2 tablespoons of cake flour for every cup of AP flour in the recipe. But if you weigh it then you can just go by the weight. 14 ounces is 14 ounces in both kinds of flour and it will even out to the proper amount of cup measurement. I weigh when I can instead of cup measuring.

And I never had to do a thing to get notified. Once I post a response I get notified. But I do notice on the posting window where I am typing this there is a box that you have to highlight that says Notify me when a reply is posted. Min is always checked by default. Maybe if you check your settings?

DMJ69 Posted 9 May 2010 , 8:13pm
post #11 of 24

To help keep my cupcakes moist I add a 1/4 cup extra milk and 1/4 cup extra butter. Also I keep and pan of water at the bottom of the oven and let the steam help bake the cupcakes. Always keeps my cupcakes moist with a nice crumb.

LindaF144a Posted 9 May 2010 , 11:21pm
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMJ69

To help keep my cupcakes moist I add a 1/4 cup extra milk and 1/4 cup extra butter. Also I keep and pan of water at the bottom of the oven and let the steam help bake the cupcakes. Always keeps my cupcakes moist with a nice crumb.




Thanks for the tip, I'll have to try that.

When you add the extra is it to a butter cupcake recipe? I'm trying a chiffon recipe now. They look nice in the oven so far. thumbs_up.gif

DMJ69 Posted 10 May 2010 , 9:07am
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMJ69

To help keep my cupcakes moist I add a 1/4 cup extra milk and 1/4 cup extra butter. Also I keep and pan of water at the bottom of the oven and let the steam help bake the cupcakes. Always keeps my cupcakes moist with a nice crumb.



Thanks for the tip, I'll have to try that.

When you add the extra is it to a butter cupcake recipe? I'm trying a chiffon recipe now. They look nice in the oven so far. thumbs_up.gif





When I make my vanilla sponge cake I just add the extra milk, and keep the pan of water at the bottom of the oven. HTH

honeyscakes Posted 10 May 2010 , 2:55pm
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144


Also using cake flour over all-purpose flour will make a huge difference too. I might just take one of my standard vanilla cupcake recipe



DITTO!!!!
Cake flour makes a HUGE difference in the crumb of the cake or cupcakes!
I used it twice and could totally SEE the difference.and the texture is soooooooo good with cake flour icon_smile.gif
- h

carmijok Posted 10 May 2010 , 3:15pm
post #15 of 24

Vegetable oil adds moistness without altering flavor.

KKristy Posted 10 May 2010 , 4:02pm
post #16 of 24

carmijok,
Do you replace part of the butter with veg oil, or in addition to it ?

carmijok Posted 10 May 2010 , 10:12pm
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KKristy

carmijok,
Do you replace part of the butter with veg oil, or in addition to it ?




Butter adds flavor so I think I would either half your butter and do the other half with the oil...or try it with just a quarter cup of oil in addition to the butter.

ctinaw Posted 11 May 2010 , 3:32pm
post #18 of 24

If you're really happy with your flavor, and are worried more about the "moistness" - the fix may be more simple than you think.

What do you do with your cupcakes when they come out of the oven? Sit them on a rack to cool? Do you cover them in any way?

I find that if I slap some wax paper on top of them IMMEDIATELY after they come out of the oven - the wax paper will kind of - steam itself - to the top of the cupcake - holding all of the moisture inside.

If you already do this - forgive me! Just an idea!

TracyLH Posted 11 May 2010 , 3:48pm
post #19 of 24

Saving for my daughter who wants to be a baker. I only do cookies, so I thank you all for sharing your knowledge. I just wish I had something to add to help with this conversation, but I am afraid my realm is cookie dough and RI.

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 11 May 2010 , 6:30pm
post #20 of 24

Argh...still not being notified with responses to this thread.

I will definitely try the pan of water in the bottom of the oven!

Sometimes I do put 2 6-cup pans on the same rack, but there is space between them and on the sides. Still, that might be the problem with the bottoms cooking faster than the tops.

I've also covered my cupcakes immediately after removing from the oven (and also after letting them cool), but the tops get gummy/wet when I do that. The cupcakes do stay moist though.

Cake flour....I've had mixed results using it. I find it works better with some flavors than others. But, I'll give it a shot with this recipe and see what happens.

Thanks for all the suggestions!! You guys are great!

WildSugar Posted 14 May 2010 , 6:06pm
post #21 of 24

I'm going to be completely honest.....typically when i do cupcakes i use box mixes. I have lots of problems with scratch recipes and cupcakes.

Anyways, i add anywhere from a couple tablespoons to a half cup of Mayo. Sounds disgusting, but it makes for some seriously moist cake! And dont use the lite crap....it's not the same! Never tried Miracle Whip, because it doens't exist in my house! LOL!

redpanda Posted 14 May 2010 , 6:34pm
post #22 of 24

Well, Mayo is basically oil and egg yolks, so it would have a lot of the same effect as adding extra oil/egg. I would definitely avoid the products that are "kind of" mayo, like Miracle Whip, because they have a lot of extra stuff in them.

WildSugar Posted 15 May 2010 , 2:03am
post #23 of 24

Yeah, that's what i figured redpanda. But i've never actually tried just putting more egg whites and oil in. Mayo is just easier! lol!

msulli10 Posted 15 May 2010 , 2:20am
post #24 of 24

There is a really good recipe for a vanilla cake with raspberry buttercream on the Softsilk Cake flour box. I decided to try this recipe for cupcakes. It was delicious. It uses a lot of butter, but it made about 30 cupcakes. The texture was really nice - not too fluffy and not too dense. I even put a little raspberry filling into some of the batter - it made it very moist. I used the sleeve filling. I can't wait to make some more.

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