I'm just about to go to boxed cake mixes to make my vanilla cupcakes... Not that they are bad, I just try to do homemade wherever I can. I have tried probably 8 different recipes and all of them come out dry. I am not over cooking them so I don't know why they all turn out so dry! My husband said the last batch I just tested had the consistency of cornbread
It took YEARS to perfect my cake recipes... so I can relate to your frustration!!
Don't want to sound stingy but I could lose business by posting my full recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes.... however.... here are a few tips that just might help:
Add 1 premade pudding cup (Snack pack-vanilla) to each batch.
Use buttermilk instead of milk. Or milk + 1-1/2 TB apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon of Mayo
Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees - until just past the gooey stage.... about 17 minutes.
Best of luck to ya!!
I have the Humingbird Bakery cookbook (I think their first one as there are a couple) and they have a number of cupcake recipes in it. I use the vanilla and chocolate cupcake recipes (which are versions of the same recipe). Turn out so beautiful and moist every time. Love it.
120g plain flour (all purpose flour)
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter at room temp
120ml whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
(for chocolate version substitute 20g of flour for cocoa)
Beat dry ingredients and butter in electric mixer until you get a sandy consistency. Gradually add half the milk and beat until just incorporated.
Whisk egg and vanilla into remaining milk then pour into flour mixture and continue to beat until just incorporated (scrape down sides of bowl to get any unmixed ingredients). Continue mixing for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth. Don't overmix.
Spoon ito paper cases until two-thirds full and bake at 170 c (325 f) for 20-25 mins.
Thanks for the recipe and tips! I will be tresting them today!
I've tried over 30 recipes and finally found the perfect one on cupcakeproject.com
The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
Yield: 16 cupcakes
1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup (75 grams) full-fat sour cream
1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil (60 ml)
1 tablespoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract
2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean. (For those of you who are new to using vanilla beans, check out this video to learn how to get the seeds out of the bean.)
Using the back of a spoon, move around the bowl and apply pressure to break up any clumps of seeds and to better infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar. Set aside.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you'll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be liquid. (Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong. It's supposed to be that way.)
Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it. The cupcakes should appear white with specks of vanilla bean. They should not turn a golden brown. If they are not done, test again in two minutes. If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.
When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don't own a cooling rack) to cool.
Tips: Because everyone's oven is just a bit different and your liners may be a slightly different size than mine, I highly recommend that if you have time, you bake a test cupcake before baking your whole batch of vanilla cupcakes. Read my FAQ on filling cupcake liners to learn how to do a test cupcake and why it's useful.
Read more: http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2011/09/ultimate-vanilla-cupcake-test-baked-by.html#ixzz22a7joW8P
I also use the ultimate vanilla cupcake from cupcakeproject. It's definitely moist and fluffy and has a very distinct true vanilla taste to it.
I've just about given up on scratch vanilla cupcakes too...
I tried the cupcakeproject Ultimate recipe 4 times....I purchased the recommended vanilla beans (LOVE the ones from IndriVanilla, the JR Mushroom & Specialties, not so much)...I used vanilla extract first, then NMassey vanilla bean paste (best invention ever)...I purchased a highly-rated cake flour from King Arthur after being disgusted by the smell and taste of regular cake flour (it wasn't old, the expiration date was more than a year away)...I made the vanilla bean/sugar portion a week in advance on one of my attempts (mmmmm)...
I read and re-read the recipe, followed it to a tee, and never got one result I was happy with, not even close.
(I don't like boxed mixes...wasn't raised on them, by the way)
This recipe is the best (that I have found):
I'm with tigachu, I love fromscratch's recipe. I use vanilla paste when I make mine and they are awesome. I use the egg yolks for the vanilla cupcakes, as she gives you the choice as to egg whites or yolks depending on which kind of cake you want to make. The variations she gives are great too.