I've tried 2 different vanilla cupcake recipes. One from glorious treats and the other from life, love , and sugar(LLS). The first one came out very very moist, but they don't look good. Ill try and post a picture. The taste is less cornbready than the LLS one ,but not as tasty maybe too salty. The LLS one is less moist , but still moist enough, they look nicer, but they def had a cornbread taste. For the LLS one is had to make cake flour and used 3.5 tbsp of cornstarch in the mix. I didn't over mix and i didnt over bake. LLS recipe I didnt use room temp eggs. The GT one I used room temp eggs. Just throwing things out there. Thoughts? I hope the links work!
the cornstarch in there is going to produce a cornbready product so eliminate that option -- use cake flour or get a new recipe
Vanilla is just that hard to get right! I slogged through at least 10 different recipes before I found my vanilla cake husband and even then I had to tweek him a bit. If you try a recipe and you don't like it move on. There are so many perfect, the best, my go to, ultimate vanilla recipes out there. You just dive in until you find the one you like.
The vanilla cupcakes at the bakery taste soooo different than what i make!
There also seems to be a lot of flour compared to sugar in the first recipe. There are so many recipes out there, keep trying. Pastrybaglady is right. You might as well try a new one than try to tweak this one.
I tried rhe recipe with cake flour and no cornstarch
Still a little bit of a cornbread taste but not as much. I've done 3 vanilla cupcakes variations and I didn't like any of them. Maybe ill do a funfetti cupcake instead.
You should know the cupcakes from the bakery are most likely made from a mix. All those chemicals and softeners cannot be duplicated at home. I personally find them too light and fluffy for cupcakes. I prefer something with a little more body and substance to it, but if that's your goal go with a mix!
What I didn't like about the Glorious Treats recipe:
volume rather than weight measurement
high ratio liquid to flour (generaly you reduce liquid when using cake flour because it's lower gluten, so absorbs less liquid) so that would result in too much moisture in cake.
high ratio of leavening. You said they didn't look good--did they dip in center, was the crumb coarse? If so, that's too much leavening.
Lots of oil and cold eggs; to emulsify the egg and oil, eggs should be room temp. Also, there didn't seem to be a real emulsification step. If the batter isn't properly emulsified, the cake texture and flavor is adversely effected.
The other recipe seems to be pretty balanced. But you said you made homemade cake flour. But recipe is for AP flour. I'd try it with a good low protein AP flour.