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I would be remiss if I didn’t start this blog right, with my favorite recipe for the thing I make most: cupcakes! Over the years, I’ve tried countless cupcake recipes – most good, a few not so much. After tasting my first cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake, though, I knew nothing else would ever compare. It was the best cupcake I’d ever shoved into my mouth! I quickly realized why everyone had been buzzing about the show DC Cupcakes and the bakery itself.
As fate would have it, the creators of Georgetown Cupcake had just released a cookbook with many of their delicious recipes, the original vanilla one included. I bought a copy right away and I haven’t used another cupcake recipe since. Occasionally I make my own slight modifications, but I’ve never tasted any better cupcake, so why mess with a good thing? The sisters at Georgetown Cupcake know how to do cupcakes right. If you’ve never tried an original, I’m telling you, you’ve got to visit one of their bakeries! Once in a while, they run half-price specials through their e-mail newsletters, so you can get a dozen cupcakes delivered to your door for less than $30. I speak from experience when I say it’s well-worth the $27.50.
Until then, try out this vanilla cupcake recipe from Georgetown Cupcake’s The Cupcake Diaries and let me know what you think! I’ve made it a million times and it just never gets old.
One of the reasons it never gets old is because you can always add fun little extras! Sprinkles are my accessory of choice to create Georgetown Cupcake’s “birthday” cupcake look (These sprinkles are from Wilton), but you can also jazz things up with food coloring, patterned liners, or cute toppers. Be creative!
Of course, you can also use this recipe as a base for other cupcake flavors too…but that is a story to be continued another day! :)
- VANILLA CUPCAKES:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 8 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- 1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
- VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 5 1/2 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
- 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 8 oz. low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- FOR CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with cupcake wrappers.
- In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs one at a time until combined.
- Add vanilla and vanilla bean seeds to milk.
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat with stand mixer until well combined. Add 1/3 of the milk and mix thoroughly. Repeat with remaining ingredients, scraping bowl as needed.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool pans completely on a wire rack.
- FOR FROSTING: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat all ingredients on high speed until light and fluffy, at least three minutes. Pipe onto cupcakes using a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. (I used an Ateco 809 tip that I purchased from Kitchen Conservatory. Wilton's largest round tip is the 1A. I've been unable to find any larger tips than these thus far!)
The vanilla beans are not absolutely mandatory, but they totally make these cupcakes!
If you—not unlike me—didn’t plan ahead for this recipe, you can bring your ingredients to room temperature a little more quickly. Run hot water over the eggs for a few seconds to warm them up. Microwave the butter at 50% power for about 8 seconds to soften. Finally, microwave milk at 50% power for about 30 seconds. These methods aren’t ideal, but they do the trick in a pinch!
For the frosting, regular full-fat cream cheese can be easily substituted (and is more delicious, just higher in calories!). Fat-free cream cheese, however, is not recommended. The texture becomes too soft and doesn't hold its shape to pipe.