Teach me to Bake… Vanilla Cupcakes

Hi guys,

I’m really excited to share this recipe with you guys because this will be the first original cupcake recipe of my own. I’ve been cooking up recipes from my own creativity for a while now, but baking is another story. Baking is a complex subject of study. I feel like it mainly gets complicated because so many of the ingredients do multiple things and they all have to work together harmoniously. Butter and oil gives a cupcake tenderness, but so does sugar and milk. Eggs give structure, but so does flour. Yet, eggs also help batter rise like a leavening agent does. Baking powder needs heat to activation, but baking soda needs an acidic component. See where I’m going with this? It gets dicey pretty quickly without a guide. I’m setting out with a goal though to find the perfect cupcake flavor concoctions and bring them to you guys, starting with vanilla!

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This recipe is a little more in depth than most cupcake recipes. As I was making them, I thought of how I would teach one of my younger siblings to bake, what tips and important things they’d need to know to make a cupcake right. I’ve added all those tips in here to give you guys not only a new recipe to try, but a baking lesson in the process to help you as you continue on to other recipes in the future.

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The Vanilla Cupcake

  • Ingredients:
    2 cups all purpose flour
    1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp kosher salt
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    4 eggs @ room temperature
    1 cup milk + 1 teaspoon of vinegar (or buttermilk)
    1/4 cup softened butter

    Directions:

  • Preheat you oven to 350 degrees. This is an important step because the oven needs to be at the proper temperature before the cupcakes go in in order to bake evenly.
  • In a Kitchen Aid mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream your butter and sugar until fluffy.

Tip: to soften your butter quickly (because who remembers to set out butter??), put it in the microwave for 20 seconds on 30% power. This will make it soften but not melt like it normally does!

  • Add your eggs one at a time, mixing the first in completely before adding another. Once those are combined, scrape down the sides of your bowl and add in your vanilla. Mix until combined.
  • In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder). This will evenly disperse your leavening agents into the flour so that your cupcakes all get the same amount of rising.

Tip: Make sure you measure your flour correctly so that you don’t get cupcakes that are too dense. Spoon flour into your measuring cup until full, and level off with a knife. Don’t shake the cup or it will make the flour settle and you’ll get more in the recipe than you want.

  • Add half the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar mix, then half buttermilk, and repeat until all ingredients have been added to the mixer.

Tip: I use milk/vinegar mix instead of buttermilk because I almost never have it on hand. Add the vinegar to your pre-measured milk to curdle it. That will replicate the buttermilk flavor. You may use either one you have on hand.

  • Make sure to scrape down your bowl a final time and check to see that all the ingredients are totally combined. Use a scoop to fill 24 cupcake liners evenly. For me, that is filling my liners to be about half full. You may have a couple extra cupcakes over 24. I had 26. We’ll just call them bonus points for all your hard work.
  • Bake those little cakes for 13-15 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean and clear of batter.

For my frosting I used 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Simple as that. Top with sprinkles, drizzles, toppers, or fruit. The possibilities are endless!

Please post pictures of your cupcakes and results! I hope you guys enjoyed maybe learning a few new things, and eating your delicious cupcakes. Catch you soon,

The Navy Wife xoxo

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