Whether you’ve been baking for awhile or you’re new to the game, there are a few go-to recipes I recommend having in your recipe box. I believe one of them should be a fail-proof vanilla cupcake recipe, and this one is just that. These babies come out the same every single time: fluffy, moist, rich vanilla flavor, and perfectly soft structure. And they’re so versatile, you can top them with just about any buttercream flavor and be good to go!
Huzzah! It’s my birthday! Well, technically it was last week but I’m still celebrating. I’m a whopping 32 years old now, and although I usually dread birthdays because of the whole getting older thing, this year I’m feeling pretty content. I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with my very most favorite people, and I’m feeling so truly loved that I just can’t complain.
When you’re a caker it’s quite common to make your own birthday cakes, and this year was no exception. I thought about making something classic and reminiscent of my childhood (like yellow cake with chocolate frosting, the all-time favorite of my youth) but then I thought, why not use my birthday as an excuse to pair some flavors I love in a way that I’ve never done before? Even if it didn’t turn out right, it could be a good laugh. But spoiler alert: it turned out real good!
I’ve tested a ton of buttercream recipes in my day, but my go-to is a super simple American buttercream recipe that I’ve tweaked to my liking. I’ve used this recipe for frosting countless cakes and cupcakes and I’m a big believer that a good vanilla buttercream is something every baker should have in their recipe box. There’s nothing fancy about the way this recipe is made, but it will certainly taste like you whipped up something special!
I have a little confession to make: when I first started making cakes, my secret go-to for far too long was the box vanilla cake mix by Betty Crocker.
Phew. Now you know.
Since I became accustomed to the light and fluffy texture of said box mix, every time I tried to make a vanilla cake from scratch, the result seemed off. Blame it on the lack of Propylene Glycol Mono (or the handful of other ingredients in box mixes that you’ve never heard of), but my from-scratch vanilla cakes always ended up too dense, tasted a little cornbread-ish, and just didn’t have that fluffy appeal. Finding a go-to vanilla cake recipe from scratch felt like a mountain I had to climb, but after (what felt like) five hundred tries and a whole lot of not giving up, I’ve found a recipe that is beyond my wildest cake dreams.