Did you know it was cupcake day today? To celebrate I made my favorite vanilla cupcakes. This is the only vanilla cupcake recipe you will need. They are light, fluffy, and they melt in your mouth... no more boxed mix for you!
This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. If you are making them for a birthday party or holiday get together, I'd recommend that you double or even triple the recipe. These cupcakes are hard to resist and they always disappear fast!
I love recipes that are super easy to make and use ingredients that I probably already have on hand. This cupcake recipe uses only basic ingredients such as flour, butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Can you believe that is all it takes to put together bakery-quality cupcakes? It's true!
The BEST Vanilla Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
These are the BEST vanilla cupcakes with Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. This is the only cupcake and frosting recipe that you will ever need. The cupcakes are light, fluffy, and they melt in your mouth. Everyone raves about how incredible they taste! Swiss buttercream has a better flavor and texture than American buttercream. It is silky smooth and very easy to make. It does take a little more effort than American buttercream but it is worth it! This is our go-to frosting for cupcakes since it is stable (can be left at room temperature overnight) and pipes beautifully!
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Bulgarian buttermilk, room temperature
7 egg whites
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Preheat oven to 350 F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder until well combined. Set flour mixture aside.
Using a stand mixer with the beater blade, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until thick and fluffy. Scrape the bowl down as needed. This will take 3 - 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time. Combine well before adding the next egg.
Add in the vanilla extract and combine well.
Reduce the speed to medium and add in the buttermilk and flour mixture in halves. Add in half the buttermilk first and combine well before adding in half of the flour mixture. Combine well before adding in the rest of the buttermilk and then finally the last of the flour mixture. Beat the mixture until just combined and smooth.
Divide the batter evenly into the cups of the cupcake pan, filling each cup 2/3 of the way full.
Bake for 20 - 22 minutes at 350 F or until done. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
In a medium pot bring about 1 to 2 inches of water to a simmer.
Add the egg whites and sugar to a rimmed metal bowl and whisk to combine.
Place the egg white and sugar mixture oven the pan of simmering water. The bowl should not touch the simmering water, it should be over the steam and the bowl and pan should create a seal keeping the steam in the pot. Whisk the mixture continuously for 3 minutes. The mixture will be done when the sugar is fully dissolved and you do not feel any sugar granules between your fingers. Be careful! The mixture will be hot!
Transfer the mixture to the mixing bowl of your stand mixer (be sure to fully clean and dry it after making the cupcake batter). Using the whisk attachment beat the mixture on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. This will take 10-15 minutes. Proceed with the next step ONLY if the meringue is room temperature, if it is still warm wait for it to cool down before adding in the butter or the butter will melt.
Once the meringue is room temperature, remove the whisk and attach the beater blade. On medium speed, beat in the butter 1 Tbsp at a time. Add in the next tablespoon of butter just as soon as the one before it is combined.
Once all the butter is combined, continue to beat until you have a thick, whipped consistency. This will take about 3 minutes.
Add in the vanilla and salt, and beat until combined.
Pipe the frosting onto cooled vanilla cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles and enjoy!
Keep these tips in mind as you make this recipe!
- Bulgarian buttermilk is thicker, creamier, and tangier than regular buttermilk. If you are unable to get Bulgarian buttermilk, you can use regular instead! You can also use this buttermilk substitute without affecting the texture and taste of the cupcakes:
Combine 1 Tbsp of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice with 1 cup of whole or 2% milk. Stir well and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture will appear thicker and will have curdled slightly. You can now use this soured milk 1 for 1 in place of the buttermilk!
- For this recipe it is very important to use high-quality, pure vanilla extract. Feel free to use cheap ingredients for everything except the vanilla!
- If you notice that your Swiss buttercream has become too soft or runny after adding in the butter, it means that the butter was added when the meringue was still too warm. This can easily be fixed by refrigerating the buttercream until cold. Once cold, beat the buttercream until thick and whipped.
If you made this recipe please comment and let us know what you think!