Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Yield: about 18 cupcakes

Prep: 15 minutes, total time about 1 hour

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

Seeds of 1 vanilla bean pod

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two muffin tins with paper liners, set aside.
  2. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed with an electric hand mixer. Add the egg and yolk and beat until combined. 
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the batter, mixing well between each addition. Begin and end with flour. Add the seeds of the vanilla bean and mix on low speed. 
  4. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when pressed in the center. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and allow them to cool completely on wire racks, about 15 minutes.
  5. Frost with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream, if desired (recipe here).