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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Adapted from Baked by Rachel
Makes 12 cupcakes

½ cup milk
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line standard muffin tin with liners; set aside.
2. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together milk, egg whites, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds to combine; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. (Or pulse a few times with mixer to combine.) Add butter, mixing on low until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (It’ll look a bit like the start of pastry dough.)
4. Add half of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat until dough is moist and thick (a bit like cookie dough). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add remaining milk mixture and beat until combined. (Mixture should look more like batter now.)
5. Divide batter among prepared cups, filling with 2 tablespoons of batter each. Bake until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

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