It has been a while since I’ve made cupcakes! Two things motivated me to make this batch: Bonnie from Thirsty for Tea when she made some amazing homemade strawberry Pocky sticks, and an extremely disappointing experience with a local bakery. Yes, that’s a weird combo, I know, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
I stumbled upon this recipe from The Martha Stewart Show about eight years ago, during the height of our national cupcake craze. Martha sometimes intimidates me a bit, but I trust her when it comes to food and recipes. The guest was Billy from Billy’s Bakery in NYC and I was intrigued by his reverse-creaming method. This recipe has become one of my go-to vanilla cupcake recipes. They turn out well every time! The key is to make sure NOT to overmix or overbeat any of the ingredients.
As for the buttercream, I like to add freeze dried strawberries. I find that they are easier to incorporate into the frosting because they are dehydrated and don’t add any extra moisture. No need to worry about ruining the consistency. 🙂
Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small cubes
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I like to use vanilla bean paste)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.
Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 oz package freeze dried strawberries, finely ground in food processsor
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, strawberries, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add additional powdered sugar to reach desired consistency.
**Note: I would make the buttercream ahead of time since the flavors need at least a few hours to blend together. The buttercream tastes completely different right after you make it versus letting it sit for a while.