White plate containing Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and rainbow sprinkles

When it comes to cupcakes, there is one very important question to answer: Are you Team Chocolate or Team Vanilla?

For all of my fellow chocoholics out there, you won’t want to miss my go-to chocolate cupcakes recipe, which pairs perfectly with any choice of accompaniments, from classic vanilla buttercream to 5-minute chocolate buttercream to tangy cream cheese frosting. But for all those with a serious passion for intense vanilla flavor, look no further than these extra-moist and fluffy Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting.

Vanilla bean cupcakes, vanilla bean frosting, vanilla bean allllll the things. We’re talkin’ not one, but two vanilla beans squeezed of every last tiny black seed to lend their rich taste to a dessert favorite. And if you’re feeling extra-inspired, grab a few more beans and use my simple trick (and two ingredients!) for making homemade vanilla extract. It’s the ultimate DIY pantry staple and also makes for the perfect edible gift!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting Recipe

White serving plate containing Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and rainbow sprinkles with more cupcakes in blurred out in the background

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Dessert

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

For all those with a serious passion for intense vanilla flavor, look no further than these extra-moist and fluffy Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting.
5 from 3 votes
White plate containing Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and rainbow sprinkles
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 38 mins
Servings 18 cupcakes

Ingredients 

For the cupcakes:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Sprinkles, for decorating (optional)

Instructions 

Make the cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with wrappers.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time then add the scraped vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  • Alternately add the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and beat just until the batter is combined.
  • Fill each cupcake cup 2/3 full with batter then bake the cupcakes for 15 to 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool completely while you make the frosting.

Make the frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the scraped vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract until it is light and fluffy. Add half of the confectioners' sugar and beat until combined, then add the heavy cream and remaining confectioners' sugar and continue beating until the frosting is thick and creamy. (See Kelly's Notes.)
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, top them with the frosting and sprinkles (optional) and serve.

Kelly's Notes:

  • Beating the frosting in between each addition of the confectioners' sugar lightens the color of the frosting and will make it more white in color (rather than yellow).
  • If the frosting is too thin, add additional sifted confectioners' sugar ¼ cup at a time, or if it’s too thick, add additional heavy cream 1 teaspoon at a time until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
  • If you prefer a very generous amount of frosting that can be piped into tall swirls atop the cupcakes (as shown), double the frosting recipe and refrigerate it for 20 minutes before transferring it to a piping bag and decorating the cupcakes.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!

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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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Nutrition

Calories: 438kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 76mg, Sodium: 85mg, Potassium: 118mg, Sugar: 40g, Vitamin A: 715IU, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 1.1mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is my favourite vanilla cupcake recipe! I make it every year for my friend’s birthday! Just put them in the oven!

    1. Hi Paula! Cut the vanilla bean down the center using a sharp paring knife then use the blade of the knife to scrape out all of the seeds. :)

  2. 5 stars
    I made these a month ago and my neighbours are still talking about them, loudly hinting that they would like some more. They are, in my opinion, the best cupcakes I’ve ever eaten. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe. I am making them again today for a 1-year-old’s bday.

    Used a piping bag (chilled the frosting briefly beforehand) and topped with sprinkles. I like to make a combination of regular sized cupcakes and mini cupcakes (which I think too about half the time). Both turn out very nicely. Careful not to overfill the mini cupcakes. 2/3 full is perfect as instructed – any higher and they will topple over.

  3. Hi! I made these for my son’s 3rd birthday 3 years ago (they were a HUGE hit) and am hoping to make a mini-cupcake version to bring into my daughter’s preschool class for her 4th birthday later this week.

    Any suggestions for the cooking time (assuming I fill the liners about 2/3 full with the batter)?

    P.S> I think the vanilla bean in the frosting made a HUGE difference – will probably be making this batch of frosting pink since my daughter is obsessed. :-)

    1. Hi Corynne! I’ve never made mini cupcakes with this recipe so unfortunately, I’m not certain on the bake time. And I completely agree that vanilla bean in the frosting makes all the difference! Also if you happen to be on Instagram, you can share your culinary creations with me by using the hashtag #justatasterecipes :) I’d love to see the mini cupcakes with pink frosting!

  4. If I pipe with the Russian pipping tips will the frosting hold it’s shape… Can I add gel food coloring to the frosting without compromising the frostings stability?

    1. Hi Jodie! That should definitely work. You may want to chill the frosting before transferring it to a piping bag. And yes, gel food coloring is my fave!

  5. These have good flavor, but it’s almost like the sugar baked out and around the edges the tops are a little crunchy. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Mandy – They can be left out at room temperature for 2-3 days, otherwise they should be stored in the refrigerator.

    1. Hi there, Rachael! I’ve never tried this recipe as a cake so I’m not sure what the pan size/baking time would be.

  6. Where do you buy vanilla beans? My local store charges $7 per bean so that’s pricey. I do LOVE vanilla bean cupcakes though.

  7. Hi Kelly, I was just wondering, is there any way to convert these into chocolate cupcakes also? Thank you

  8. Hi Kelly,
    Could you, please, tell how many gramms of butter should i use?
    I do not understand, what is it 2 butter sticks.
    Thank you in advance.

  9. Can you use cream in the cupcake instead of milk? Or whole milk instead of cream? We don’t use either in the house and trying to save money.

    1. Hi Laura! I’ve only ever made this recipe with whole milk in the batter recipe, but you could probably get away with also using whole milk in the frosting recipe.

  10. I don’t have vanilla beans but I have vanilla bean extract can I substitute the beans with extract and if so how much do I use? Thanks!