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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
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 38 mins
Servings 18 cupcakes


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)


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 1/4 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.
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