Do you even remember the last time you saw a cupcake around here?
I don’t. And I don’t like it.
I made these cupcakes for our – now annual, I suppose – Oscar viewing party, because I wanted a simple, classic dessert with a little sparkle to go with the menu. The first thing that came to mind was cupcakes with silver or gold sparkly sprinkles.
My next thought was that I could use this opportunity to try a new vanilla cupcake recipe. I’ve used the Magnolia Bakery recipe in the past, and I liked it – but I wanted to try something new. These cupcakes from Billy’s Bakery in NYC are another cult favorite, so I figured I’d give them a shot. I read a lot of mixed reviews about them, so you know I had to make them and see for myself.
My verdict? They were good, but nothing outrageous. I felt similarly about the Magnolia version – though I do think I preferred Magnolia’s buttercream to this one, which was a bit too sugary sweet and didn’t lend itself well to piping. The crumb was delicate, but they weren’t as moist as I’d like. I don’t know what the deal is with homemade vanilla cupcakes, but I’ve never been blown away by them. And it’s not because vanilla is a boring flavor, because I’ve tasted some damned good versions from a bakery before.
I guess I will have to continue my hunt for the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe.
Do YOU have one you’d like to share? I’d love to know!
Billy’s Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes
From Billy’s Bakery in NYC, via Martha Stewart
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Billy’s Vanilla Buttercream, recipe below
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. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.
Billy’s Vanilla Buttercream
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
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, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.