‘Hey Nick, why don’t you cream the butter and sugar together?’
I’m glad you asked! This is literally the most common question I get about this recipe, so let me answer it now… But not before I tell you that these vanilla cupcakes are super moist, slightly denser than regular cupcakes, and they taste amazing. And! The recipe is super versatile; you can pretty much flavour it with any flavour and colour it with any colour that you want (as you’re about to discover in this book…).
Now, down to business. Most vanilla cupcake recipes have you cream the butter and sugar together, which is called the ‘creaming method’. Instead, I use the reverse-creaming method, which is when the butter goes in with the dry ingredients and is mixed until it resembles fine crumbs. There are a couple of reasons for this: firstly, I used to work in a bakery and, in a bakery, you’ll find any way you can to save time. The reverse-creaming method is much quicker than the creaming method. Secondly, I use this method because it yields a much moister cake. The creaming method, although the batter comes out a little fluffier, usually makes a drier mixture. Lastly, I use this method because there is less chance of overmixing the batter than with the creaming method.
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar caster - superfine
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt or sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract vanilla bean paste
- 2 batches vanilla flavoured American buttercream frosting Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C (275°F) or a conventional oven to 160°C (320°F). Line two cupcake tins with white cupcake liners.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
- Next, add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the mixture reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
- Add the eggs, milk, oil, yoghurt and vanilla, and mix on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for a final 20 seconds. It’s at this point that you can add any flavourings or food-gel colourings to the batter.
- Fill each liner three-quarters of the way. Using an ice-cream scoop to transfer the batter to the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process, and ensures each liner contains exactly the same amount of batter and that the cupcakes will bake evenly. Bake for 40–50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- These cupcakes are perfectly paired with my vanilla or chocolate flavoured buttercream frosting. Fit the end of a piping bag with whichever piping tip you like and frost a swirl on top. Sprinkle with sprinkles!