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Vanilla Cupcakes

I’ve tried a slew of vanilla cupcake recipes and usually end up with a bland, dense cake. So when I came across this recipe for “Almost Cake Mix Vanilla Cupcakes, I was skeptical. But I am happy to report the name is right on! Not only are these cupcakes delicious, they are moist and light as well. And of course, I used my favorite buttercream frosting [1] recipe.

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup Crisco shortening, room temperature
2 cups sugar, ground in the processor until fine (measure before processing)
4 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract or lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour (or combined together)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup warm half-and-half cream or full-fat milk (this is important, warm the milk!)


  1. Set oven to 375 degrees (will reduce oven temperature just before baking cupcakes).
  2. Line 24 muffin pans with paper cupcake liners.
  3. In an electric mixer, cream butter and shortening until fluffy.
  4. Add in the eggs (one at a time) and the extracts and beat about 3-4 minutes on high speed (the mixture will seem to be a bit lumpy but will even out when you add in the sugar).
  5. Add in the sugar; beat well (another 3 minutes) until sugar is COMPLETELY combined.
  6. In a bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
  7. Blend into the creamed ingredients, along with the warm milk until smooth (about 3 minutes).
  8. Fill the prepared pans about two-thirds full.
  9. IMMEDIATELY, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  10. Place the cupcakes in oven, and bake for about 20-24 minutes, or until the cupcakes test done.

Makes 24 cupcakes.


  1. I used ultrafine sugar.
  2. I used cake flour.
  3. I used whole mik.
  4. I used lemon extract.
  5. After adding the eggs to the butter, the batter is very lumpy and kinda funky looking.
  6. The cupcakes were done after 18 minutes, so you may want to check them early.
  7. I usually get 30 (very nicely sized) cupcakes, not 24 like the recipe states.

Recipe from Recipe*Zaar [2].