Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes
A double-dose of vanilla extract -- in the cake and in the buttercream frosting -- gives these cupcakes from famed baker Billy Reece of Billy's Bakery in New York City great vanilla taste that's just the right amount of sweetness (and more than irresistible).
- Yield: Makes about 30 cupcakes
Source: The Martha Stewart Show, May 2006
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
- 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
- Basic Vanilla Buttercream
- Colored Sprinkles, for decorating, optional
- Alternate frosting: Billy's Chocolate Buttercream
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.