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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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Reviews Add a comment

  • cakengifts
    29 JUN, 2017
    I must be pleased for sharing your ideas. Thank you for the good writes up. It’s a brilliant job.
  • amysthiaragmai
    18 OCT, 2016
    Has anyone used this recipe to make a whole cake? I have made it many times for cupcakes and highly recommend it. Just wondering what changes would be necessary if making a cake. Thanks!
  • beccalex89
    19 JUN, 2014
    GREAT cupcake recipe! My new go to vanilla cupcakes. Highly recommend!
  • JessicaSophia
    16 JAN, 2014
    These are my go-to cupcake recipe. The batter is a lot easier to make than some other cake batters, which require you to cream butter/sugar together, then alternately add dry ingredients and liquid ingredients. They are on the sweet side (I wonder if they'd be affected by reducing the sugar by half a cup?), but very moist and flavorful.
  • MrsBiggs
    12 JAN, 2014
  • MrsBiggs
    11 JAN, 2014
    Soooo I'll be making this recipe today. I am gonna follow the recipe from MS and not the video. Looks like Billy is to paranoid to give away the exact recipe. He was hesitant when Martha mention the baking powder. So i'll see how they turn out.
  • Floralluv
    31 OCT, 2013
    Great recipe but make sure to fill the muffin cups only halfway!!!
  • NazaretM
    29 SEP, 2013
    Hi all from Argentina! I made these for the first time and OMG! So tasty!!! Look amazing, super moist and soft. I loved this recipe!
  • micamouse
    16 SEP, 2013
    Martha, you failed me on this one. Or Billy perhaps. Perhaps it's you who have failed me. But Martha, why. Why would you recommend this awful nonsensical recipe. I now have somewhere around 23 cupcakes that are definitely the opposite of light, fluffy, and moist. /sadface. I joined just to let everyone know. I would also like to give an award for the world's most annoying captcha ever created for joining this site. Seriously, you have to watch an ad? WHY.
  • misstcameron from OZ
    22 MAR, 2013
    Hi all from Australia! I have just finished baking a batch of these at half the recipe, and got 12 beautiful, creamy pale cupcakes. Moist, light and flavour like a butter cake. They all rose evenly with a perfect top. Anyone who says theirs turned out poorly has simply done something wrong because we all do things slightly different and baking requires accuracy and care, also; quality of your ingredients can effect the results. If yours are dry they are overbaked, and possibly overbeaten too.