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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
Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla 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


  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 (144)

  • 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.

    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.

  • jhkang356 16 Jan, 2013

    just fyi i found out that king arthur's cake flour is not self rising if anyone is having trouble finding cake flour that is not self rising. you can find king arthur cake flour at whole foods, jewel osco, dominick's, and probably most other grocery stores as well. it's pretty widely available. definitely looking forward to trying this recipe out!

  • MFla 27 Dec, 2012

    They taste great! However they are kind of ugly. It took a batch of tester cupcakes to figure out how full to fill the cups. I am kind of picky about how they look and making them all uniform. If you don't care about looks then this is a great vanilla cupcake!

  • t-cup 18 Dec, 2012

    I made these for the first time and I'm very pleased with the results. I followed the recipe exactly and they were quite flavorful and moist. I'll definitely be making these again! As other reviewers have noted, don't over bake these.

  • Lizzette M Rivera 21 Oct, 2012

    I made it exactly as the recipe states and it is perfect. I added almost 10 mins. of baking. I was afraid that they were not done because they looked pale. The edges were brown but never the top.

  • Lizzette M Rivera 21 Oct, 2012

    I just bake them. They are very good. Next time I will try adding some lemon juice or a little extra sugar. With the sweet frosting, it makes a wonderful combination.

  • SunnyCakes 7 Jun, 2012

    This has quickly become my staple vanilla cake recipe! I did just notice, however, that the amount of baking powder has changed from 2 Tbs. to 1. Was this intentional?

  • Pastrybird 25 May, 2012

    This is the simplest and quickest cupcake recipe I've ever used. They came out super moist. I agree to keep them blonde and never brown the tops. I baked them just until the toothpick came out clean. I also added lemon into my milk, to make a quick buttermilk. I was very happy with the flavor! I will be using this recipe again!

  • adt2118 2 Apr, 2012

    If you bake these to about a golden brown, they are slightly dry. But some a few of my cupcakes were still a pale ivory color, I kept them on the top rack since they were the extras, and they turned out slightly more moist. The cupcakes had a good flavor but I did not like the texture as much, even the moister ones. I filled these cupcakes and since they weren't that moist, they were tough to fill.

  • CupcakeFanatic 7 Mar, 2012

    Seriously the best vanilla cupcake out there and I've made plenty!
    The thick batter consistency is great because it allows you to use a scoop
    which ensures equal size and reduces the mess. Please note that the recipe makes up to 36 small cupcakes. I challenge you to find a better vanilla cupcake recipe!

  • KarolinaS 12 Feb, 2012

    Great cupcakes although I found the icing to be a little sweet for my taste. These were easy to make and I will definitely make them again, although I will explore a different icing option for the next round!

  • rebekahben 6 Feb, 2012

    This was terrible! i bake allot and this is the worst recipe ever. it tasted close to cornbread. i am going to try to change them into strawberry shortcake and hope that will save that time waisted.

  • bakersman 23 Jan, 2012

    While this recipe has good flavor, the consistency is that of corn bread. Not sure what happened, but we followed the recipe to a T. We are experienced & avid bakers, so it's not due to the lack of knowledge. While the flavor was right on, we just can't eat them because it's as if we are eating sweet/iced corn bread.

  • pajmaz 23 Nov, 2011

    The best cupcake recipe I've ever made!! I used 1 1/2 tblsp of baking powder as suggested in the other reviews and I substituted the vanilla with 1t of princess cake and cookie emulsion and 1/2t of orange extract. Delish!!

  • bake4MonAmour 14 Nov, 2011

    I made this recipe when I was in CA and it was the best cupcake I ever had. I agree that the ones who wrote bad reviews about this recipe, does not bake much, or did not follow the recipe to the T; therefore instead of looking or admit their own mistake they have to write bad reviews :)

  • LAngelica 1 Nov, 2011

    Made these for Halloween yesterday, needed a quick recipe to bake cupcakes for the kids in my life. I dyed them with a florescent purple food coloring and i used store bought frosting.. Not even time to make own. Dyed the frosted green,and toped them with Candies/sprinkles. Moist and delicious. They rose at just the right height.

  • dsv97 25 Oct, 2011

    These are pretty darn good. I used 1.5 TBS of baking powder as others have mentioned. Did not sift the flours. Used RT butter and mixed into the dry mix until crumbly. Added everything else as stated in the recipe without overmixing. Used a 2T scooper to fill the liners. It took 23 minutes in my oven and they are great!

  • nonfatmintlatte 24 Oct, 2011

    It's not spectacular. It tastes like the pancake mix I can get fo a dollar at the smallest groceries here. The texture is nice, I guess owing to the cake flour, but the flavor itself is quite lacking. I'm not sure if this is because I didn't use pure vanilla extract, which is very hard to find in the Philippines. I used McCormick's Vanilla flavoring instead, something I've been using for the longest time and which has been okay. I was expecting more. The technique is easy, though.

  • Elle4 4 Oct, 2011

    I'd like to make these for my daughters first year birthday since I've read so much good reviews. Can anyone tell me if the flour.needs sifting? And what brand of non self rising flour is best to you and where can I find them? Thx!

  • 3crewmom 18 Sep, 2011

    This recipe is fantastic!! I used the 2 TBSP of baking powder from the video. Will use 1 1/2 as others suggested below. Other reviewers said dense and dry. Thats what happens when you over mix cake batter. Cant beat it and expect it to be fluffy. Everyone around here loved them!!

  • Cupcakeswirls 3 Aug, 2011

    i have tried this recipe during my daughter's 2nd birthday last July of this year and everyone who tasted it said it was the best tasting cupcake they have ever tasted. i was so happy and i am so excited to share it with you guys.

  • caralewiswatts 16 Jul, 2011

    I LOVE these cupcakes! Follow the recipe as is written, the video is slightly different and the written ones I find better. Here's a tip: to fill the liners, use an ice cream scoop, the kind with the retractable spring to empty out the scoop, One scoop is perfect. This has totally changed the way my cupcakes turn out, as they're perfectly even.

  • fancinanci 2 Jul, 2011

    Hi ,I just watched the video and Billy used 2 tablespoons of baking powder. the recipe lists only 1 tablespoon. I want to make these,can someone tell me which is correct??? thanks,Nancyj.

  • lynnlees62 30 Jun, 2011

    QUESTION.... The printed recipe calls for 1 3/4 cake flour PLUS 1 1/4 regular flour. When I watched the video it only mentioned the cake flour and not the regular flour. Am I supposed to add both or just what the video mentioned? I want to make these today!! Thanks for your help

  • Osgirl 23 Jun, 2011

    I love this vanilla cupcake recipe. I make a lot of cupcakes and this is my go-to cupcake for vanilla. Just be careful when you fill your liners. These rise a lot and will over spill if you over fill your liners.

  • staggschili 20 Jun, 2011

    These looked so good, so I made them for my daughter's graduation party. They were horribly dry, and no one ate them. I suppose I should have added sour cream, but there's so much butter in the recipe you would think they'd be moist enough. I probably won't make them again.

  • LalaBaker 20 May, 2011

    This recipe is AWESOME! So delicious. For those who said it's not good or had issues probably do not bake regularly.

    This is such a simple recipe and is so good! I can't wait to try the buttercream icing!

    Also I did use 1 1/2 T baking powder, turned out great! This is the BEST vanilla cake recipe I have ever had

  • AndreaRubash 22 Apr, 2011

    I admit I ruined the first batch because I didn't heed the warning about overfilling the cups, but once I realized they can't be more than half full, these cupcakes were perfect.

    The tip about taking them out before they brown was also immensely helpful. Someone mentioned that they were disappointed that these were flat, but I think that makes them perfect for frosting! I used 1 1/2 T baking powder, btw.

    I used a different buttercream recipe, but these are my new go-to cupccake recipe.

  • Ladybakes 19 Apr, 2011

    FABULOUS! I started with the recipe (not video) but stopped after mixing the butter in with the dry ingredients due to the negative comments. I left it countertop for 2 days and then decided to go ahead anyway. My husband works at a high-end restaurant and said his pastry chef would go Ga Ga over the texture. The taste is fantastic. Maybe room temp butter helped. Fill only 1/2 full. DON'T OVERBAKE. Take out while still 'white' not gold - but toothpick-ready. Lumpy batter but FABULOUS cake

  • melbasue 18 Apr, 2011

    The reviews must be from people who do not know how to bake. These are the best vanilla cupcakes I ever ate.

  • akwilton 6 Feb, 2011

    In short, these are a disaster. Even with 2 tbs baking powder the ratio of butter to flour is simply off. My suggestion is to find another vanilla cupcake option.

  • wardmom 28 Jan, 2011

    Dense, heavy, and not very tasty. Not worth the effort and resources.

  • chechesv 9 Jan, 2011

    Unfortunately, a waste of time and money. Too much butter. Would recommend this without the cake flour. AP flour seems to work better. If you accidentally overflow, the tops turn out like a sugar cookie, as previous folks have described. Sugar and butter together is always yummy right from the pantry. But, if your aim is great cupcakes, this recipe misses the mark. If you are still insistent on trying this, I would recommend using all AP flour, and following the written, not video recipe.

  • JIanelli 20 Dec, 2010

    seriously, the most delicious recipe. I have made about 10 times and never had any problems. Poor Eager2Bake, below. Have no idea how you could have made such a mistake--did you use a mix master?

  • Eager2Bake 14 Nov, 2010

    So I tried my first ever cupcake recipe today and after 3 hours of researching recipes and reviews, decided to plunge forward with this one. What a MISTAKE! Although it's "edible," the cupcakes smelled "eggy," were extremely DENSE, and appeared to lack flavor/sugar. I feel defeated given that I put so much time, energy, and money into making what I was hoping was going to be hit. TEAR! This cupcake and its frosting fell short in soooo many ways. Does anyone have a suggestion? Betty Crocker?

  • islandgurl1 12 Nov, 2010

    I just baked these cupcakes. The cupcakes were light and fluffy but I got a crispy cookielike edge I think due to overflow of the batter. I was wondering if anyone as a tool they use to measure the amount of batter to get even cupcake and avoid overflow.

  • tanyal 4 Nov, 2010

    Did anyone make a cake with this recipe rather than cupcakes? I'm curious how it worked out and whether you lined pan with parchment paper? Also, how much did baking time differ? Thanks in advance :)
    I've made this recipe as cupcakes before and they were amazing! But want to make a cake now and not sure if it'll work out the same.

  • eew 30 Oct, 2010

    Curious to me that Ms Martha hasn't provided clarity on the video vs printed recipe discrepancy. What is the bottom line: is it 1 or 2 tablespoons of baking powder????

  • SuperSpeechie 29 Oct, 2010

    Cupcakeaddict, cake flour just has a lower protein content than regular flour, so it makes for a lighter, fluffier cupcake. I've read that you can try substituting 3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch for every 1 cup of cake flour in the recipe. I haven't tried it, but maybe it would work for you. Happy baking :D

  • SuperSpeechie 29 Oct, 2010

    Cupcakeaddict, cake flour just has a lower protein content than regular flour, so it makes for a lighter, fluffier cupcake. I've read that you can try substituting 3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch for every 1 cup of cake flour in the recipe. I haven't tried it, but maybe it would work for you. Happy baking :D

  • 60happy 10 Oct, 2010

    My first time to make cupcakes, do i us both flowers listed on the recipe?

  • pika_malaysia 30 Sep, 2010

    I used this recipe in my 3rd attempt of making cupcakes. In the previous recipes I used self-raising flour and it didn't turn out to be nice, but sink in the middle. I would say that it is easier to use the cake flour/all purpose flour. I made this for my dad, mom and brother birthdays and they really2 love it,both the cupcake and the frosting!The best part is,I made it without using mixer and it taste really good. I strongly recommend this recipe for beginners like me =)

  • cupcakeaddict 14 Sep, 2010

    I absolutely adore Billy's cupcakes!! I live in Hong Kong and unfortunately, they don't have 'cake flour' here, is there any other flour I can use instead? Thanks a lot!!

  • tpcjkk 9 Aug, 2010

    This is a terrific recipe -- very easy and produces great-tasting cupcakes. I get the best results when the butter, milk and eggs are at room temperature. I've tried to rush this recipe before by using cold ingredients, and it makes a big difference--it doesn't yield as nice a crumb. I really like these cupcakes with Billy's Chocolate Buttercream, or just plain!

  • Katelynz11 3 Aug, 2010

    Cupcakes were great! easy to make everybody loved them! The frosting was delicious an easy buttercream that turned out perfect!

  • jewbs 7 Jul, 2010

    I don't know what I did wrong, but my cupcakes came out a complete disaster! They came out really spongey and stuck to the paper...visually they just looked terrible. I followed the recipe according to the video, I didn't make any adjustments to the measurements. All I can think of that could have ruined them was maybe trying to bake too many at the same time? I was just so disappointed since everyone else seems to have had success...any thoughts?

  • anjennifer 2 Jul, 2010

    I halved the recipe, but I ended up with exactly 22 cupcakes !

  • PaulineCYP 25 Jun, 2010

    I love this recipe and have made it many times. One of my problems however is that the cupcakes tend to separate from the paper. Does this happen to anyone else ? Do you have a solution ? Thanks !

  • brigitteat 12 Jun, 2010

    These cupcakes are so tender and delicious, and best of all, they were so easy to make. This is officially my go-to yellow cupcake recipe, although I prefer Swiss meringue buttercream instead of the American style buttercream that is used here.

  • devinabhargava 3 May, 2010

    just fabulous!!!!

  • jennifermhanks 8 Apr, 2010

    The written recipe does not follow the video (unfortunately, I realized that AFTER I followed the written recipe and ended up with lumpy batter). However, everything turned out ok. Next time, I will follow the video and see if they come out even better.

  • jennifermhanks 8 Apr, 2010

    The written recipe does not follow the video (unfortunately, I realized that AFTER I followed the written recipe and ended up with lumpy batter). However, everything turned out ok. Next time, I will follow the video and see if they come out even better.

  • jennifermhanks 8 Apr, 2010

    The written recipe does not follow the video (unfortunately, I realized that AFTER I followed the written recipe and ended up with lumpy batter). However, everything turned out ok. Next time, I will follow the video and see if they come out even better.

  • lisalove07 7 Apr, 2010

    Oh my goodness! These cupcakes were awesome!! I followed this recipe exactly and the cupcakes turned out awesome! I never tried the two stage mixing method and was a little wary but it was so much easier than creaming the butter and sugar and yielded a tender, moist cupcake. The chocolate frosting recipe could use an extra tablespoon of milk but otherwise good.

  • msfun 21 Mar, 2010

    My husband and mom LOVED these! They each ate several as soon as they were ready. Followed the recipe exactly and they turned out great. Really moist, great flavor!

  • tiffunny77 18 Mar, 2010

    These cupcakes have restored my faith in making cupcakes, i thought it was me but now i know the reason all my previous cupcakes were failing was because i didn't have this recipe. this is now my go to white cupcake recipe! i followed it exactly btw.

  • raleyj 4 Mar, 2010

    Great recipe! Light and delicious. I followed the recipe shown exactly(not the video) and they cam out perfect. One thing to note- do not over fill the cups with batter. It says makes 30 (not 24) for a reason. Enjoy!!

  • PeakToCreek 2 Mar, 2010

    nice and soft cupcakes

  • johanessburg 9 Feb, 2010

    i made them with the 2 tbsp baking powder and they turned out goood. they didnt sink in the middle.

  • johanessburg 9 Feb, 2010

    these are very nice cupcakes nice and soft.

  • AKnamedK 3 Feb, 2010

    These are the first vanilla cupcakes that i've made that taste great. These are amazing, I will make them always. If anyone had trouble with this recipe I suspect they should go back and follow the recipe because this recipe is solid.

  • claracharlotte 2 Feb, 2010

    they are delicious and simple. works with every frosting and is perfect for decorating.

  • MadgeMc 9 Aug, 2009

    What a flop. Maybe the summer weather affected these. But no lift, flat, flat, flat top. I like a cupcake that actually looks like a cupcake. Definitely NOT an OMG kind of treat.

  • adnilshah 11 Jul, 2009

    In the video Billy uses TWO tablespoons of Baking Powder. The recipe calls for one. Unfortunately, my first batch was already in the oven by the time I watched it. I hope it works! The batter was DELICIOUS and the first batch seems OK. They're still too hot to handle though. Hmmmm.....

  • TraveLynn 1 Jul, 2009

    This recipe is awesome, everyone loved the cupcakes! I'm actually using the batter recipe this weekend for a birthday cake :-)

  • MustangPatty 7 Jun, 2009

    OMG!!! Made these for my daughters Christmas Party at her place of employment.. Absolutely easy to make. Awesomely delicious..Never will look for any other recipe for vanilla cupcakes again.. This is a tried and true recipe.. Also made his buttercream.. To die for... thanks Billy and Martha for sharing this recipe.. FABULOUS...

  • ElektraLoaded 22 Apr, 2009

    I read all the mixed reviews about this recipe and wasn't sure if I wanted to make them but I figured what the hey, and I'm so glad I did! As long as you do it right, these cupcakes turn out perfectly. I used all-purpose flour only, (minus about 4 tablespoons for conversion) and used 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder. I only filled the cups a tad over half full, not quite 3/4, and they rose perfectly, and tasted great, nice and airy but cakey, and sooooo good. Perfect cupcakes, delish!!!

  • cameragirl7 22 Feb, 2009

    My 11 yr old and I made these last night. They were moist and with a beautiful simple flavor. She's off airy box mixed cupcakes forever. Thanks!

  • IsaJG 19 Feb, 2009

    This recipe works really well for us. I can't find cake flour either, and I replace it with cornstarch and all-purpose flour. For 1 cup of cake flour, you put 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a one cup measuring cup, and you fill it with all purpose flour. For this recipe, I replace the 1 3/4 cup of cake flour by 30g of corn starch and 210g of all purpose flour. Good luck.

  • foodcoma 18 Jan, 2009

    These cupcakes were disappointingly bland. I don't know if it was because I was out of whole milk and substituted with 2%. My first pan was moist and white in color. My second pan was golden brown but dry and overcooked.

  • ameathead 17 Jan, 2009

    I made many cupcakes in my life -- these made my knees buckle! I put a sugar cookie on top! Yummy

  • AmateurBaker 11 Jan, 2009

    I tried the recipe as given on the video and the flavor was great but the consistency wasn't, first of all once it was all mixed it looked runny, not like on the video. I have yet to try the recipe as shown here, however i have a question, i live outside the US and we don't have self rising cake flour, if the recipe goes as shown here and not the video, can all the flour be all purpose flour instead o half cake flour and half all purpose??
    Please solve the recipe discrepancy. Thank you.

  • AmateurBaker 11 Jan, 2009

    I tried the recipe as given on the video and the flavor was great but the consistency wasn't, first of all once it was all mixed it looked runny, not like on the video. I have yet to try the recipe as shown here, however i have a question, i live outside the US and we don't have self rising cake flour, if the recipe goes as shown here and not the video, can all the flour be all purpose flour instead o half cake flour and half all purpose??
    Please solve the recipe discrepancy. Thank you.

  • prinesskikio12 28 Dec, 2008


  • doublethecurls 19 Dec, 2008

    To solve the conflicting recipe problem

  • doublethecurls 19 Dec, 2008

    To solve the conflicting recipe problem

  • doublethecurls 19 Dec, 2008

    To solve the conflicting recipe problem

  • doublethecurls 19 Dec, 2008

    I agree! The video and the written recipe are different! Which is it?!?!?!

  • bubbabaker 12 Nov, 2008

    Hi I watched the video and noticed they didn't put any regualar flour in there and 2 tablespoons of baking powder and the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 and 1/4 cup of flour which is right?

  • olga_camero 26 Oct, 2008

    i was reading the recipe and watching the video at the same time and i realized that the recipes aren't the same. could you please shed light to this? thank you.

  • mei281438 9 Oct, 2008

    i tried this recipe but tried the traditional creaming method beating the sugar and butter till light and fluffy. the cakes turned out really well. i was really pleased with the result.

  • babysweetcakes 30 Sep, 2008

    Best white vanilla cupcake recipe ever!

  • luluribeiro 18 Sep, 2008

    The timming is very important. If you go beyond 20 min it will get dry. However if you let them cook for abou 20 min in a medium low temperature it wil quite white but moist and cooked. DON"T LET IT GOLDEN.

  • MrsNocke 17 Sep, 2008

    I was not really that happy with them... they turned out a little dry... I used a diffrent icing.

  • tpcjkk 6 Sep, 2008

    This is my "go-to" cupcake recipe. I will never use a box cake mix again. It is important that the butter be soft, room temperature, and the milk and eggs should also be room temp. This produces a more evenly incorporated batter. The baking time is always significantly longer than indicated - more like 30 minutes. However, the result is very light and moist cupcakes.

  • OlgaEva 18 Aug, 2008

    Any ideas what the web addresses of the companies that Billy mentions as providers of the white sprinkles may be? I'm searching for the one in Queens, NY. Thanks!

  • chrisg0619 17 Aug, 2008

    The sinking cupcakes could be a result of too much baking powder. After comparing this recipe with others of similar proportions, the baking powder amount should indeed be 1 Tablespoon. It is also essential to use *both* types of flour in order to get a proper rise and a good texture; you can find cake flour in a box above the regular flours in the grocery store or online (at, for instance).

  • chrisg0619 17 Aug, 2008

    The sinking cupcakes could be a result of too much baking powder. After comparing this recipe with others of similar proportions, the baking powder amount should indeed be 1 Tablespoon. It is also essential to use *both* types of flour in order to get a proper rise and a good texture; you can find cake flour in a box above the regular flours in the grocery store or online (at, for instance). Trust the recipe, not what they say on TV!

  • AdMom 3 Aug, 2008

    I love these cupcakes! Ice them then cover the top in coconut. Unbelievably good! I didn't have a problem with sunken middles and I've made them twice with 1 tbsp of baking powder and didn't even do the two different flours. Just used normal flour. Can't understand how so many people have such different experiences with this recipe! Could the sunken centers be an altitude thing? I'm in L.A at sea level!

  • geekluve 1 Aug, 2008

    i've read a lot of comments that the middles were sunken and i'm pretty sure it's suppose to be that way. if you look closely in the video billy's cupcakes are slightly sunken in the middle as well.

  • tam74 30 Jul, 2008

    I baked these today, and followed the suggestions about using 2 TBS of baking powder as he did on the video. My cupcakes came out with sunken middles even with doing this! I bake for a living, and this never happens. Perhaps it's the temp of the oven? 325 degrees is lower than any recipe I've used. Oh well! I am sure they will taste great. I will salvage them by cutting the centers out, filling them, putting the cut outs back on and then frosting. This way they won't look sunken!

  • NurseNancyAZ 20 Jul, 2008

    I finally figured out why everyone has sinking cupcakes. The recipe above calls for 1T baking powder. When I watched the video, Billy specifically says 2T baking powder. I baked them and they came out perfect.

  • BridalMonkey 17 Jul, 2008

    As a follow up to my earlier comment - I made these cupcakes and they turned out wonderfully. I used 2 tsp of vanilla but otherwise followed the recipe exactly.

  • grlsteel 7 Jul, 2008

    I made this recipe for my babyshower and they turned out perfect. It's basically a traditional cake batter and I'm not sure why people had a a hard time with the recipe. They were beautifully decorated and were such a hit that I had to make them again for friends who couldn't get enough.

  • BridalMonkey 4 Jul, 2008

    I was watching the video after I read the recipe and I think the confusion regarding flour and video vs recipe results from the fact that Martha adds the all-purpose flour but doesn't say she is doing so. You can see her add it after the cake flour though. Also, Billy comments on over-beating the batter when you coat the butter with the FLOURS (plural) and sugar. Is it possible that the problem arises when you skip the second type of flour? Caveat - I haven't made this recipe yet

  • GreySkyLady 3 Jul, 2008

    What a disaster. I pride myself on being a better than average baker, so I followed the recipe given on the sho(which is different that that published on the website). ALL of the cakes fell (not sunken, but caved in). The recipe itself produced a cloyingly, inedibly sweet cake with the texture of a sugar cookie. They were so greasy that when we tried to remove them from the pan, they slid right out of the paper liners; I've never seen that before. I would not recommend this recipe.

  • lwelkey85 11 Jun, 2008

    gvieve, did you check the date on your baking powder? Sometimes if it's old/past date, it goes stale, and doesn't rise as well. Try it again with a new can of baking powder, and see if that helps.

  • gvieve 6 Jun, 2008

    Ok, I feel totally lame admitting this, but some of my cupcakes sunk in the middle, and I did this recipe twice. :( I used the 2 tbls of baking powder as they did in the video, otherwise I followed the directions exactly. And I ended up with at least 36 cupcakes from each batch. Any thoughts as to what I'm doing wrong?

  • claudiapas 2 Jun, 2008

    I have notice that most people loved this recipe but a significant amount of people doesn't like it. I didn't find this recipe sensational. The cake is too fatty, it is definitely too much butter and the flavor is just a normal cake flavor with little vanilla twist. The frosting is more fatty and the right consistency demands tons of sugar. Old fashion butter type of frosting. Definitely a wrong choice for any summer gatherings. Impossible to eat more than one, it is too sweet and fatty.

  • georgietea 31 May, 2008

    This is the best I have ever had! I was looking for a good cupcake recipe and this is it! I will use it as a base for others cupcake creations. Truly the best!

  • nouimie 26 May, 2008

    Great recipe! I made them for my sister's birthday and they were a hit!

  • dizzydeb 19 May, 2008

    Wow these are good cupcakes. They will be our family favorite from now on. I used only 1 1/2 cups of sugar and they were sweet enough.

  • mistyjade77 17 May, 2008

    I have a question. On the video, Billy and Martha emphasized that the cupcakes required 2 tablespoons of baking powder. However, on the recipe, it said to use 1 tablespoon. Which one is correct? If someone has tried both ways (either 1 or 2 tablespoons), please comment on which is better or what is different? Thanks!

  • albamiele 14 May, 2008

    We live in Brazil, and we donn n n n t have "cups cake flour" does anybody know if I could change this ingredient for other else? I cann n n n t wait to do these vanilla cupcakes!

  • emilysophie 10 May, 2008

    Totally delicious, THE vanilla cupcake recipe from now on in my house, yum. I did use all AP flour. WOW.

  • glamourhippie 24 Apr, 2008

    I love these cupcakes. They are so easy and fun for the kids to help make, when I finish making them, I put the ones I haven't eaten into the fridge covered and the next day when I go to grab one it tastes like eating a cloud with vanilla ice cream on top. Yum!!!!!

  • cupcakedinosaur 21 Apr, 2008

    the flavour is delicious but how can i make it less airy and more fluffy? any suggestions? i used the instructions as directed and no changes. :P

  • ladyonzlake 14 Apr, 2008

    I did use 2 TBS of baking powder, and added the eggs into the dry ingredients instead of the milk and vanilla. I went by the Video instructions. The written recipe is flawed and needs to be fixed. These will be my main vanilla cupcake recipe!

  • ladyonzlake 14 Apr, 2008

    These were the best cupcakes. Moist and fluffy. When they are fresh from the oven they are hard to remove from the wrapper and a bit crumbly but the next day they are perfect! I filled them with raspberry and strawberry filling and frosted them with my White chocolate Italian Meringue buttercream....they tasted like Hostess Zingers!!

  • Bridget1971 14 Apr, 2008

    All of my guests raved about these cupcakes. They are now the official vanilla cupcake of my household.

  • zocola 13 Apr, 2008

    These were tea cake cupcakes because they were so very dry. I would not make these again.

  • krazykathy 12 Apr, 2008

    I tried the cupcakes last night. Thought they had an odd taste and did not like the icing tast either. Too crumbly. Mine went to the trash also.
    Disappointed - craving a really good batter and icing. Searching....

  • sarahbchicago 11 Apr, 2008

    Nice texture, but I thought the cake flour added a chemical taste. Next time I will use all AP flour.

  • ArtisanSwirls 8 Apr, 2008

    I read all the comments prior to making these-- ended scraping the cupcakes off the sides of the pan-- eggy smell in the kitchen-- what a waste of ingredients-- disappointed----I used the 2 Tbls.-- would try again at filling half full -- did taste better after a day- wish recipes were a little more consistent-other than that, nice flavor-curious to know what baking powder amount did work?-

  • WinterKat 5 Apr, 2008

    This is a delicious recipe. I truly love to bake it, everybody loved it!!!!!!

  • Aquablue 4 Apr, 2008

    This recipe is the best tasting. I did quite a few test runs of different cupcake recipes prior to my wedding and this one won hands down.
    For my wedding, I made this recipe with Aquablue tinted buttercream icing.
    Everyone loved them and went back more than once.
    I didn't alter the recipe at all, and I didn't have any problems.

  • betchay 31 Mar, 2008

    I love this recipe. But I had the same problem, mine created a flat ring too. So I think Marelim is right I need to cut the amount of the baking powder. I used Clabber Girl and that brand is known for good rising capability.

  • Scottel44 30 Mar, 2008

    This is a great recipe. I made them for a decorating course, and I got so many complaints on the taste of the cupcake. I will use this as my main vanilla recipe/

  • vanillabeanpod 28 Mar, 2008

    this recipe is nice if you like light cupcakes...I make these with unbleached A.P flour instead of the combination of flours. I fill the liners about 1/2 way through, and they rise perfectly... I've also found that 1 1/2 tbsp of baking powder works better and I also substitute the cup of milk for 1% milk..come to think of it, it's almost a whole new recipe.....

  • marelim 14 Mar, 2008

    Frosting was also too sweet with 5C sugar. Will try again with only 1tbs baking powder and ~3C sugar in the frosting. Also, filling the cupcakes 2/3 full was too much. The first 2 trays baked over the top and created a flat ring around the edge. The last one I filled a little more than 1/2 and those were fine. Maybe less baking pwdr would avoid this?

  • marelim 14 Mar, 2008

    I made this recipe using the 2tbs baking pwdr, as stated in the video. They had a great vanilla taste, but were too airy

  • Destini 22 Feb, 2008

    I made this recipe for a taste test yesterday along with another well known vanilla cupcake recipe and this one won hands down!!! Everyone LOVED it. It's now my go to vanilla cupcake recipe. They taste even better the next day

  • myleebon 13 Feb, 2008

    I must say, these vanilla cupcakes were fabulous from conception to consumption. The were easy, mess-free, and baked up beautiful and golden brown. By far the best looking homemade batter recipe I have ever seen. I followed the recipe listed here, with he exception of using 2 tbl. baking powder. I also used a ratio of 7/8 cup all purpose flour to 2 tbl corn starch to replace each cup of cake flour since I did not have any on hand. I would certainly recommend this recipe.

  • KellyWhalen 12 Feb, 2008

    I made these for my daughter's birthday with only a few modifications. I used regular flour as opposed to cake flour and a bit less sugar (1 1/2 cups) and they came out divine! I made 24 regular sized ones, as well as almost an entire tray of mini muffins. I would recommend letting the butter warm up a bit beforehand.

  • chicscrapper 9 Feb, 2008

    Made these this week just as they're written, and they turned out *fabulous*. I got 29 cupcakes from the recipe. I'm sure it'll be a regular around here. :)

  • cupcakegrrl 7 Feb, 2008

    This website really needs to look over the recipe, I made this cupcake recipe twice and it came out like a custard then when I watched the movie of them making it on the top of the page they told u just cake flour and 2 Tbl of baking powder.

  • mia2005 7 Feb, 2008

    Step 2 in recipe directions is not correct. Do not whisk together eggs and milk.
    Also it's 2 tablespoons of baking powder not one.

  • lth1031 4 Feb, 2008

    I forgot to mention that I had regular sized cupcake holders so the batterproduced 30 cupcakes - I even had extra batter left over, and was able to make an add't 5-7 mini cupcakes. Instead of the 2/3 billy recommended, I fill my cupcake holders about halfway, otherwise, the cupcakes sill over (learned that the hard way).

  • lth1031 4 Feb, 2008

    I made mine with 2 tbsp of baking powder and it's incredible! Extremely light and fluffy. Had no problems with the top of cupcake. I actually start to check on it around 16 minutes and then every minute so they don't overcook. Though for the frosting I just use 4-5 cups of confection sugar, otherwise, it's WAY TOO SWEET.

  • xoxhayleyxox 17 Jan, 2008

    I made these cupcakes lastnight following the recipe (saying to use 1 tablespoon baking powder)- i made them bigger and didn't end up with 30 so the cooking time was longer. they are good but the tops are a little more crispy then i thought they would be- not really soft like normal. I was watching the video today and in it they use 2 tablespoons of baking powder, does anyone know if that would help with the texture. or are they just that way from baking them longer? Thanks!

  • astro 13 Jan, 2008

    hello I live in Europe and I would like to ask if it,s possible to put in the recipes the measures in european ones. Thank you. astro

  • mmsrjs 6 Jan, 2008

    dont know for sure, if I were you I would try the 200 ml first, you can always add but never take out.

  • mmsrjs 6 Jan, 2008


  • rafael1812 30 Dec, 2007

    this is GREAT!

  • farishazim 14 Dec, 2007

    i wanna ask sumthing... can u give me the precise measure of a CUP coz i live in malaysia... maybe our cup a bit different from american cup... so, can u tell me?

  • bluefairie 6 Dec, 2007

    Made these cupcakes for a birthday party. Used the white buttercream icing and put on purple sprinkles. They were outstanding and one year later the hostess asked for the recipe. I still remembered Billy from Billy's Bakery and told her to look up your recipe on the website. Glad you included the video.

  • amandabarkey 29 Nov, 2007

    This recipe is so great... these cupcakes look and taste incredable. I can't wait to try the chocolate butter cream, if its as good as the cupcakes the final product will be to die for!

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