Rating: 3.6 stars
889 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 193
  • 4 star values: 329
  • 3 star values: 225
  • 2 star values: 98
  • 1 star values: 44

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).

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

Reviews (146)

889 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 193
  • 4 star values: 329
  • 3 star values: 225
  • 2 star values: 98
  • 1 star values: 44
Rating: 5 stars
10/09/2017
Made it just as stated. Best cupcakes ever.
Rating: Unrated
10/18/2016
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!
Rating: 5 stars
06/19/2014
GREAT cupcake recipe! My new go to vanilla cupcakes. Highly recommend!
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Rating: Unrated
01/16/2014
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.
Rating: 5 stars
01/12/2014
BEST CUPCAKE RECIPE. MOIST AND GREAT FLAVOR. DO NOT FOLLOW RECIPE ON VIDEO THOUGH. IT'S A KEEPER.
Rating: 5 stars
01/11/2014
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.
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Rating: Unrated
10/31/2013
Great recipe but make sure to fill the muffin cups only halfway!!!
Rating: Unrated
09/29/2013
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!
Rating: 2 stars
09/16/2013
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.
Rating: Unrated
03/22/2013
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.
Rating: Unrated
01/16/2013
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!
Rating: 4 stars
12/27/2012
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!
Rating: 4 stars
12/18/2012
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.
Rating: Unrated
10/21/2012
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.
Rating: Unrated
10/21/2012
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.
Rating: Unrated
06/07/2012
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?
Rating: Unrated
05/25/2012
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!
Rating: Unrated
04/02/2012
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.
Rating: Unrated
03/07/2012
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!
Rating: 4 stars
02/12/2012
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!
Rating: Unrated
02/06/2012
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.
Rating: Unrated
01/23/2012
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.
Rating: Unrated
11/23/2011
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!!
Rating: Unrated
11/14/2011
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 :)
Rating: Unrated
11/01/2011
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.
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2011
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!
Rating: Unrated
10/24/2011
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.
Rating: Unrated
10/04/2011
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!
Rating: Unrated
09/18/2011
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!!
Rating: Unrated
08/03/2011
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.
Rating: Unrated
07/16/2011
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.
Rating: Unrated
07/02/2011
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.
Rating: Unrated
06/30/2011
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
Rating: Unrated
06/23/2011
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.
Rating: Unrated
06/20/2011
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.
Rating: 5 stars
05/20/2011
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
Rating: Unrated
04/22/2011
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.
Rating: Unrated
04/19/2011
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
Rating: Unrated
04/18/2011
The reviews must be from people who do not know how to bake. These are the best vanilla cupcakes I ever ate.
Rating: Unrated
02/06/2011
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.
Rating: Unrated
01/28/2011
Dense, heavy, and not very tasty. Not worth the effort and resources.
Rating: Unrated
01/09/2011
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.
Rating: Unrated
12/20/2010
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?
Rating: Unrated
11/14/2010
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?
Rating: Unrated
11/12/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
11/04/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
10/30/2010
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????
Rating: Unrated
10/29/2010
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
Rating: Unrated
10/29/2010
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
Rating: Unrated
10/10/2010
My first time to make cupcakes, do i us both flowers listed on the recipe?
Rating: Unrated
09/30/2010
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 =)
Rating: Unrated
09/14/2010
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!!
Rating: Unrated
08/09/2010
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!
Rating: Unrated
08/03/2010
Cupcakes were great! easy to make everybody loved them! The frosting was delicious an easy buttercream that turned out perfect!
Rating: Unrated
07/07/2010
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?
Rating: Unrated
07/02/2010
I halved the recipe, but I ended up with exactly 22 cupcakes !
Rating: Unrated
06/25/2010
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 !
Rating: Unrated
06/12/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
05/03/2010
just fabulous!!!!
Rating: Unrated
04/08/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
04/08/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
04/08/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
04/07/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
03/21/2010
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!
Rating: Unrated
03/18/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
03/04/2010
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!!
Rating: Unrated
03/02/2010
nice and soft cupcakes
Rating: Unrated
02/09/2010
i made them with the 2 tbsp baking powder and they turned out goood. they didnt sink in the middle.
Rating: Unrated
02/09/2010
these are very nice cupcakes nice and soft.
Rating: Unrated
02/03/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
02/02/2010
they are delicious and simple. works with every frosting and is perfect for decorating.
Rating: Unrated
08/09/2009
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.
Rating: Unrated
07/11/2009
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.....
Rating: Unrated
07/01/2009
This recipe is awesome, everyone loved the cupcakes! I'm actually using the batter recipe this weekend for a birthday cake :-)
Rating: Unrated
06/07/2009
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...
Rating: Unrated
04/22/2009
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!!!
Rating: Unrated
02/22/2009
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!
Rating: Unrated
02/19/2009
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.
Rating: Unrated
01/18/2009
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.
Rating: Unrated
01/17/2009
I made many cupcakes in my life -- these made my knees buckle! I put a sugar cookie on top! Yummy
Rating: Unrated
01/11/2009
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.
Rating: Unrated
01/11/2009
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.
Rating: Unrated
12/28/2008
sytdfh
Rating: Unrated
12/19/2008
To solve the conflicting recipe problem
Rating: Unrated
12/19/2008
To solve the conflicting recipe problem
Rating: Unrated
12/19/2008
To solve the conflicting recipe problem
Rating: Unrated
12/19/2008
I agree! The video and the written recipe are different! Which is it?!?!?!
Rating: Unrated
11/12/2008
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?
Rating: Unrated
10/26/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
10/09/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
09/30/2008
Best white vanilla cupcake recipe ever!
Rating: Unrated
09/18/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
09/17/2008
I was not really that happy with them... they turned out a little dry... I used a diffrent icing.
Rating: Unrated
09/06/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
08/18/2008
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!
Rating: Unrated
08/17/2008
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 kingarthurflour.com, for instance).
Rating: Unrated
08/17/2008
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 kingarthurflour.com, for instance). Trust the recipe, not what they say on TV!