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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes are million times better than box.  While they do take a few extra steps, it’s totally worth it.

To add a patriotic surprise, I made a narrow hole in the cooled cupcakes and added small red, white and blue candies and sprinkles.  You could do this in any color, would make a great gender reveal for a baby shower.

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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Makes 18 cupcakes



  • 3 C cake flour
  • 3 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 C (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 T vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C whole milk
  • Small colored candies and sprinkles

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 C (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 t vanilla extract (clear if you can find it)
  • 2 T heavy cream
  • 4 C powdered sugar
  • Pinch salt


Heat oven to 350.  Line pan with cupcake wrappers.

Stir together cake flour, baking powder and salt.

In bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla extract.  Split and scrape the vanilla bean pod.

Add half the flour mixture and half the whole milk.  Mix until just combined.  Repeat.

Fill pan 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden on edges and a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely.  Use an apple corer or sharp knife to make a small hole.  Do not punch through the bottom of the cupcake.  Fill with small colored candies and sprinkles.

To make frosting, cream butter in stand mixer.  Add vanilla extract and pinch of salt.  Spilt and scrape vanilla bean.

Add half the powdered sugar and 1 T heavy cream.  Add the rest and adjust until desired consistency.  Pipe onto cupcakes.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

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Recipe modified from “Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting,”, Kelly Senyei, 4/7/16

Anna Lookingbill

Anna Lookingbill

I'm a self-taught Betty Crocker. Food should be pretty, delicious and have sprinkles. Professionally I'm a clinical social worker. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest- Sugar and Spice Baking Blog- for great recipes, amazing restaurants and culinary adventures.

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