Sunday, March 14, 2010

Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes - week 11 of 52

Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes

One of my favourite things on earth is white cake with white icing (yes, the white birthday cake from the grocery store). The Two-bite white cupcakes are close second! This week, I wanted to make cupcakes from scratch and I found this recipe on These are the famous cupcakes from Billy’s Bakery in NYC. I decided to substitute one vanilla bean pod for vanilla extract, for a most rustic vanilla cupcake.

They are incredibly easy to make and are fun to decorate (decorating being the best part)! The cupcakes are better than the grocery store cake – the cupcake is just the right amount of sweetness and the icing turned out perfectly! I made mini cupcakes, which are a perfect two-bite size.

The icing recipe makes quite a bit – I would suggest making 2/3rds of the recipe, otherwise you will have a lot of leftover icing. As well, a little piece of advice - a stand mixer is much handier for making the icing because I will guarantee your arm will hurt from mixing that icing. Let your stand mixer do the work!

The easiest way to fill muffin tins without the mess is to fill a zip-top bag with the cupcake batter and snip a little hole at the bottom and pipe into prepared muffin tins.

Also, if you're going to decorate your cupcakes, Bulk Barn has a huge (and affordable) selection of sprinkles, coloured sugars, icing flowers etc.

Did you know: Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla native to Mexico. This rare pod grows on an orchid that can only be pollinated one day a year (thanks to Wikipedia and Alton Brown for this info!)

Bon app├ętit!

Billy’s Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes – makes 30 large cupcakes



• 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 (I substituted one vanilla bean)
• Billy's Vanilla Buttercream
• Colored Sprinkles, for decorating, optional

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.

Billy’s Vanilla Buttercream

Makes enough for 30 cupcakes
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.


  1. Hi! Your blog is nice. I am a Food Scientist and Baker also located in the Toronto area. Check out my blog if you get a chance!

  2. Ice cream sundae bars are also a hit for all graduates! Set out vanilla ice cream with all manner of toppings plus whipped cream and school-colored sprinkles for added school spirit.
    Cilver Coleman