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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

I think it is safe to say that I am fully immersed in my cupcake baking era. These vanilla bean cupcakes are the newest iteration of my current obsession. After making my espresso cupcakes and chocolate chip cupcakes, I find myself more inspired than ever to keep creating now flavor combinations of one of my favorite desserts.

A vanilla bean cupcake with a bite taken out with a fork.

What’s in Vanilla Bean Cupcakes?

Now you make be asking what makes these cupcakes any different from your classic vanilla ones? Which is a great question! There are a few things that make these cupcakes different and better the others out there.

The first being that these are white cupcakes, which allows the vanilla bean paste to be the true star here. A white cake is different from a yellow cake because of the way that eggs are used in the batter. A white cake only uses egg whites, while a yellow cake uses whole eggs and egg yolks. The resulting difference is in the color of the cake, the flavor, and texture.

The second being the generous inclusion of vanilla bean paste. This is what really makes these vanilla bean cupcakes! The white cake allows the vanilla bean flavor to really shine and the combination is just perfect. Now you could just use plain old vanilla extract for these cupcakes, but the result just would not be the same. And techinically they would no longer be vanilla bean cupcakes, just vanilla cupcakes.

You can read about the differences in vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste here. But essentially, vanilla bean paste has a more potent flavor than vanilla extract. That is just what we want for these vanilla bean cupcakes!

What Should You Pair Your Cupcakes With?

What makes these cupcakes so perfect is their simplicity. So, we knew that we needed to stay on theme and top them with a perfectly simple frosting. That is how we chose to use our vanilla bean buttercream recipe for the frosting.

However, if you want to switch things up you can use our cookie buttercream or our espresso buttercream. They are both a more indulgent version of this buttercream that is sure to be a hit.

Let us know what you think if the combination down in the comments below! What other cupcake combinations would you like to see from us? We love to hear your feedback.

A vanilla bean cupcake with the cupcake wrapper pulled down to show to cake.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Yield: 15 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Light and fluffy vanilla bean cupcakes with a rich, vanilla bean buttercream frosting.


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 stick (113g) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp (56g) Coconut Oil
  • 1 1/8 C (216g) Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt*
  • 4 Egg Whites, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste*
  • 2 C (224g) Cake Flour*
  • 1 C (240ml) Buttermilk, room temperature

For the Buttercream

  • 2 sticks (226g) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 4 C (480g) Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) Heavy Cream


Making the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Prepare the cupcake pan by lining with cupcake liners.
  2. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine the unsalted butter, coconut oil, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.
  3. Start by mixing on low to moisten before increasing to medium speed and cream together until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl halfway through to prevent any lumps from forming.
  4. While still mixing on low speed, gradually add the egg whites, mixing well after each addition, before following with the vanilla bean paste.
  5. Add 1/3 of the cake flour, followed by 1/3 of the buttermilk, alternating additions until everything is incorporated.
  6. Pour the cupcake batter into the prepared cupcake pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Making the Buttercream

  1. In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the softened unsalted butter for 3 minutes on high speed, or until the butter is creamy and slightly pale.
  2. Add the vanilla bean paste, kosher salt and half of the powdered sugar. Mix together until everything is mostly combined
  3. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix on high speed for 1-3 minutes, or until it is fully combined and smooth. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl to prevent any lumps from forming.
  4. Add the heavy cream and mix until the buttercream is smooth.
  5. Adjustments: If the buttercream is too sweet you can add a pinch of kosher salt to reduce the sweetness. If the buttercream is too thin, you can add more powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. If the buttercream is too thick, you can add heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time.
  6. Frost your cupcakes and enjoy!


  • If you are using table salt, use half the amount of kosher salt listed.
  • If you don't have vanilla bean paste, you can use regular vanilla extract or make your own.
  • If you don't have cake flour, you can create it with all-purpose flour and cake flour. For this recipe you will need 2 cups (240g) of all-purose flour, plus 4 Tbsp (32g) of cornstarch. Sift this mixture twice, to get the appropriate texture of cake flour. This will give you 272g of cake flour, so be sure to measure out 224g and leave out the rest.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453Total Fat: 22gCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 3g

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