Take Out Fake Out: Simple Vanilla Cupcakes

Are cupcakes out of style yet? Kind of feels like they would be by now.

Stylish or not, cupcakes are delicious and can be one of the most versatile recipes in your recipe box. If you have a basic vanilla cake and frosting recipe (Tip: there’s one at the end of this post), you can basically make any cake and frosting flavor combination you can dream up. This will make you unstoppable in the kitchen and just in life in general. I mean, just think of how many people will want to be your friend when you always have cupcakes around. Looking for a raise at work? Bring your boss cupcakes. Trying to get your boyfriend/girlfriend to forgive you for something stupid that you did? Cupcakes. Wanting to lose a few pounds? Well, that one doesn’t work.

To sum it up, cupcakes can solve almost all of your personal issues.

Although, I have made some pretty wacky flavor combinations using this recipe as a base, this basic vanilla cupcake recipe is absolutely delicious on its own. It’s not too sweet, it’s just simple and clean. Perfect for a child’s birthday, afternoon tea or just a Wednesday night.

If you do want to try something different, I have infused the cake with matcha powder for a green tea/matcha cupcake, I’ve drenched it in caramel and sprinkled with sea salt for a salted caramel version and I have even infused the milk with a earl grey tea bag for earl grey misto cupcakes. YUM.

No matter what you decide, try this recipe out because you will end up going back to it over and over.

As usual, if you have an idea for something you would like to see on an upcoming edition of Take Out Fake out, please leave a comment below!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Butter Cream Frosting:
Makes 12 cupcakes

Total time: 45 minutes

Total time where you’re actually doing things: 25 minutes

What you need:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup (two sticks) butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

What to do:

For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cups.

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light, gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla and lemon zest. Beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

With the mixture on low, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk. Mix until just combined.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners and bake the cupcakes for 16-20 minutes. I find this varies greatly between different ovens so be careful to watch them after about 16 minutes. Remove to cool on a wire rack before frosting.

For the frosting:

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. On medium speed using the whisk attachment, alternate adding the sugar and cream until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and turn the mixer to high. Mix for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

Use a piping bag to frost the cooled cupcakes.