Cupcakes. Even before the emergence of fancy cupcake shops, cupcake TV shows and (god help us) cupcake ATMs, there was abundant love for the darling little cakes for one.
Remember looking forward to birthday parties not for the giant monstrosity of crusty-frosting-covered cake, but for the cupcakes that were served to the guests? Parents who served cupcakes with frosting as tall as the cake garnered my respect. I thought, now that’s a sign of a good parent.
Of course, not just any frosting in any ratio will do. Nor will any old cake pass muster. All three keys to cupcake success (frosting, frosting to cake ratio and most important, the cake itself) must be met in order to have the cupcake experience of your dreams. I’ve compiled my 3 Keys to Cupcake Success for you, so the next time you serve these tiny frosted joy bombs, use these tips (and this vanilla cupcake recipe!) to get it right. Everyone will love you and your world will feel ever so slightly more balanced, I promise.
Now, go forth and make tiny cakes, cool them and top them with creamy sweetness and serve them with joy!
The Best Buttery Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes
- ½ cup (125g) salted butter, at room temperature (Use a good quality European butter if possible; for dairy-free, sub your favorite butter substitute; if you use unsalted butter, add 1/4-1/2 t. salt to the dry ingredients.)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature (I use organic eggs from farm-raised chickens; egg quality makes a difference in your baked goods.)
- 1 cup (115 g) Gigi’s Everyday GF Flour Blend, Gum-Free or similar gum-free blend
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I like Nielsen Massey extracts.)
- ¼ cup milk (Use any dairy or dairy-free milk you like to use in baking.)
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Use a 6-section muffin pan for big, fluffy jumbo cupcakes or a 12-section muffin pan for smaller ones. Grease your pan lightly, or line with parchment liners.
- Whip butter and sugar together until light and fluffy; a stand mixer is great, but you can do this by hand, as well).
- Add eggs, beating well.
- Sift in flour, baking powder and soda. (I like sifting these in with a large wire mesh sieve.)
- Stir until incorporated, then stir in vanilla and milk.
- Divide batter evenly between sections of your desired pan.
- For a 6-section pan, which is what I use when I make these, I use 3 scoops of batter from a #40 cookie scoop, which is 1 ½ T. batter per scoop. That’s a grand total 4 ½ T. batter per cupcake. (For twice as many cupcakes, use 2 ¼ T. batter for each one.)
- Bake 6 larger cupcakes 15-18 minutes. Bake 12 smaller cupcakes 12-15 minutes. Check them at the lower time to make sure they do not over-bake.
- Remove from oven, cool in pan 15 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once completely cooled, frost as desired. (See my notes for frosting suggestions.)
You can find more frosting recipes and more cupcake love here!