This recipe is the product of entire bags of both flour and sugar, dozens of eggs, and more pounds of butter than I care to think about. My boyfriend might add that cursing at my oven was a crucial ingredient, but I really could have done without it. The fact of the matter is this: I’ve been on a quest for the perfect recipe for buttermilk cupcakes for at least a year – and I think I’m finally done.
“Hi there! I’m a super light and flavorful buttermilk cupcake, and I’ve been completely slathered in a rich, creamy, chunky peanut butter frosting just for YOU!” said one dozen cupcakes, to my mouth. And then they were gone.
I really wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve been working on a buttermilk cupcake recipe for a long time. I started with this recipe a few years ago, and have been tweaking it slightly to fit a variety of flavor profiles. I’ve infused it with mint for mojito cupcakes, peach for my peaches and dream cupcakes, and lemon for margarita cupcakes – all by steeping different ingredients in the milk the recipe called for or by adjusting the extract. I love to keep a great basic recipe in my back pocket and tweak it ever so slightly to create totally different flavors, but over time, I found myself wanting for a softer crumb and more moisture than my go-to could give me. I turned to buttermilk – one of my favorite ingredients – and quickly realized that I needed to adjust my leavener. As you can see in the photo below, my cupcakes rose faster than the structure could form, which resulted in super spread-out cupcakes.
After a few more trials, I finally got the beauties captured in this post. I’m so happy to finally be able to share this recipe – as Rachel Zoe would say, it’s so maj. I hope you enjoy it!
- 1 1/4 C + 2 TBSP All purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1/4 tsp Table salt
- 1/2 C Unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 C Granulated sugar
- 1 Egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 C Buttermilk, at room temperature
- Mise en place, and read this recipe all the way through.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar together over medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg, and beat until thoroughly integrated into the butter and sugar mixture.
- Add vanilla extract, and beat until combined.
- With the mixer or beaters on low, add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat until there are only a few streaks of flour left, then add half of the buttermilk. Beat until just combined.
- Add another one third of the flour, followed by the buttermilk, and finish with the final flour installment - each time, beating until just barely combined.
- Portion evenly into a standard 12-well muffin tin lined with paper liners, and insert into a 350 degree oven.
- Bake 16-20 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed.
- Let cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove and let cupcakes cool completely over a wire rack.
- Once completely cool, frost. I recommend this chunky peanut butter frosting