Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

These Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting are a classic!  The cupcakes are soft and fluffy, and the frosting is insanely delicious.  Bake up a batch today!

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These Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting are a classic!  The cupcakes are soft and fluffy, and the frosting is insanely delicious.  Bake up a batch today!Whenever one of Robbie’s classmates has a birthday, the parents often bring in mini-cupcakes from the grocery store.  There’s a grocery store around the corner from preschool, and they sell a 24-pack of mini-cupcakes.  There’s a mix of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes.  There’s a mix of chocolate and vanilla frosting.  The sprinkles on top change depending on the season.  It’s the perfect package for a classroom full of hungry – and picky – 4-year olds.

These Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting are a classic!  The cupcakes are soft and fluffy, and the frosting is insanely delicious.  Bake up a batch today!As a Dad, I find it humorous to watch how much Robbie is following in my footsteps.  Case in point: Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting.  On birthday days, Robbie is always quick to tell me that he got a special snack.  Even though I already know the answer, I play along and ask whether he picked a chocolate cupcake or a vanilla cupcake.  “Vanilla.”  Then I play along and ask whether he picked chocolate frosting or vanilla frosting.  “Vanilla.”  Ah, like father, like son.

I can’t turn down a good vanilla bean dessert.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy chocolate.  I do.  But I can walk away from a chocolate cupcake.  I can’t walk away from a vanilla cupcake.  And then top that cupcake with a delicious vanilla bean frosting?  Yeah, I’m not walking away.  In fact, I’m eating that cupcake, and then I’m probably walking by the other way so I can eat another one.

SLO Food Group Vanilla Extract
Click on photo to visit SLO Food Group’s website!

When it comes to baking with vanilla, absolutely nothing takes the place of real vanilla extract.  That intense flavor that comes with real vanilla extract is unbeatable!  I particularly enjoy the vanilla extract from SLO Food Group.  SLO Food Group is a vanilla bean importer based in Sarasota, Florida.  Shawn is one of the team members at SLO Food Group, and I’ve known him for years.  I can say wholeheartedly that his vanilla beans are top notch.  As soon as you open the package, the aromatic smell of vanilla will fill your kitchen.  It’s amazing!

SLO Food Group Vanilla Beans ReviewShawn works closely with vanilla bean growers around the world.  In fact, I shared some photos in this previous post from one of Shawn’s vanilla bean harvesting trips in Tahiti.  (On a side note, how awesome does that sound?  I want to go to Tahiti to see how vanilla beans are harvested!  Heck, I just want to go to Tahiti.)  Check out the SLO Food Group website to see Shawn’s inventory of vanilla beans and vanilla extract.  (He also stocks saffron, spices, mushrooms and truffles as well.  That website is like a foodie’s wishlist!)

And because SLO Food Group works directly with growers around the world, they are able to offer premium quality products at fair and reasonable prices.  That’s a win-win in my book.  Plus, they have free shipping on all US orders.  That makes it a win-win-win now!

SLO Food Group Vanilla Beans ReviewHow do you use vanilla beans in a recipe?

Ok, so you’ve ordered some vanilla beans.  Now what?  Vanilla beans are actually quite easy to use in recipes.  To extract the seeds from a vanilla bean, just slice the bean in half lengthwise.  Next, flip the paring knife over and use the back of it to scrape the seeds out of each of the two halves.  Then add those seeds into the recipe and proceed as normal.

These Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting are a classic!  The cupcakes are soft and fluffy, and the frosting is insanely delicious.  Bake up a batch today!For measurement purposes, one vanilla bean roughly equates to 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract.  However, I find the flavor of actual vanilla beans to be more intense – in a good way.  If you look closely, you can see the actual vanilla bean seeds in that frosting.  Delicious!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

These Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting are a classic.  I know vanilla sometimes gets a reputation as boring, but these cupcakes are anything but boring.  The vanilla taste – and smell – is noticeable, and you might just find yourself walking back by for another bite.  The only problem is you might be competing with a certain 4-year-old for that bite!  I hope you enjoy these Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting as much as we do.  Cheers, and happy baking!

These Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting are a classic!  The cupcakes are soft and fluffy, and the frosting is insanely delicious.  Bake up a batch today!Did you make a batch of these Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

These Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting are a classic!  The cupcakes are soft and fluffy, and the frosting is insanely delicious.  Bake up a batch today!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

These Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting are a classic!  The cupcakes are soft and fluffy, and the frosting is insanely delicious.  Bake up a batch today!
5 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 432kcal


For the Cupcakes

For the Vanilla Bean Frosting


For the Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Line a muffin pan with 12 paper wrappers; set pan aside.
  • Using a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (~2-3 minutes on medium speed with an electric mixer).
  • Add eggs; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Using a separate bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt; stir until well combined.
  • Add half of the dry mixture to the bowl with the butter and sugar; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add milk and vanilla extract; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add remaining dry ingredients; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Divide batter evenly into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out mostly clean.
  • Let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a baking rack to finish cooling.

For the Vanilla Bean Frosting

  • Using a sharp knife, slice each vanilla bean lengthwise.
  • Using the back of the knife, scrap the seeds out of the halved vanilla beans. Add the seeds and butter to a large bowl.
  • Cream butter and seeds together on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, or until very smooth.
  • Add 5 cups of powdered sugar and 4 Tbsp of milk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. If needed, add either a bit more powdered sugar to thicken the frosting or a bit more milk to loosen it.
  • Using a piping bag (or ziptop bag with a corner snipped off) and a large round tip, frost the tops of the cooled cupcakes.
  • {Optional} If desired, sprinkle tops of cupcakes with colored decorations.

These Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting are a classic!  The cupcakes are soft and fluffy, and the frosting is insanely delicious.  Bake up a batch today!

Looking for more vanilla bean recipes?  Check out these other favorites!

Packed with spices and real vanilla beans, this Gingerbread Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting is the perfect holiday dessert!Gingerbread Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

This Apple and Pork Stuffed Acorn Squash uses a number of classic Autumn ingredients...and one unexpected ingredient, too: vanilla beans!Apple and Pork Stuffed Acorn Squash

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    1. I’m with ya, Kathy. A good vanilla cupcake – like the kind with a strong vanilla taste – is a droolworthy thing! And you do make a good point about cupcakes being easy to serve. In fact, these were “served” at the curling club, and not a crumb was left!

  1. 5 stars
    I do love vanilla cupcakes too! And these look just perfect to kick off the week with. Those little flecks of vanilla bean in the frosting is so pretty! Real vanilla is the best! Also, your piping skills are perfect! What a lovely little swirl action…wish I could grab one (three) right through my screen 😉 Happy Monday!

    1. Exactly! Whether it’s beginning of the week, middle of the week or end of the week…I can always go for a good vanilla cupcake! 🙂 I wish I could send you one or three of these cupcakes, Dawn…but the guys at the curling club polished ’em off in no time flat. Haha!

  2. 5 stars
    I think we should organize a blogger field trip to Tahiti :). How cool would it be to see how vanilla beans are harvested? Although I’m more of a chocolate person than a vanilla person, I can’t pass up a vanilla cupcake and these look AWESOME!

    1. Uh, yes. You would be the first person I would think about for that field trip to Tahiti! I mean I really do want to see how vanilla beans are harvested. How cool would that be!? Thanks, Kelsie!

    1. Yes! I’m so glad you’re familiar with SLOFoodGroup. Their vanilla beans are insanely good! And their vanilla extract? It smells amazing! I’ve gotta say that these vanilla cupcakes are hands down one of my favorite cupcakes of all time. 🙂 (Yeah, of all time!)

  3. i love vanilla too but it has to be the real stuff. i have a jar of vanilla beans in vodka lurking in my pantry at all times but i like to buy the paste too. there’s something about those beautiful black specks … i read that there’s a worldwide shortage of vanilla at the moment. climate change i think is the culprit.

    1. I totally understand about the real vanilla beans, Sherry. The taste is so noticeably different! Interesting note about the shortage in vanilla. I know vanilla grows near the equator, so it looks hot and humid conditions. I would’ve thought with global warming and all that vanilla would be thriving. I’ll have to go read about this now! (And maybe I need to start stockpiling good vanilla extract, huh? Haha!)

      1. apparently there were huge storms in madagascar in 2018 which destroyed most of the crops. madagascar produces 80% of the world’s vanilla supply!

  4. 5 stars
    I have to admit that I would probably go with chocolate if I had a choice between vanilla or chocolate, but it would really hard to pass up these vanilla cupcakes. I would love to see how they harvest vanilla beans, so if you organized that field trip Tahiti count me in.

    1. Haha! I’ll let you know as soon as that field trip to Tahiti gets organized. Of course, we’d have to eat vanilla cupcakes each day…you know, to sample the vanilla beans and all. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I hope one day Robbie gives you a different response when it comes to his birthday cupcake…something like a vanilla cupcake with lavender frosting! #DavidsNightmare haha. And while I am not too enthusiastic about any cupcakes (I always have more exciting ways to use up my calories), I must admit these guys looks delightful and delicate. Real vanilla beans make the difference!

    1. Yeah…that’s not gonna happen, Ben! Nice try, though. Haha! I totally know what you mean about cupcakes. Normally, I’ll go for a slice of cake instead of a cupcake, but I can’t turn down these vanilla bean cupcakes. Those real vanilla beans in there make such a difference!

  6. 5 stars
    Wow David these are absolutely GORGEOUS!!! I go crazy over any dessert where you can see the vanilla bean seeds. Haha and I so agree with you! I love chocolate, but when it comes to cake or cupcakes (or even ice cream!), it’s the vanilla ones that get me! These cupcakes are sheer perfection! Can’t wait to give them a try!

    1. Thank you so much, Shannon! The real vanilla beans in this frosting are the star of the show. And trust me…they didn’t last long once these pictures were taken! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I’m a chocolate girl — but, I also love vanilla. A very close second. I especially like a vanilla dessert when I can see the specs of vanilla beans. It’s very telling of how delicious it will be. Lovely recipe. 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. I’m with ya, Valentina. When you see a vanilla dessert with flecks of vanilla beans in it, then you know it’s gonna be good! And I have to say that these cupcakes are insanely good! Robbie gave them his seal of approval. 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Now, I bet Robbie was right there to help dad lick the frosting bowl. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had a vanilla bean frosting, but it sounds very tasty.
    Up until a few years ago here in Sweden, you could only get vanilla sugar and still can’t get vanilla extract with alcohol in it. Now though we can get whole bean and paste, which are both incredibly expensive. Have you ever baked with vanilla sugar?

    1. Robbie was at preschool when I made these cupcakes, so there was no bowl licking involved…at least by Robbie. Haha! However, he did get a cupcake that night, and he gave it his seal of approval. 🙂

      So vanilla sugar is such a uniquely European thing. I stumbled across it on one of our vacations, and I was super intrigued. Vanilla extract is common here in the States, but vanilla sugar is still unheard of. I actually have some vanilla sugar in the pantry, but I’ve yet to play around with it. These cold winter days are a good excuse to try, right? 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        David, I say give it a try. But, I still prefer real vanilla extract. It’s hard to make a pecan pie with vanilla sugar. Let me know if you need a recipe using vanilla sugar and I’ll shot you one via email.

  9. 5 stars
    I remember bake sales when I was growing up, and everyone had a parent make them something to sell. Nowadays I see so many kids have the store-bought ones. I guarantee you if a kid turned up with these cupcakes to a bake sale they’d sell out in a second!

    1. Oh yeah! When I used to teach Latin, we’d occasionally see bake sales pop up for various organizations. The kids were always begging me to buy something at the bake sale…and I was like, “But I bake so much at home already!” Hah. Either way, I agree with you. If vanilla bean cupcakes were at a bake sale, they’d be gone – mainly because I’d buy ’em all!

  10. 5 stars
    Vanilla is one of my favourite flavours too David. So I think like you and Robbie, vanilla flavoured cupcakes would be my first choice. These cupcakes are so well decorated. I’m impressed. And I bet they taste just as good as your pipping skills too!

    1. I absolutely love a good, strong vanilla flavor! Add in cupcakes and frosting? I’m all set! Thank you so much for the kind words, my friend. I’d send you a cupcake…but…well…the guys at the curling club got to ’em first!

  11. I wonder how the word “vanilla” became a stand-in for “boring?” Probably a boring person, whose only exposure to vanilla was artificial extract and soft-serve, thought it up. Not that there’s anything wrong with soft-serve. Just don’t take it as the definition of vanilla. Real, authentic vanilla – especially directly from the bean – is heavenly.

    1. You make an excellent point. I’m actually drawn towards vanilla-flavored desserts…they are anything but boring! I also happen to love vanilla soft serve. But I’m with ya, Jeff. Real vanilla beans are a whole new level above. Also, I kinda want to eat a cupcake now.

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