I have finally found it! I will no longer be looking for a go-to vanilla cupcake recipe. This is just what I've been looking for! Somewhat dense, and easy to make. The only tricky thing about it is everything needs to be room temperature, so get the ingredients out of your fridge at least a couple of hours before you want to make them. I have even made them ahead of time and stuck them in the freezer for a few days and they still turn out perfect. It is the Sprinkles recipe I found here, but I changed it up to make them vanilla.
Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes
adapted from a Sprinkles recipe
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 tsps pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
4. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk and vanilla; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (I use a muffin scoop that holds about 1/4 a cup).Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
Makes 12 cupcakes
I used this frosting recipe:
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBSP cream
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together butter and sugar. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more.