As you can see, this recipe is based off of one of Ina Garten’s recipes- her coconut cupcakes. Now obviously this is a comparison for vanilla cake so I had to do some minor adjusting. I have made her coconut cupcakes before for my bridal shower and they were wonderful and fawned over at the party so I wanted to make the recipe into a vanilla cupcake to compare in this experiment. It wasn’t too hard since the only components of this cupcake that had any additional flavoring were the shredded coconut and almond extract. I simply swapped out the almond for more vanilla since it uses both in the original, and got rid of the shredded coconut completely. Easy! And the results- great! This was by far the least sweet of the three in the second batch. Personally I found that an endearing quality, especially when paired with a classic buttercream. I think the texture of this cupcake was slightly more moist than the Taste of Home Yellow cupcake. The rise and dome of these was also the best, with no crispy edges or excessive browning. Completely moist through and through. According to Ina’s instructions, you should be able to fill the batter to the top and make giant cupcakes without any excessive spreading. I only filled mine 2/3 full, making 3 dozen with a full recipe, and I thought that was perfect. Her recipe dictates that a full recipe should make only 18 to 20 cupcakes, so obviously mine were a little shallow, but ended up with great results that I can attest too. The only issue was with the “XL” eggs that it calls for. I can’t find XL eggs here so I just used 6 LG eggs in the place of 5 XL. I just assume that it would about equal out and since I had great results, I would say that it did. But if you can find the XL eggs, I would stick with the recipe as written for best results. My taste tester ranked this recipe at the number 3 spot and I put them at number 1.
To view my Vanilla Cupcake Comparison Experiment, click here!
For Classic Vanilla Buttercream Recipe, click here.
- ¾ pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 extra-large eggs (or 6 large eggs), room temperature
- 1 Tb pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined.
- Line a muffin pan with paper liners. For large cupcakes- fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. For smaller cupcakes- evenly fill 3 dozen cupcake liners ⅔ full and bake 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
adapted from Ina Garten