1/2cupunsalted butter(1 stick, 113 grams), softened to room temperature
1cupgranulated sugar(200 grams)
1vanilla bean scraped OR 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2cupscake flour(240 grams)
1cupbuttermilk(250 ml), well-shaken
1cupunsalted butter(2 sticks, 226 grams), softened to room temperature
4cupspowdered sugar(454 grams), sifted
1/4cupheavy whipping cream(60 ml)
To make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners or grease with nonstick spray.
With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high for about 3 minutes until pale and creamy, scraping down the bowl once or twice
Add eggs one at time, mixing after each.
Add vanilla extract and scraped vanilla bean seeds OR vanilla bean paste and mix until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the batter in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until flour mixture is incorporated, do not over mix.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake until tops spring back when gently pressed and edges are barely turning golden, about 13-15 minutes.
Let cupcakes cool in the pan a few minutes until they are cool enough to touch, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the buttercream frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, mix all of the ingredients on low speed until it starts to come together.
Increase speed to high and beat for 4-5 minutes until frosting is fluffy, pausing once or twice to scrape the bowl down.
This frosting will be very airy with lots of bubbles. If desired, use a wooden spoon to beat the frosting by hand for 2-3 minutes. This pushes all of the air out of the frosting, leaving it smooth.
How to store cupcakes— Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Unfrosted cupcakes can be made in advance and frozen (well-wrapped) in the freezer for 1 month or more. Let thaw completely before frosting.
How to store frosting— Frosting may been stored at room temperature, but if I'm not going to use it right away I prefer to store in the fridge. Frosting will keep in the fridge for 1 week and in the freezer for 1 month or more. Let frosting come back to room temperature and re-whip for a few minutes before using.