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Vanilla Butterbean Cupcakes

Buttery and beautifully bespeckled, these vanilla bean cupcakes with a decadent buttery filling and rich vanilla bean buttercream are the perfect addition to any occasion and are quite the indulgent treat. As someone who loathes dry, crumbly or dense cupcakes, I sought out to marry my love of classic moist vanilla cake to rich butter cake without the density. Thus, the Vanilla Butterbean Cupcake was born! They taste like they are straight from a bakery, the tender crumb and fluffiness of the cake pairs perfectly with the rich buttery filling to balance the sweetness of the vanilla bean buttercream. Put the boxed mix away, and have everyone believing you stopped at a bakery on your way to the party. 





  • 3 cups cake flour (I use Swan's Down) This is necessary for the tender crumb and softness.

  • 3 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 cup butter, softened.

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup full-fat yogurt

  • 1 TBSP vanilla paste

  • 1/3 cup milk

  • 3 eggs

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with liners. 

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients, set aside.

In a small bowl, combine yogurt, milk, and vanilla paste. (Vanilla paste is necessary for the speckled vanilla bean cake. If you choose to use vanilla extract you will still get a vanilla flavor, but none of the speckled aesthetic. I find the paste from fresh vanilla beans has a purer vanilla flavor as well. I make a small batch prior to baking with it, recipe here.

In a third bowl, either bowl of your stand mixer or large one you plan to hand mix in, cream together the butter and sugar. Gradually add in the yogurt mixture, 1/3 at a time. When fully mixed, add in the flour mixture slowly adding 1/3 of it at a time.

Mix on low speed for 1 minute until uniform texture. Crack in 1 egg at a time and mix to incorporate.

Beat batter one additional minute on low until you get a homogeneous fluffy batter. (Your batter will be thick and fluffy not runny and liquid like some cake recipes. Note there is no water or oil in the mix, and the addition of yogurt achieves this consistency.

Spoon batter into cupcake liners until 3/4 of the way full. Bake 25-27 minutes, until tops are just golden. Check several with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean to ensure cupcakes are done. 

Let cool and remove, start the next batch.

This recipe will yield approximately 30 cupcakes 3/4 filled in a standard muffin tin.

Cool completely before filling and frosting.

Butter filling

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1 tsp vanilla paste

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream


 This filling is so buttery and rich, without being too dense. Butter is the main note, with a tiny bit of tang from the cream cheese. Again, vanilla paste is necessary for the speckled filling, but vanilla extract may be used. To avoid lumps in the filling, cream cheese must be room temperature, and the powdered sugar must be sifted. Combine ingredients in a medium bowl and beat on medium until smooth. 

This filling emulates a custard without the egg. Therefore no heating is necessary, and is ready for filling your cupcakes as soon as they cool!

Using a cupcake corer, place the tool in the center of the top of the cupcake and plunge down approximately 2/3 into the cake, careful not to pierce or get too close to the bottom. Remove, and set cupcake "cores" aside.

Using a Tablespoon, scoop in the filling into the hole. It should just reach the top or slightly below. DO NOT OVERFILL or your frosting won't rest nicely atop your cake.

Vanillabean Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened.

  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1 TBSP vanilla bean paste

  • 2 TBSP milk, more as needed.

  • 1/4 tsp salt to undercut sweetness ever-so-slightly.

Again, sifting the powdered sugar will prevent lumps in the icing. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Add in the vanilla paste and mix to incorporate. Add in the salt and milk, beat in and add more milk as needed.  

Place a 1M open star tip into a piping bag, or tip of your choice. (This is what I used, you may also use a spatula to smooth frosting on.)

Frost cooled and filled cupcakes. Refrigerate if not immediately serving.



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