Vanilla Cupcakes


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick) room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (you can use yogurt)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • measuring cups and spoons
  • stand mixer with bowl
  • rubber spatula or spoons for stirring
  • whisk
  • cupcake/muffin pan
  • cupcake liners
  • toothpick or skewer for testing doneness
  • wire rack for cooling cupcakes

Prep time:



20–24 minutes

Cook time:

12 cupcakes

Recipe submitted by:


Recipe attribution:

Cook's Illustrated

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper liners.
  3. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
  4. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.
  5. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes.
  6. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.