The Angry Cupcake

The other day at the cafe we had an order for vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting….easy right?

So I look up a fun vanilla cupcake recipe online, because I really have not made them before.  I found  a great recipe on Epicurious, it was from Amy Sedaris, and her recipe was voted second best in New York City…..SOOOOOO should be amazing right?  They are, but I believe there may have been some operator errors with this recipe.  If you have thoughts, please share.

My first attempt, I used cake flour, and whipped the batter like crazy.  I told you I have never really made cupcakes before… okay, maybe once…

Second attempt, I used pastry flour, and was careful to not over-whip the batter.

Both attempts, the cupcakes tasted amazing, I mean seriously AMAZING!

BUT when taking them out of the pan, this is what I dealt with….grrrr……

We don’t have AP flour at the cafe, pastry flour is the next best choice for all the recipes I make there.

Here is Amy Sedaris’s Vanilla Cupcake recipe, she apparently is also known for her cupcakes…who knew?

Yields 24

Vanilla Cupcakes

A beautiful light, and moist cupcake, with a rich buttery flavor! Perfect for dessert, or anytime!

15 minsPrep Time

20 minsCook Time

Save Recipe


1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups milk


Turn oven on to 375 degrees F.

Put butter in mixer and beat at medium speed until somewhat smooth. Pour in sugar and beat well. Add 2 eggs. I like to crack the eggs on the side of the bowl while it is moving, which can be really stupid. I like to take chances. Yes, I have had to throw away my batter because I lost eggshells in the mix. Yes, it was a waste of food and yes, I know how expensive butter is, but what can I say? I'm a daredevil. Mix well. Add: vanilla, baking powder, salt, flour, and milk. Beat until it looks like it is supposed to and pour into individual baking cups, until they are about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Should produce 24 cupcakes; I get 18 because I'm doing something wrong, although my cupcakes were voted second best in the city by New York Magazine.


Well I managed to save 24 of the 58 I made….

Tell me your thoughts on making/baking cupcakes….what are your inside secrets?

Until next time, Come on in, Have a seat,

Hugs, Terra

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  • I'm not a big cake baker either Terra. They look good, maybe not enough baking powder? Wish I was a bigger help! xoxo Heather
  • This looks kind of like my cupcake recipe, only with more liquid. Cake tips? Cream the hell out of your sugar and butter; make sure your eggs aren't super chilled (cold eggs break the emulsion); when youa dd your flour and liquid, just mix until incorporated. No overmixing here. And you should be fine with pastry flour...
  • It's never necessary to beat the devil out of baked goods unless you want to end up with hard-tack or hockey pucks. Turn the mixer up high when you're creaming the butter and sugar but once you add the dry ingredients it shouldn't take long to incorporate everything. This goes for nearly all cakes and cupcakes. Sinking, IIRC, is a matter of too much oven-spring before the structure is built-up enough to support it. Your oven could be running a bit hot, so try lowering the temperature 25 degrees and make sure you do not open the oven door until at least mid-way through the baking time. You may also be filling your cupcake wells too full--try for half-full next time and see if that doesn't help (again, with a delicate recipe the structure may not be enough to support tall, muffin-top cupcakes).
  • I wish I had some tips to share with you but I don't. My track record with cupcakes is less than stellar. :)
  • Those were angry! Good thing you calmed them down with a slathering of yummy frosting!
  • I almost never use cake or pastry flour, always AP. But from my experience, there are a few things that don't jive with this recipe. First, all dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder or soda) should be whisked together beforehand. Then use perfectly-softened butter and beat the sugar into it to whip air into the butter for at least several minutes. Then eggs, one at a time. Then half the flour mixture, the milk and the other half of the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. But the ones you saved look delicious!
  • I have my moments with cupcakes too! One small tip: always use your ingredients at room temperature! Eggs, butter, everything. The cupcakes look lovely and frosting looks delicious!
  • Jan
    This reminds me that i haven't made cupcakes in ages! Given that you are getting less cupcakes than the recipe says you'll make, I suspect you are overfilling the muffin cups. Then, when they rise up in the oven, the overhang sticks to the ungreased pan making it hard to get them out without breaking the cupcake top (especially if you cooled them in the pan). I don't think the issue is the flour (though that will affect texture and the delicacy of the cupcake). Try again dividing the batter among 24 cupcake papers...
  • Liz
    Grrrrr...don't you hate when these baking glitches happen? Glad your could save a good percentage...and that they were so yummy! I'll have to try this recipe, too...I think if you filled them to a wee bit less than 2/3 you might avoid the sticking.
  • I've been jones'n for a good white cupcake recipe, so I can't wait to give this one a try. I'm with Scraps and Carolyn though, while Amy's directions are hilarious, they aren't the stuff good cake is made from. I'm going to use Carolyn's tips and see what happens! Love your writing though!
  • Terra I feel your pain. I too was on the hunt for a great vanilla cupcake recipe. That's when I found Stef held a project this spring/summer call The Quest for the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake. Sign me up! We went through recipe after recipe trying all of the different vanilla recipes she had that people suggested. Some good, some bad. Well she finally crowned a winner. I highly suggest checking out her website for the recipe, but I also suggest following it just how it is written. If you do, you won't fail at Vanilla Cupcakes ever again! I use them every time I bake Vanilla cupcake (I do have a back up vanilla recipe that I have a few customers that prefer them) but they are fantastic. If you have any trouble just email me at [email protected] and I can share my alternate vanilla recipe that is so simple someone who has never baked could make! Alot of the comments above are true. I have the best luck with everything being at room temperature, Don't overmix, don't overfil, and don't overbake and you should be fine!Good Luck!!