Golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Moist and tender with vanilla bean flecks, these Golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes are a great “go-to” cupcake. Use the frosting of your choice–these taste excellent with host of different frostings and toppings.

Golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Soooooo…for those of you who were privy to my faux pas with accidentally hitting the “publish” button on a Vanilla Bean Cupcake recipe before I actually had the post ready to publish, here is the recipe and some fun pics. But first, I’m going to wish you a Happy New Year.

Happy New Year 2015

I also hope that you all had a Happy Christmas, if you celebrate Christmas. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then I hope you had a very nice day on December 25th. It was a good one at my house—crazy busy and very fun. I even did a last minute imitation of Santa Clause by sticking cotton balls to my face to make a beard and donned a red shirt. I then hauled presents and stocking stuffers down the stairs in a couple of large bags, calling out the traditional Santa greeting of “Ho, ho, ho!!!! Merry Christmas!”

Terri as Santa

The family got quite lively as I tossed out presents and candy. There was some serious battling over the Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cups and KitKats®—it was hilarious watching my adult children revert to 20 year younger versions of themselves and my grandsons throwing themselves right into the middle of the fray as well. Note to self: buy more peanut butter cups and KitKats® next year.

The baby (20 months) kept giving me kisses with his sticky little mouth. Fuzz from my cotton ball beard would get stuck to his face and mouth. We laughed and laughed watching his reaction while he attempted to pick at and spit out the fuzzy mess. His parents turned back into adults as they came to his rescue, but vacillated between being parents and the adult versions of their childhood selves as they intermittently battled for candy.

Golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes These are the cupcakes to which I alluded in that special post that only ever half existed a few days ago. The recipe is a great go-to cupcake recipe that I adapted somewhat from Sweetopia. I chose to decorate these with a New Year’s theme–gold, silver, white and black. There are so many types of embellishments available now to make dressing up cakes, cupcakes and cookies really fun. I especially loved the tiny edible stars in silver and gold. Those will be great for the Fourth of July as well!

Golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

These cupcakes are tender and moist, yet sturdy enough to stand up to frosting. Adding the vanilla bean caviar (vanilla bean seeds) to the batter give the finished cupcake an added dimension. I love to see the little dark flecks of vanilla throughout the cupcake when I bite into it. They send an almost subliminal promise of extra vanilla flavor. Remember, we eat with our eyes first. If a vanilla bean is not available or financially possible, add an additional 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter. See this Vanilla Everything post for links and information about vanilla beans.

Golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Be sure to save the vanilla pod halves. They can be added to a canister of white sugar or to an existing bottle of vanilla extract. The sugar takes on a soft vanilla essence and the flavor of vanilla in the extract intensifies. It’s a vanilla bean slam dunk!

Golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 30 regular size cupcakes or 120 mini size cupcakes or a combination of both sizes

Tender and moist, yet sturdy enough to hold up under a stack of frosting, these cupcakes will quickly become your favorite vanilla extravagance.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup, then sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean (may use 1 additional teaspoon of vanilla extract if vanilla bean is not available)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups white granulated sugar
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup milk (whole or 2% recommended)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Place cupcake papers in muffin tins; set aside.
  2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. Slice vanilla bean in half lengthwise. With the dull side of knife, scrape the vanilla caviar from each bean half.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment beat vanilla bean caviar, butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. In a measuring cup with a pour spout, stir together the buttermilk, milk and vanilla.
  7. Stir approximately 1/3 of flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture followed by 1/3 of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat twice more, stirring just until ingredients are well blended. Do not over-mix. The batter is relatively thick.
  8. Using an ice cream scoop (or a ¼ cup measuring cup), scoop batter into prepared muffin tins.Tap the tins against the counter top several times to help settle the batter and release any large air bubbles which may be caught in the thick batter.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of several cupcakes comes out clean. Please note: When done, the cupcakes should be pale on top and will spring back when lightly touched. Be careful not to over bake. Over baking will cause the cupcakes to be dry. If using two pans in the same oven at the same time, rotate pans halfway through baking time.
  10. Allow baked cupcakes to cool in muffin tins for about 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tins and place on cooling rack. When cool, frost as desired.


For mini cupcakes: Bake mini cupcakes for about 10 minutes at 350-degrees F. This recipe will make approximately 120 mini's. For a combination of regular size cupcakes and mini cupcakes, the recipe can make 24 regular size, and 24 mini size.

I live at high altitude, so the batter ingredients react a bit differently here. The cupcake recipe as written worked well for me.

Reserve the scraped vanilla bean pod for other uses. Suggestions: 1) Push down into canister of white sugar. The pods will give the sugar a soft vanilla essence. 2) Add to a bottle of vanilla extract to pump up the flavor of the vanilla. Cut the pod to size before adding so that it will be submerged below the level of the extract.

Recipe adapted from Sweetopia

Golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

You may also like:

Cinnamon Roll Cake
Cinnamon Roll Cake
Cheesecake Squares
Cheesecake Squares
Sour Cream Pound Cake
Sour Cream Pound Cake



  1. says

    🙂 Sticky baby kisses – you are blessed!! The description of your family’s Christmas celebration is so well written, I could actually picture myself fighting for peanut butter cups and kitkats. Sounds like everyone had a blast – memories they’ll no doubt cherish.

    I don’t have a really good vanilla cupcake recipe so I’m glad you shared this one. Your cupcakes look amazing – designer cupcake boutique worthy! I keep a lot of vanilla beans in stock, but occasionally use vanilla bean paste. Have you tried it? It’s pretty good – less expensive than whole beans, and you get all the flecks! I have so many different kinds of vanilla – it’s a little nuts, but I love the stuff.

    Hope you have an excellent 2015!

    • says

      I haven’t ever used vanilla paste, but often see it as an ingredient in recipes. I need to get some of it to add to my own vanilla arsenal. If I can get flecks and flavor, plus save money, sign me up!

      I know what you mean about having so many different kinds of vanilla. I’m surprised there aren’t vanilla orchids growing out of my baking cabinet. 🙂 ~Terri

  2. says

    You know, I’m always scared that I pressed “publish” by accident when I put the pictures in and want to publish the recipe later. You have experienced my greatest fear! (Ok..maybe not my GREATEST).
    These cupcakes look worth the wait for the recipe. I could eat a dozen of these in one sitting. So much for eating less dessert in the New Year..

    • says

      I knew that it was bound to happen sooner or later. I have to tell you, I have definitely learned to prepare my posts in Word first and then upload them to my blog. 😉

      As for eating less dessert in the new year, if you decide to go through with it, just make sure you eat dessert first. haha ~Terri

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