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Vanilla Cupcakes with Swiss Buttercream

Kristy Komadina
Kristy Komadina

My sister recently shared with me her most unusual vanilla cupcake recipe. It's definitely the most moist and intensely vanilla flavoured cupcake I've ever tried. I've paired it with a classic swiss buttercream which is a lot less sweet and has a very voluptuous mouthfeel.



  • 225g caster sugar
  • 175g cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 60g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (75g) sour cream
  • 60ml vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 160ml milk
  • Swiss Buttercream
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 500g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp food colouring (optional)


Preheat oven to 175°C. Line a cupcake tray with paper liners.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and salt. Add the butter, using an electric mixer, whisk together for a minute or so, or until the mixture resembles wet sand.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the milk slowly and mix until well combined.

Fill the cupcake liners half way and bake for about 14 minutes. Check to see if done, if not, place back in the oven for another two minutes and check again. Do not overbake. The cupcakes should be quite pale.

Remove from the oven to cool completely.

Swiss buttercream

Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in a metal bowl that has been placed over a pot of simmering water. Whisk for 2-3 minutes, until you cannot feel any granules of sugar when you test by placing two fingers into the mixture and rubbing them together.

At this point, move to the mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and glossy white and the temperature of the bowl is easy to touch (about 45 degrees).

Add small cubes of butter, one at a time and keep whisking. The mixture will deflate and separate. Don't worry, keep going, it's supposed to look like that. Once you've added all the butter add the vanilla and food colouring. Keep whisking. All of a sudden it will come together and be thick, glossy and voluptuous.

Chill the buttercream slightly before using for better piping.

You can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Bring to room temperature and re-whisk before using (it will split and come together again).

Use a spatula or piping technique to ice your cupcakes.

Kristy is a mother of three who loves feeding her family wholesome, nutritious and above all delicious food. She has her own food blog called The Life She Made where she posts family style recipes and talks about life as a stay at home mother.

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