French Vanilla Cupcakes

How adorable are these?  I made these for a baby shower and just loved the way they came out.  My new jumbo cupcake pan has just opened up a whole new world of cupcakes for me and I have to say I am loving it.  I love the look of the ribbon tied around the base of the cake – and it’s much easier to do on a jumbo cake than a standard cake.  I found a coordinating pink sugar for garnish and think that these might be one of the cutest cupcakes ever to come out of my kitchen!

I wanted sturdy vanilla base for these cakes, and in my searches came across this recipe that sounded interesting – it was a “French” vanilla cake.  I’m still not exactly what makes it French, but nonetheless, it was delicious.  The cake was moist and flavorful with a sturdy but tender crumb.  I made these again later in the week to test a new frosting, and I really enjoyed them – I’m not even a big yellow cake fan.

I decided to go with simple vanilla swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC), and filled them with a whipped bavarian cream.  The combination of the cream in the center of the cake and the light frosting on top was almost like eating cake and ice cream!
I will say that the bavarian cream takes a while to make.  It isn’t difficult per se, but there is a lot of waiting time and hands on time.  I was in no hurry and made it over the course of an evening, but this is definitely something you don’t want to rush.  The cupcake itself topped with the SMBC would be a treat even if you don’t decide to fill it!
Give it a try, and I hope you like it!  Remember, I love feedback so please leave a comment and let me know what you think.  You can also follow my (Facebook Page) or follow along on (Twitter.)


French Vanilla Cupcakes filled with Bavarian Cream and topped with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Yield:  12 jumbo or 24 standard cupcakes
French Vanilla Cupcake Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean, optional (I added this.)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Beat together eggs and sugar until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.  Add flour, milk, oil, baking powder and vanilla and beat for another minute.  Pour batter into lined cupcake tins, filling each tin 2/3 full.  Bake for 20 minutes for a standard cupcake, 25 minutes for a jumbo cupcake (or use a cake-tester).
Cool completely before filling or frosting.
Bavarian Cream Ingredients:
1 vanilla bean, split in half
1 and 1/4 cups heavy/whipping cream
1 Tablespoon powdered gelatin
3 Tablespoons milk (pref. whole)
1/4 cup fine/white sugar
5 egg yolks
1 and 1/4 cups whipped cream
Put the split vanilla bean in cream and slowly bring to a gentle boil. Turn off heat and let sit for 1 hour.

Remove bean and scrape out seeds, add them to the cream and discard the pod. Sprinkle the gelatin into the milk and set aside. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together. Over low heat, warm the cream mixture back up and then slowly whisk into eggs. Place mixture over simmering water and stir until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooded spoon. Remove from heat and add milk and gelatin mixture.

Place bowl in ice bath and stir until at room temperature.  Fold in whipped cream and place in refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours or until mixture is set.  Fill cooled cupcakes with a generous amount of the cream using the (cone method.)  Replace the cones to prepare for frosting.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream Ingredients:
1 and 1/4 cup white sugar
5 egg whites
2 cups unsalted butter, cool but softened and cut into 1-Tablespoon size pieces
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
Bring a small amount of water to a rolling boil on the stove top.  Whisk together egg whites and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Place over rolling water (similar to a double boiler) and whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy.  Immediately transfer bowl to stand mixer and whisk on medium high speed until the eggs form stiff peaks AND the bowl is cooled to room temperature.  Switch to the paddle attachment and add butter 2 pieces at a time until incorporated.  Continue to beat the mixture until it forms a smooth, silky frosting.  If the mixture is runny or begins to curdle, do not fear – just keep beating until it comes together.
Add vanilla bean and vanilla and beat until combined.  Pipe on to completely cooled cupcakes.
Source:  Bavarian cream adapted from Michael Symon, Cupcakes adapted from Adobo Life.

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  • Pru @Perfecting Pru

    These look wonderful, I think I was drooling by the time you mentioned the whipped cream filling. Yum!

    I’ve been popping by but haven’t left a comment in a while, everything looks delicious. I can’t wait to see what holiday baking you do.

  • Jess

    I filled these with Nutella instead since I was pressed for time. Delish.

  • TMcKay

    Absolutely delicious! Best cupcake ever! Wondering if it can be made into a cake instead of cupcakes?

    • lemonsugar

      Yes! Just bake in two 8 or 9 inch rounds, or one 9×13. Baking time will be around 30 minutes, but keep an eye on it.

      • TMcKay

        Thanks so much! :)

  • Ike2012

    French Vanilla ……Yummy, but a little bit heavier then I was looking for. Mine kind of turned out like a pound cake. Is that the way it was suppose to turn out?

  • Monica

    Can I add a little fresh fruit such blueberries?

  • Pingback: Tried and true... my go-to French Vanilla cupcake recipe (from scratch) from the blog, Lemon Sugar. Somewhat sticky top and fluffy inside. So good. ;] - Pinterest Cupcake()

  • Haley

    Okay, so I ma making these cupcakes for a baby shower i am hosting Saturday. But i am having to make these Friday. Will they be okay? Do i wait to fill and ice them Saturday or? I can’t have them mess up on me. A lot of people are counting on me.