I have tried a lot of different recipes in the last 2 years of cupcake baking. I think that the best vanilla cupcake (for me) is Amy Sedaris's which you can double check if you are so inclinded in her book I Like You, off of her blog, or off of Chockylit's blog which is an excellent cupcake baking blog with some of the best recipes I have ever made. I have copied it from Chockylit's blog with a few additional notes.
Of all the cupcakes I make this one consistently is an adult-crowd pleaser. It is moist, not too dense, vanilla-y, and yummy.
Vanilla Cupcakes from Amy Sedaris This always makes 24 for me.
1½ sticks unsalted butter
1¾ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla Do not use imitation vanilla! If you are that person, then you should really just not be baking and get it from a bakery instead.
½ teaspoon salt
2½ teaspoons baking powder
2½ cups flour
1¼ cups milk
Best when all ingredients are at room temperature! This is a key!
1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
3. Beat in eggs, vanilla, salt and baking powder.
4. Add flour in 3 batches, alternating with milk. I like to start on a flour and end on a milk. If you have a stand mixer you never need to stop the machine, just add in small batches flour-milk-flour-milk-flour-milk.
5. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds or until mixture is smooth and satiny.
6. Divide batter evenly among cups. I use an ice cream scoop about 2/3rds full.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean.
7. Cool on wire rack for 45 minutes or until at room temperature. If you don't have a wire rack, you should still take them out of the muffin pan to cool on the counter.
Note: This recipe makes more than 12 cupcakes. Be careful to fill only 2/3s to 3/4s full so they don’t overflow.