Triple Vanilla Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These beautiful cupcakes have a light vanilla cake, are filled with rich vanilla pastry cream, and are topped with a vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. *Pastry cream recipe from Mark Bittman's How To Bake Everything
Serves: 16 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
For the pastry cream:
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups half and half (or 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup milk)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the frosting:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 24 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes more, until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined, followed by the milk and the rest of the flour. Don't over mix!
  6. Scoop batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each hole about ⅔ of the way full. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown and a tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing them to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
  7. Repeat this with the remaining cupcake batter.
For the pastry cream:
  1. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small saucepan. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and half and half (or cream and milk).
  2. Whisk the egg-cream mixture into the sugar-cornstarch mixture over medium-high heat. Whisk the mixture occasionally as it heats up, then whisk constantly until the mixture just begins to boil and thickens, about 10 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat down so that the mixture bubbles gently and continue to cook it a few minutes more, until it coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the butter and vanilla, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
For the Swiss meringue buttercream:
  1. In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl over a small saucepan filled with two inches of simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160°F.
  2. Remove the bowl from the heat and, using a hand mixer, whisk it on medium high speed until it cools to room temperature and resembles shaving cream. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. by the end, the frosting should be silky smooth.
To assemble:
  1. Place the pastry cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large circle tip. Insert the tip into each cupcake, gently squeezing pastry cream inside as you slowly pull the pastry tip out. I did this both into the to of the cupcake and the side.
  2. Divide the frosting into two bowls and use food coloring to reach your desired colors. Place both colors into two sides of a pastry bag fitted with a 2D (large closed star) tip. Pipe blossoms around each cupcake, starting with the outside and working your way in.
Recipe by Today We Bake at