French Vanilla Cupcakes

Sweet, fluffy and oh-so fragrant French vanilla cupcakes.

French Vanilla Cupcakes

You know how you can spend $2.50 and get the supermarket brand white vanilla ice cream, or you can spend $8.50 and get that creamy rich yellow vanilla ice cream?  It’s the same with cupcakes, there’s vanilla cupcakes and then there’s VANILLA cupcakes. These delicious, sweet, fragrant French Vanilla Cupcakes fall into the all-caps category.

I made these cupcakes for Halloween, but this recipe is the perfect go-to vanilla cupcake recipe for any occasion.

French Vanilla Cupcakes

I absolutely love Halloween but with all the rubber spiders, glittery ghosts, mildly inappropriate costumes, let’s be honest, it can get a little….tacky? The decorations, the treats, the colour scheme, Halloween is one of those holidays that shows little restraint. Enter these, dare I say it, “classy” Halloween cupcakes, they’re subtle but still celebratory and fun. The flavour is to die for, which seems appropriate for the whole haunted Halloween vibe.

French Vanilla Cupcakes

To be completely honest, I would have gladly made over-the-top bright orange cupcakes with googly eyed marshmallow ghosts. But it wasn’t meant to be. All that was left in my local Halloween section was one lonely little package of these sparkly black bats. Which are pretty cute if you ask me!

French Vanilla Cupcakes

French Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12
  • Print



  • 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • seeds from one vanilla bean pod


  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine the buttermilk, sour cream, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla extract in another small bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth. Add in the sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy.
  5. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Alternate between adding in the dry and the wet ingredients in two parts, gently beating each time only until the ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix.
  7. Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to let cool completely.
  9. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.
  10. In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar, and continue beating until all the icing sugar has been incorporated. Add in the vanilla.
  11. Add in the milk, a few drops at a time, mixing until smooth and desired consistency is reached. Frost the cupcakes once completely cooled.

French Vanilla Cupcakes

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