Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe.

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, found over at Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, because November 10th is National Vanilla Cupcake Day. Since I love most form of cake, I was totally on board for this.

First, we make the cupcakes. Ingredients:

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Cake flour, butter, eggs, baking powder, milk, homemade vanilla.

Sift together your flour, salt, and baking powder. I didn’t take a picture of the sifting, because my sifter is an ugly mess – but it works well, so I ain’t replacing it.

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Throw your butter and sugar into a bowl and then beat it ’til it’s light and fluffy. Or in fancy-bitch cooking parlance, cream the butter and sugar.

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And then I had a brain fart and didn’t take another picture of the cupcakes ’til they were baked. I added the eggs, beating well after each one, then added the flour/salt/baking powder in three portions, beating just until the flour was incorporated.

I imagine you know what cupcake batter poured into a cupcake tin looks like. If not, well, don’t sit there and be all “I do NOT know what cupcake batter looks like. Halp? Can someone tell me?” Google that shit!

While the cupcakes are baking, make your frosting. The ingredients:

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Cream cheese (I used neufchatel because it’s what I always grab, and suddenly I’m realizing maybe why I had an issue. More about that later.), butter, powdered sugar, vanilla.

Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, then slowly add the sugar.

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“HEY! I like frosting!”

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“Me too! Give us the frosting, lady, and no one gets hurt.”

I put the frosting in the fridge, as directed, and a while later the cupcakes were done.

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See those silicone cupcake liners? They are a FUCKING NIGHTMARE to get off of baked cupcakes, and I DO NOT RECOMMEND using them. I bought them to use to freeze eggs, and they work wonderfully for that. They held up well for the baking of the cupcakes, but like I said – total nightmare to peel off the baked cupcakes. TWO THUMBS DOWN, silicone liners.

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So the frosting sat in the fridge for about half an hour, and then Fred and I each tasted it. It was not sweet at ALL. Which, I’m sorry, what is the point of having frosting if it isn’t going to be sweet? So we added more sugar and then more sugar, until we reached the desired sweetness. We ended up adding 3/4 cup more of confectioner’s sugar, in addition to the 1 cup the recipe called for.

I chilled the frosting for another half hour, then another half hour after that. It was still pretty soft, but I was tired of waiting, so I loaded it into my handy dandy plastic storage bag, cut the tip off one corner, and frosted the cupcakes.

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Clearly I am no fancypants when it comes to frosting cupcakes, but like I said – the frosting was pretty soft. It actually seemed to get softer after I frosted them, so I ended up putting the frosted cupcakes in storage containers and keeping them in the fridge.

I’m thinking that using neufchatel cheese in the frosting might have been a mistake, because I think it’s softer than full-fat cream cheese (I THINK – I so rarely use regular cream cheese that I might be making that up). I thought for a while that adding the extra sugar did it, but I would think that the sugar would have made it stiffer, so who the hell knows?

The verdict: the cupcake part was really really good, but neither of us is a huge fan of cream cheese icing. I’ll definitely make the cupcakes again, but next time I’ll either make buttercream frosting or (Fred’s idea) chocolate buttercream frosting.

Cream cheese frosting or not, we ate plenty of the cupcakes and gave the rest to the chickens.


Nance’s Take:


Whew, boy! A picture of my mixer creaming the butter and sugar in this recipe. It sure doesn’t get much more exciting than this, does it?

Vanilla cupcakes. It’s a thing for me because I have yet to find the perfect cupcake recipe.  I need it to go with a swiss meringue buttercream frosting recipe that I already have and love. The frosting recipe is one that just won’t do on any old cupcake so I have been on the hunt for a while now. Which is why I picked this recipe.  And we’re making it here because November 10 is National Vanilla Cupcake Day.  Get your shit together, people.


I mixed it up like the recipe said and I ended up with this.  As per my usual, I’m counting on Robyn to give everyone the exact details of this recipe. Think of her as the goody-two-shoes that is eager to please and think of me as the asshole in the back of the classroom.


I was a little annoyed that the recipe didn’t say how much batter to put in the cupcake liners. Please note: I was making an educated (ha, NOT) guess here and trying to err on the side of NOT fucking up my cupcake pan with spill-overs.  The good news:  I didn’t mess up my pan.  The bad news:  They were not the kind of cupcakes you see in the store.

But I was still getting all excited because…CUPCAKES WERE IN DA HOUSE!


I ended up asking Robyn if she had made the cream cheese frosting that came with the cupcake recipe (we don’t normally discuss the recipes that we’re making). When I found out she had that part of the recipe covered I decided to go ahead and make my own swiss meringue frosting.  It’s pretty, huh? The recipe takes an entire pound of butter. So it’s not only pretty, but delicious (and really bad for you).


The first cupcake. Short as shit. Please note that CRUST underneath the icing. I baked them for exactly 20 minutes like the recipe said. I’m sorry, but cupcakes should not crunch when you bite into them.  On the second batch I filled the liners up more, baked for 20 minutes and they still had a crunch.  And also, they were dry, dry, dry the whole way through!


I tried sprinkles to make them look prettier and they just ended up looking like sad, sad cupcakes with sprinkles. Sigh.


All hail The Cupcake Queen!


Felina’s willing to take one for the team.


Her eyes tell me that she thought the frosting was pretty tasty.


This is your brain on drugs. Sugar highs are not to be taken lightly.

Here’s the deal…I followed the recipe exactly and it didn’t work out for me. I have no idea (but I will soon) how Robyn’s turned out, but my copy of this recipe went straight to the garbage can. Everybody in the house tried them and they all agreed that they sucked (but the frosting was good, heh). I personally thought that these would be great if you like the taste of day old biscuits.  This recipe is definitely NOT a keeper for me.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe.
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: dessert, snack
Serves: 16
  • Cupcakes
  • 16 paper cupcake liners (Robyn does not recommend silicone cups because they're a pain in the ass)
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages softened cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (Note: 1 c. confectioner's sugar is not going to give you a very sweet frosting. Robyn recommends you add an additional ¾ - 1 c. confectioner's sugar.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line muffin tin with paper muffin cup liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well.
  3. With mixer on low speed, beat in the milk and vanilla until just combined. Add flour in three portions, beating just until incorporated each time.
  4. Fill each muffin ⅔ full and bake for about 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  5. Cool cupcakes in the pan on a rack for five minutes; then remove them to a rack. Leave the liners on the cupcakes (note from Robyn: I do not see what difference leaving the liners on or taking them off could possibly make, but what do I know?)
  6. While the cupcakes are baking, make the cream cheese frosting.
  7. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Cover and refrigerate until firm enough to spread, about 15 minutes.
  8. If you're super organized and want to, you can make the frosting up to 2 days ahead and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. (Make sure you store it in a well-sealed container so that it doesn't end up tasting like that onion you left in there a month ago and forgot about, which is slowly rotting. Mmm, rotting onion frosting!)
  9. Frost the cupcakes. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.



Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe. — 41 Comments

  1. Ha – I thought either you didn’t realize the frosting was cream cheese based, or you made it and was like “WTF, this shit is NOT sweet!”

    You made the swiss buttercream frosting one year when I visited, and that shit is DIVINE.

    And actually, now that you mention it, the cupcakes were a bit dry – but I really liked the flavor.

    • Mine had no flavor at all and you know I don’t measure vanilla because I’m all about using more than what a recipe calls for.

      I just wanted to know if you made the recipe with the cream cheese so I wouldn’t waste 2 packs of cream cheese on an icing that I know I wouldn’t like. To me, cream cheese frosting only goes with pumpkin stuff and spice cakes. So yeah, what you could say is that I wanted you to waste your money before I wasted mine. HEE!

  2. That dog is a saint! There is no way Charlie would leave a cupcake on his head (or even allow a cupcake to be placed upon his head to begin with). And if my some miracle I got him to balance said cupcake on his big fat head, the photo accompanying the story would be of Norman the cat leaping on the dog’s head to steal that poor unsuspecting cupcake.

    I’m thinking we might need the recipe for Nance’s swiss buttercream frosting instead… 😉

    • I’m thinking I’ll be posting the recipe here shortly. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass to make but it’s SO WORTH IT to me. Love it! It’s one of those frostings that is rich, but not too sweet.

      And oh, my God…I do love my Sadie. She really is a good dog. That knucklehead Felina is worthless. 😉

  3. I thought the cupcakes had Bacardi in them, since they were in the picture, and was sorely disappointed to find no rum in the ingredients list. I’m going to assume you did shots while baking, Robyn.

  4. Robyn, I keep meaning to ask you this: Did you make vanilla with both vodka and rum, and which did you like better? Every time I see that rum bottle, I mean to ask. Thx

    • I’ve made it both with vodka and rum, and I like them both, but I think that vodka lets the vanilla flavor through more than the rum does. From here on out I’ll use vodka with maybe a splash of rum or bourbon.

      • EVERYBODY knows about your problems with the ALKY-HAUL. But I will gladly go with you to any AA meetings because I hear that they have good coffee.

      • That reminds me – did you ever buy and try the Fabellini? And if so, how does it compare to the stuff we had, that raspberry whatever-it-was?

      • Can’t find it in Pennsylvania yet, but the minute I do…look out! I still have the unopened celebratory bottle of Sparkletini in the fridge…just waiting for me to finish that web site.

      • Thanks. It’s time for me to make more vanilla and I’m thinking of making it both ways. I think I’ll go with bourbon, though, because I have used that in a pinch when I didn’t have any vanilla–does that make any sense?

        And, Nance, we don’t drink except for a Bloody Mary on Thanksgiving (tradition here and helps to keep me from freaking out getting it all together), but we always seem to have booze on hand. Huh.

      • I have never had a bloody mary in my life. And I bet if I had a drink the day of Thanksgiving it would probably keep me from freaking out too. Good idea, thanks!

      • THAT’S what I forgot last Thanksgiving!!!! Seriously,… when 20+ outlaws are coming for dinner, booze would seem like a no-brainer. Apparently, my head was a no-brainer too because I forgot to drink 😉

    • You shut-up! I’ll never hear the end of it now. Do not encourage the asshole behavior that happens with this dog. It’s just a matter of time until my mother starts charging me appearance fees for that damn dog showing up on this page! And honestly, if you were here you would be appalled at how that dog is treated like such a princess. APPALLED.

      And yes, you’re right, cupcakes are a waste of time and more of a hassle than they’re worth.

    • Oh, I have a few things to clear off of my plate and then I’ll make the recipe and take pictures with a tripod. It will probably be sometime soon because those cupcakes really let me down which means I’m going to have to try again soon!

  5. If you are looking for a good cupcake recipe, you have to try this one: I couldn’t find plain malt powder at my grocery store, so I used Classic Malt Ovaltine which probably added more sugar, but these cupcakes were divine (I would imagine her plain vanilla is good too) and the peanut butter frosting was fantastic. If I make them again, I will leave out the chocolate/pretzel part.

    • Maybe we need to do a “search for the best vanilla cupcakes” theme, Nance! When I moved here, Fred had a jar of malt powder in his pantry that he used to make milkshakes with. He never made any for me (BASTARD), but he swore that the malt powder made them so much better.

      • It must be a Southern thing because Rick will order a Malted Milkshake in a heartbeat and I think they’re gross. It’s like “pretend” chocolate or some shit. Or “lite” chocolate if by “lite” you mean NO CHOCOLATE AT ALL. Hate Malted anything (including those waste of calories and flavor called Malted Milk Balls).

      • My husband loves Malted Milk Balls. Harry and David even has gourmet ones. I like the mint ones! And we aren’t Southern!

  6. Such a funny entry, and such a relief after all the election stuff. When I ate cupcakes, I detested dry cake: such a waste. I am thinking I will skip the cake part and mix up a bowl of frosting instead. And I sure wouldn’t share it with the dogs.

    Also, I love Bloody Marys. Besides margaritas, they are my favorite drink – plus you can claim it is healthy with all the tomatoes.

    Robyn, when Nance shares her frosting recipe you should share your vanilla extract recipe. I, for one, never realized you could use different types of alcohol.

    • This reminds me – I’m wondering if I liked the flavor of my cupcakes more than Nance liked the (non) flavor of hers because I used my Rum Vanilla!

      • Of course you did, you alky-haul-ick! Ha!

        Seriously, you may be right, I have been completely downgraded to using vanilla extract (gasp!). I dump more in, but I’m absolutely positive that there is a major difference. When I tried to make my own vanilla (using Grey Goose Vodka, for chrissakes!) it didn’t turn out well for me so I used it up in things that didn’t really matter, hoarded my good vanilla that Rick brought back from Mexico as long as I could, but now I’m stuck with the stupid extract because I won’t pay the outrageous prices for the real stuff. Who do we know from Mexico that can bring me up the good stuff? Dammit, I need connections! 😉

  7. Has anyone seen the pattern of recipe choices? If you look at the pictures on the home page, it is desert, side, desert, side, desert, main so on…. Nance, did you not get enough sweets as a child?

    • Ha – Nance and I both love our sweet stuff! Nance actually made a point of choosing recipes so that they weren’t ALL sweet stuff, because otherwise it would be cake one week, pie the next, cupcakes the next… 🙂

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