Billy’s Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting


Billy’s Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

This cupcake recipe is from Martha Stewart, based on a recipe from Billy’s Bakery in NYC.  My friend Lola made these for our neighborhood Halloween party a couple years ago and they were so good, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to make them.  What I like about these is that they taste very homemade, very cakey.  They’re something you’d want to eat with a big glass of cold milk.

There’s a lot of confusion and some complaints about falling cupcakes in the reviews for this recipe on Martha Stewart’s website.  Apparently the written recipe doesn’t match the video, and some people have trouble with the cupcakes sinking in the middle.  I watched the video and then read the recipe, and mainly stuck with what they did in the video – the cupcakes turned out fine.  One thing to watch for is that the recipe tells you to mix the milk and eggs together, but the video doesn’t.  I followed the video’s directions.


I cut the recipe in half and it made 17 cupcakes.  I used ¾ tablespoon baking powder, half the quantity of splitting the difference between what the video said to do and what the recipe said to do.  The cupcakes rose just fine, were light and fluffy and did not have indentations in the middle.  I baked them for 19-20 minutes, but started checking them at 17.  If they brown on top, chances are you’ve left them in too long.  The tops of these stay white even when they’re done.


Vanilla Buttercream

I halved the buttercream frosting recipe and it still made more than was needed.  There were some complaints in the reviews about the frosting being “too sweet” and the need for less sugar.  Well, this frosting, like most, basically IS sugar.  You can’t reduce the amount of powdered sugar because that’s what is creating the body of the frosting – otherwise it will be a runny mess.  Anyway, the frosting tasted good to me and is easy to work with.  I made it pretty stiff so it wouldn’t run off the cupcakes and added sprinkles to each cupcake immediately after frosting.


7 Responses to “Billy’s Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting”

  1. November 16, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Who doesn’t love a good cupcake. I love sweets!

  2. 2 angie
    February 6, 2009 at 12:30 am

    thanks for posting this! it helped me figure out this recipe, which i was a little confused about after comparing the video and posted recipe. i like your suggestions.

  3. 3 sabrina
    February 25, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I saw the video and come from a place where they don’t have cake flour or self raising flour …
    do you think i could make this using all purpose flour?
    if not, could u you please post up your version of the recipe as i didn’t understand what you mean when you said “have the quantity of splitting the difference between what the video said to do and what the recipe said to do”…

    it will be very much appreciated. thank you in advance 😀

    • 4 Elizabeth
      March 5, 2009 at 8:28 am

      Sabrina, thanks for stopping by! Sorry that was confusing… it should be “half,” not “have.” There was a difference in the quantities of baking powder called for in the video and in the written recipe. One called for 1 tablespoon and the other called for 2. I averaged that out to 1.5 tablespoons for a full batch. Since I only made half a batch, I used 3/4 tablespoon. I think this recipe would probably come out ok using all purpose flour. You might want to check the comments section of the recipe on Martha Stewart’s website — there was quite a bit of discussion there that might have included the flour question. Sorry it took so long to respond to your comment… wanted to let you know that my blog has moved to: http://www.recipemashups.com/.

  4. 5 lindasidlow
    March 5, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Elizabeth, I made these vanilla cupcakes for the first time yesterday and they were wonderful. I followed the recipe exactly as to amounts and the process. I notice in your response above that you say the recipe called for 2 tsp. of baking powder but you used another amount. Don’t you mean 2 Tablespoons? That is what the recipe (video) said but the written recipe was changed to 1 Tablespoon. Did you really mean teaspoon? I used 1 Tablespoon as written. I watched the video and remember Martha questioned the amount. I guess she was right!

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