Wall of Bakers’ Chef Jenna Hutchinson Shares Famous Cupcake Recipe

Jenna Hutchinson, founder of Jenna Rae Cakes in Winnipeg and Wall of Bakers’ judge shares her famous vanilla cupcake recipe.

“Finding a good recipe for vanilla cupcakes can be like finding a needle in a haystack. The cupcakes need to be moist and flavourful, and the buttercream needs to be sweet—but not so sweet that it overpowers the vanilla flavour of the cupcake. Welcome to your new favourite vanilla cupcake recipe. Make these once and every person who takes a bite will be asking you to share the recipe with them”.



1¾ cups all-purpose flour 1 cup granulated sugar.
1 teaspoon baking powder.
¼ teaspoon baking soda.
¼ teaspoon salt.
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes.
⅓ cup egg whites (about 2 eggs).
¼ cup sour cream.
½ cup whole (3.25%) milk 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (see Baker’s Tip).

Step by step

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 cupcake pans with 16 cupcake liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and continue to mix on low speed for 2 minutes, or until the mixture has the texture of wet sand. Do not overmix. Slowly pour in the egg whites and mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sour cream and mix until just combined.

In a measuring cup, whisk together the milk and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the milk mixture into the bowl and mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 10 to 15 seconds. The batter will look a little lumpy.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling each three-quarters full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pans before transferring the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the richest possible vanilla flavour, we recommend adding the seeds of one vanilla bean to the pure vanilla extract called for in the recipe. To collect the seeds, use a small paring knife to cut a vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using the dull side of the paring knife, scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean. Add the seeds to the measuring cup with the whole (3.25%) milk and pure vanilla extract in step 3. Stir well and continue making the cupcake batter as instructed.


When you open a bakery, you go through so many buttercream variations before finding “the one.” 

We love our buttercream for its delicious taste, perfect pipability and versatility. We get asked to share the recipe all the time, and now it’s yours to use!


2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature 3 cups icing sugar.
1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste (see Baker’s Tip).

Step by step

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the icing sugar. Whip for an additional 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip for 2 minutes, until the mixture looks light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla bean paste and whip on high speed for 1 minute.

Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before using.

If you can’t find vanilla bean paste, substitute 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract and the seeds from 1 whole vanilla bean.

Transfer the Vanilla Buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a No. 8B tip. Pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake with even pressure, starting from the middle and swirling in a circular motion until you round the cupcake twice. Release pressure from the piping bag and pull it away for a clean finish.

For maximum freshness and deliciousness, serve cupcakes on the day they are made. If you want to bake the cupcakes a day in advance, store the baked, undecorated cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to decorate and serve.

Excerpted from Jenna Rae Cakes and Sweet Treats: Over 100 Recipes for the Modern Baker by Ashley Kosowan and Jenna Hutchinson. Copyright © 2020 by Ashley Nicole Kosowan and Jenna Rae Hutchinson. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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