Anyone who visits the blog often enough knows I have kind of a thing for cupcakes.  Of course, one of my favorite things about cupcakes is the frosting, both because it is delicious and because it makes them look so pretty.  This, however, is a case where the cake itself really shines through.  I’ve made this cake recipe a few times now, as a layer cake, a mini bundt cake, and these cupcakes – and let me tell you, this cake is so good that I love it without any frosting at all.  It is light, tender and moist with beautiful little flecks of vanilla bean throughout.  (If only I had had my new macro lens back when I made these to capture them in the photos!)

One great thing about such a lovely vanilla cake recipe is that it would pair beautifully with almost any frosting you can think of.  This time around I just used my usual quick vanilla buttercream but I think these would be amazing with a Swiss meringue buttercream, or any number of flavored frostings.  Also, for those bakers who take pleasure in a particularly thick, smooth batter, you will absolutely love this recipe.  The batter is one of the prettiest I have ever worked with and once you see it, it is no surprise how nicely the cake turns out.  This is surely a recipe I’ll be coming back to time and time again.