Cinnamon cupcakes with vanilla frosting

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This classic frosting is as easy and foolproof as it gets, and these cupcakes are best served within an hour or two after frosting. If you must refrigerate, let them sit at room temperature again for thirty minutes or so before serving.

  • Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
Vanilla Frosting
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon, for garnish (optional)
How to Make It
    To make the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after adding each egg. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl and beat in the vanilla.
  4. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Raise the speed to medium high and beat just until the batter is smooth, about 10 seconds.
  5. Divide the batter among the paper liners and bake until a tester inserted in a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and cool completely on a cooling rack.
  6. To make the Frosting
  7. In a clean mixer bowl, beat the butter on medium high until pale yellow and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar ½ cup at a time, mixing on low to incorporate and then increasing the speed to high for 15 seconds with each addition to aerate the frosting. Once all the sugar has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla, and beat on high 1 minute, until very light, fluffy, and smooth.
  8. The frosting can be smoothed on the cooled cupcakes with an offset spatula or piped from a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. (If making these cupcakes on a very warm day, put the frosting back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before trying to pipe.) Sprinkle with ground cinnamon, if desired, and serve.

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