I have a chocolate cupcake recipe that is terrific, but my current go-to vanilla recipe is only just okay. It's really challenging to match the texture of boxed mix when it comes to vanilla/yellow cupcakes. Most homemade recipes that I've tried turn out more dense and pound cake-like. Not that I'm complaining, because I love pound cake, but cupcakes are expected to have that fluffy, springy texture that I haven't quite figured out how to duplicate from scratch.
This recipe is pretty good. I would consider using it as my stand in until something more perfect comes along. They didn't have quite the springy texture I was hoping for, but were very moist and vanilla-y. I don't like that this one requires ingredients that we don't usually keep on hand (sour cream) and uses only egg whites. (Though this would be a perfect recipe to try with Boston Creme filling … another cupcake on my to-bake list this summer!)
The other thing that's hard to get is a perfectly rounded top … these looked great just out of the oven, but quickly sank in the middle. No worries, since they were being decorated with a generous amount of buttercream!
Not that we ever need an excuse for baked goods, but these were for an impromptu World Cup cookout party yesterday. USA!!