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These vanilla spice cupcakes are a simple small batch, one-bowl cupcake reicpe made with brown sugar. Top them with tangy cream cheese frosting and some sprinkles for a fun treat!
These vanilla spice cupcakes are the perfect treat for the colder months. With winter, I usually crave cozy flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, you know the typical fall flavors.
These cupcakes are of course perfect for time of year that the weather is colder, and you always want comforting baked goods around (maybe just me?)
Good thing, because these cupcakes are really simple to put together. They’re easy to make, and I love that this is a great one-bowl cupcake recipe, without a ton of dishes!
What is unique about these cupcakes, is that they are made with brown sugar only. That means that the cupcakes are ultra moist. The recipe also includes both oil and butter, so the cupcakes stay moist for longer!
The recipe was heavily inspired by my pumpkin spice cupcakes, if you are a pumpkin lover you should definitely check that out!
The cupcakes are flavored with vanilla as well as a little nutmeg and cinnamon that make them the perfect cozy treat!
Here is also a video for these cupcakes so you can watch the process:
How to make Vanilla Spice Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting?
There are two components to the recipe:
- Brown Sugar Vanilla Spice Cupcakes
- Cream Cheese Frosting
Vanilla Spice Brown Sugar Cupcakes
#1: Mix all the wet ingredients
Mix together the brown sugar and butter together. Then add in the egg and beat it for a few minutes.
Next add in the oil, and vanilla extract.
#2: Add in the dry ingredients
Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt along with the nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix it just until the dry ingredients have been incorporated. Try not to over-mix the batter at this point.
#3: Mix and Bake
Lastly, add in the instant coffee mixture, and mix the batter together.
Add it to a cupcake pan with cupcake liners, and fill them about 2/3 of the way.
Bake at 350ºF for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Frosting
#1: Whip the cream cheese and butter
Whip the cream cheese and butter together until it is light and fluffy.
#2: add the powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla
Then add in powdered or icing sugar in 3 additions, mixing each one completely before moving on to the next!
Add in a splash of vanilla, and your frosting is ready!
#3: Transfer to a piping bag
Once you’re happy with the texture, transfer the frosting to a piping bag, fitted with your favorite piping tip. I used a Wilton 2D Decorating Tip for these cupcakes.
Tips to make Vanilla Spice Brown Sugar Cupcakes:
- This recipe is a small-batch recipe for only 8 cupcakes. It can easily be doubled or tripled for more cupcakes!
- These cupcakes are really moist because of the brown sugar and oil.
- To get a moist and fluffy cupcake (rather than a dense crumb), make sure to not overmix the batter. I typically mix dry and wet ingredients together by hand at the very end with just a spatula because it helps mix it just right.
- The frosting uses a combination of butter and cream cheese, to make a stable frosting that can be piped, but there’s enough cream cheese to get that tangy flavor as well.
- I used some vanilla to flavor the frosting. Make sure to use good quality vanilla extract for the best flavor!
- Make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature and whip them together until it is light and fluffy, before adding the powdered sugar.
- Add the powdered sugar in three additions, and mixing well between each addition for the best texture.
Let me know if you give it a try!
Tag me in your creations and follow me on Instagram @sprinklesandscribbles for more baking inspiration!
Ready to make these Vanilla Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting?
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Vanilla Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature 60 g
- 1/2 cup brown sugar 100 g
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup canola oil 60 mL
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup all purpose flour 120 grams
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter 113 g
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature 67 g
- 1 cup icing sugar 120 grams
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Spice Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 325ºF.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar.
- Add the egg and mix again for a few minutes.
- Add in the oil and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- Next, sift in the dry ingredients: all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners (about 7-9).
- Bake at 350ºF for 12-15 minutes. Cupcakes are done when toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool cupcakes in cupcake tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl, beat room temperature butter with softened cream cheese until fluffy – about 5-7 minutes.
- Add in 1/3 cup icing sugar at a time and mix until incorporated.
- Repeat process, until all icing sugar has been used up.
- Beat until incorporated and frosting is light and fluffy.
- If frosting is too soft, add in more icing sugar (2 tbsp at a time), if too frosting is too stiff, add a little cream (1 teaspoon at a time)
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag, fitted with a tip like the Wilton 2D tip.
Assemble & Decorate
- Swirl frosting onto cupcakes as desired.
- Sprinkle with sprinkles if using