The Perfect Vanilla Cupcake at High Altitude

Strudel and I have posted about the Baked Cookbooks many, many, many, many, many times.  See – I told you!


These must-have cookbooks; Baked Explorations and New Frontiers in Baking are my go to books when I need to make cakes, cookies or pies.


I have used the Whiteout Cake recipe on several occasions to make white cakes and cupcakes with rave reviews from all who eat the end result.  I have adapted it to be the perfect vanilla cupcake at high altitude.  Don’t worry, I have posted the sea-level version as well.




The Perfect Vanilla Cupcake

adapted from The Whiteout Cake in Baked, New Frontiers in Baking

makes 24 cupcakes

Print this Recipe 

2 c. cake flour (2 1/2 c. cake flour at sea level)

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (3/4 c. all-purpose flour at sea level)

1 T. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

3/4 t. salt

1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 c. butter flavored crisco

1 1/2 c. sugar (1 3/4 c. sugar at sea level)

1 T. vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 1/2 c. ice cold water

3 large egg whites

1/4 t. cream of tartar


You can make this batter ahead of time and freeze it in a ziploc bag.  I actually find they bake better when the batter is frozen first.  When you are ready to bake the cupcakes, let the batter thaw slightly, clip one corner of the bottom of the bag, squeeze the cold batter half full into cupcake liners in a muffin pan.


Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a bowl, set aside.  In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and crisco on medium high speed until creamy.  Add the sugar and vanilla and beat again until fluffy.  Add the egg and beat again, scraping down the bowl periodically.  Alternate adding the flour mixture and cold water in 3 or 4 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Scrape down the bowl and beat on medium high speed for about 30 more seconds.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Fold this egg white mixture into the batter.  Freeze the batter in ziploc bags or bake immediately.


Bake at 360 degrees Fahrenheit (325 at sea level) for 15 to 18 minutes.


Let cool completely and then frost with your favorite frosting.


I used a classic buttercream…

1 c. unsalted butter at room temperature

3 c. powdered sugar

1 t. vanilla extract

2 to 3 T. half and half

food coloring gel


Beat the butter on high speed until fluffy.  Add the vanilla, half and half and some of the powdered sugar.  Beat slowly until incorporated and then on high until fluffy.  Slowly add in the remaining powdered sugar until the desired consistency is achieved.  Generously pipe onto cupcakes.





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