Vanilla Bean and Cardamom Cupcakes Recipe

Yields: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18-20 minutes



  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick/113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup (60ml) whole milk

Frosting (choose one or try several!)

  • Vanilla Buttercream: 1 cup unsalted butter (softened), 3-4 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2-3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: 8 oz cream cheese (softened), ½ cup unsalted butter (softened), 3-4 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Rosewater Frosting: Use vanilla buttercream base, then add 1-2 teaspoons rosewater (start small, taste as you go)



  • Preheat & Prep: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Whisk Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and ground cardamom. Set aside.
  • Cream Butter & Sugar: In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Add Eggs & Vanilla: Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract and the scraped vanilla bean seeds.
  • Combine Wet & Dry: Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk to the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined – don’t overmix.
  • Bake: Divide batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling each about ⅔ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool: Let cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Options:

  • Vanilla Buttercream: Beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla extract and enough milk or cream to reach a spreadable consistency.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Rosewater Frosting: Follow the vanilla buttercream instructions, adding rosewater a little at a time to taste.

Frosting and Decorating:

  • Once the cupcakes are completely cool, use a piping bag or an offset spatula to frost generously.
  • If desired, garnish with a sprinkle of ground cardamom or edible rose petals for a touch of elegance.


  • Room temperature ingredients blend best.
  • For extra cardamom flavor, lightly toast the cardamom pods before grinding.
  • Use a high-quality vanilla for the strongest flavor profile.


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