The Great Vanilla Cupcake Experiment

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I like baking perfect things.

Usually to get there I first have to bake a series of imperfect things–often over the course of years as I try different recipes and hope this next one is the one. Then, once I find it, we’re very happy together. Chocolate chip cookies and I have been together for several years now. It was love at first sight with cinnamon rolls. I just found brownies last year (post forthcoming), which is a small miracle.

I haven’t yet found vanilla cupcakes.

I’ve made decent vanilla cupcakes, but nothing that seemed… perfect. The cupcake recipe I’ve been using lately tastes good but is slightly dense, while cupcakes I’ve had at bakeries are light and springy. How does that happen? What makes a springy cupcake?

So, one Thursday evening after work I decided I wanted to bake four different cupcake recipes to pit them against one another in a fight to the death.

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