Quest for the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake – Call for Explorers

Quest for the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake – Call for Explorers


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Hi, I'm Stef! Welcome to my kitchen, home to over 1000 recipes! Join me on my quest to push baking boundaries and live creatively both in and out of the kitchen.
Happy exploring!

Over the years, many of you have asked me for the ultimate vanilla cupcake recipe.  Each time – although you couldn’t see it – my face turned the color of the logo below and my heart sunk as I responded, “I don’t have one.”  I’ve been so busy developing unique, funky, off-the-wall cupcake recipes that I never took the time to work on a vanilla cupcake recipe.  I felt like a gymnast who could do a double flip, but had somehow missed learning how to do a cartwheel.  That is changing now!

As those of you who have been following along on the Cupcake Project Facebook page already know, I recently began a quest for the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake recipe.  I’ve researched, baked, and baked, and baked, and in the end created what I believe to be the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake recipe.

So, Where’s the Recipe?

I refuse to call my recipe the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake until it’s been baked by a 50 baker team of testers (Explorers).  If more than 80% of the Explorers agree that it’s the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake recipe, I will declare it as such (there’s no recipe that everyone can agree on).  If the Explorers don’t love it, I’ll take their comments into consideration, go back to the cupcake tin, and try again.

How to Become a Cupcake Project Explorer and Get to Try My Vanilla Cupcake Recipe Before It is Posted

Update 7/16: I’ve chosen the Explorers.  Thanks you to everyone who volunteered.

I’m looking for 50 bakers at all different skill levels to test my proposed Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake recipe.

Here are the details:

  • You must be able to bake one batch of vanilla cupcakes (the recipe makes 10 cupcakes) and fill out the feedback form between Sunday, July 17 and the end of the day on Saturday, July 23.
  • Signing up to be an Explorer does not guarantee you a spot.  I’ll be looking for a good mix of skill levels.
  • If chosen, you will be sent the recipe by Sunday, July 17.  You are required to keep the recipe a secret until I give you the go-ahead to share it.  This means no blog posts, Facebook status updates, Tweets, etc., that contain the recipe.  However, feel free to talk about being an Explorer.
  • If chosen, you may proudly display the Explorer badge (shown above) on your blog.  Having a blog and posting the badge is not a requirement for participation.
  • If 80% or more of the Explorers declare the cupcake to be the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake recipe,  I will post the recipe on Cupcake Project and give the Explorers the go-ahead to write about the recipe. I will add links back to their posts from my post.
  • If the Explorers do not deem this recipe to be the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake recipe, I will present them with another recipe to try.  Explorers will have the option of staying on and trying other vanilla cupcake recipes until one is declared the Ultimate or giving up their slot.

Sign Up Now

If you are interested in becoming an Explorer, fill out the sign up form now.

Special Thanks

Huge thanks to Emma from SnapStories for designing the logo and badges for this program.  Her books make the perfect baby gifts, shower gifts, or birthday presents – go buy some and tell her I sent you!

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26 comments on “Quest for the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake – Call for Explorers”

  1. GeekKate says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Kate says:

    I just finished filling out the sign-up form! Even if you don’t get picked, I’m very excited for this vanilla cupcake :) Knowing your cupcakes, it’s sure to be fabulous!

    ♥ Kate

  3. I will keep watching you in hopes of bing an explorer one day! I recently made the olive oil cupcakes with balsamic whip frosting. I wanted to make them and was leaving town so I went around and delivered them to friends! I will be traveleing during this project so I will definietly watch for some more when I will be home!

  4. Rachael says:

    I’m all signed up. Oh boy! I want to make excellent vanilla cupcakes.

  5. Lucy says:

    Yay! Signing up now – I’ll take any excuse to make cupcakes!

  6. Sounds like a fun quest. Always happy to help you. I just sent you the form. Just let me know if you still need helpers.

  7. Kittish says:

    Signed up to be an Explorer! Hope I’m picked, I do love to try new recipes.

  8. Sourkraut says:

    What a fun idea to road test a recipe before putting your seal of approval on it. The timing for this is perfect as I’m still trying to decide what to bake for next week’s book club meeting. If I’m chosen it’ll be fun to get their feedback on the finished product.

  9. Kristin says:

    This is so exciting! I have been looking for the same ultimate recipe, so even if I don’t get picked to test, I can’t wait to try the chosen recipe.

    The badges and everything are so cute, but is it just me or does the official explorer badge look kinda like a turkey? :)

  10. cupsbykim says:

    I can’t wait to hear if I’m an Explorer!! I’d love to find a good vanilla cupcake recipe!! So excited!!!

  11. Jessica says:

    Fingers crossed I get picked!

  12. jaci fontana says:

    I can’t wait till you announce the lucky 50!

  13. Sheridan says:

    Vanilla is my favorite! I’ve signed up! Can’t wait!

  14. Corey says:

    Oh, I would love to be an explorer, but I know that I won’t be able to get the fancy expensive ingredients that you always use (which I’m sure are what make it an ultimate vanilla cupcake) by next week. I’m unlikely to find vanilla bean paste in my town…

  15. Kajal says:

    Gosh, this is so exciting. Have signed up. hope i get picked. can’t wait!! :)

  16. Bryna says:

    I have a little cupcake project of my own going on at the moment… I’d love to take part in this challenge (if it’s still available)

  17. Mary Ellen says:

    I would love to do this! I clicked on the form, but it is not available. It says “It looks like the form “Sign Up to Be a Cupcake Project Explorer” is turned off.
    Try contacting the owner of the form if you think this is a mistake.” It isn’t the end of Saturday yet, but maybe you already got a lot of people signed up.

  18. Loretta says:

    Just found your blog today…too late to enter. When will you post the recipe?

  19. Loretta says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Stef says:

    Mary and Loretta – Sorry I’m not accepting any more volunteers at this time. I will definitely share the recipe though when the project is over!

  21. I didn’t get chosen, but CONGRATS to those that did!!! I have been on vacation and now waiting to see how the recipe comes out….is it the BEST? I bet it IS!!! Can’t wait to find out what it is….anxiously waiting the fabulous results!!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    I just wanted to recommend the vanilla bean cake recipe from Sky High. I did my own white cake comparison and this one was hands down the best.

  23. Steph says:

    This site is a waste of time and energy!!!!!!

  24. Cathy says:

    This recipe is amazing! Even without the vanilla bean (I forgot to pick one up and threw in a tsp of vanilla to the sugar instead). I topped it with a vanilla mascarpone frosting. Delicious. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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