Bet You Can’t Eat Just One of These Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

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Sayre CupcakesAs promised, this blog is part of my pregnancy series where I provide an update once each trimester. I am now solidly in my second trimester and having a little one is becoming very real. The great thing about this point in pregnancy is that many women feel pretty well, and with morning sickness hopefully a thing of the past, they see their energy return and are not too uncomfortable yet. While hunger cues are back with a vengeance, it remains important to keep good nutrition in mind. Yes, pregnant women need a few more calories but it is nowhere near “eating for two.” Quite the disappointment, I know, but we only need an additional 300 calories each day, and we should aim for balanced options that include protein such as a banana with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

That being said, a sweet treat in moderation can easily fit into a healthy diet. For Mother’s Day it was our turn to bring a snack for our birthing class. As it was for all first-time moms, I wanted to include a bit of a celebratory snack. Along with the white bean dip and vegetables that I prepared, I made mini vanilla bean cupcakes with a raspberry buttercream. Many of the women have a sweet tooth just like me and were very appreciative of the treat!

Mini Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction and Buttercream adapted from Baker by Nature

Makes ~36 mini cupcakes



  • 1 and 2/3 cup (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup (60g) vanilla greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean


  • 1 1/4 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (more if needed), sifted
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half


  1. Preheat oven to 350° Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in sugar – mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg whites, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Add scraped vanilla bean seeds to mixture.
  4. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick-resist the temptation to overmix!
  5. Divide batter among cupcake liners and bake for ~12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  6. Make the buttercream: Combine the raspberries and lemon juice in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, stir the mixture occasionally, breaking up the berries with a wooden spoon, until the raspberries have become soft enough to mash effortlessly. It will look like raspberry jam. Once you have a raspberry puree, remove from heat. Allow mixture to cool completely before using.
  7. Place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat butter on medium-high (scraping down the sides as needed) until completely smooth; ~2 minutes. Add in the raspberry puree and beat until completely combined; about 1 minute. Add in the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, on low speed. Once all of the sugar has been added, add in the half and half and salt, then beat on high-speed for a full 2 minutes – this thickens up the frosting and makes it nice and fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.


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Kate Sayre

Kate Sayre is a Registered Dietitian who counsels clients through her private practice and works in the Department of Nutrition at UNC. On the 1st and 15th of every month, she guest blogs here. 
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