This is my go-to vanilla cake recipe. It is so good that I have, at times, drank some of the batter! Yup, its that good. It has to do with the almond extract. If you have an allergy to nuts, you can substitute it for vanilla extract. I got the recipe off of 

Heavenly White Cake

2 3/4 cup sifted cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar until stiff peaks form.
  3. Cream butter. Add remaining sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add flour, alternating with milk, beating after each addition until smooth.  Mix in flavourings.  Add meringue (egg white mixture) and beat thoroughly into batter.
Bake @ 350 at the following times:
15x10 pan = 30-35 mins;  
2 - 9" pan = 30-35 mins; 
3 - 8" pan = 25-30 mins;  
18-20 cupcakes = 22-25 mins.

Sinfully Good Devil's Food Cupcakes

This is the recipe I used (courtesy of Martha - pg. 34) to make my chocolate martini cupcakes. Even though cupcakes taste their best the day they are made, these tasted great even after the 2nd day...if they can last that long!

3/4 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F and line your muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together the cocoa and hot water until smooth. This is where I added the chocolate liquor.  In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl.  With an electric mixer, beat on medium-low speed until mixture is cooled - about 5 mins.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg.  Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture and beat utnil combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each 3/4 full.  Makes 30.

    Bake about 20 mins.

Tres Leches Cupakes

6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup heavy cream

Whipped Cream and ground cinnamon, for dusting. (see step #4)

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line muffin tins with liners. On medium speed, whisk together egg whites, baking soda and salt until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low. Add yolks and sugar and whisked until completely combined. Fold in melted butter. Add flour in four batches, folding until just combined after each.
  2. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each 1/2 way. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until light golden brown, about 25 mins. Remove from oven and immediately poke holes in tops of cakes with a toothpick.
  3. Whisk together the 3 milks. With cupcakes still in the tins, brush milk mixture over cupcakes, repeating until all liquid has been used.  Allow cupcakes to absorb mixture, at least 30 mins (or up to 1 day in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in plastic once completely cool; bring to room temperature before serving).
  4.  To finish, whisk 2 cups of heavy cream (whipping cream) until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup icing sugar and whisk until combined. If you don't want the whipped cream sweetened, omit the icing sugar.
  5. Dollop whipped cream generously onto cupcakes and dust with ground cinnamon. Serve immediately.     Makes about 20.