Vanilla Anise Cupcakes

These vanilla anise cupcakes are moist and fluffy with a delicate combination of the sweet and aromatic flavors of anise, almond and vanilla!

Vanilla Anise Cupcakes

Cupcakes are always so much fun to make (and decorate!!) and I think I caught the bug after these vanilla cupcakes with whipped vanilla bean frosting a few weeks ago. I decided to play with a basic vanilla recipe and try a new flavor. These vanilla anise cupcakes were born and seemed perfect to bring along to a virtual baby shower!

gvd baby shower graphic(2)

SURPRISE!! You are invited to a virtual baby shower in honor of Stephanie of Girl Versus Dough who is expecting a beautiful baby girl!! I’m so honored to be a part of this party as Stephanie is a food blogger I highly admire and I’m always inspired by her creative recipes, pictures and writing. Above all she is very kind, sweet and supportive to others, especially to a newbie blogger like myself.

Vanilla Anise Cupcakes

In light of Stephanie’s sweet nature, I wanted to bring something delicate, beautiful and delicious (of course) to her baby shower. These vanilla anise cupcakes are just that and will be perfect for any baby shower. You guys the combination of vanilla, almond and anise in these cupcakes is just wonderful. Let me break it down…I started with a moist and fluffy vanilla-almond cupcake which is then topped with a creamy whipped vanilla anise frosting. I made my anise frosting with milk infused with anise seeds I received from my friend Renee giving the frosting the sweet and aromatic flavor of anise without overpowering the cupcake. You could add anise in the cupcakes as well but I chose to just have it in the frosting to allow the vanilla and almond to blend together.

Vanilla Anise Cupcakes

I hope one day I will get the pleasure of meeting Stephanie and her little one! Being an adoptive MN native, I am sure we will make that happen. Until then, enjoy these pretty little cupcakes Stephanie! I hope they are perfect for a little princess and a lovely momma!

Vanilla Anise Cupcakes

Vanilla Anise Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These vanilla anise cupcakes are moist and fluffy with a delicate combination of vanilla-almond cupcakes topped with whipped anise buttercream.
Recipe type: Dessert
Yield: 15 cupcakes
Vanilla Almond Cupcakes
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter cut into 1-inch cubes, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
Anise Frosting
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk infused with anise pods (or just use regular milk + ¾ teaspoon anise extract)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
For Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the dry ingredients and mix on low-speed until well blended.
  3. Increase speed to medium-low and add the cubes of butter, one at a time mixing each one for a few seconds before adding the next. Mix until there are no large chunks.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well between each addition. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla and almond extract. Increase mixer speed to medium and add in the wet ingredients in 3 parts, mixing until incorporated and scraping down the bowls after each addition. DO NOT over beat otherwise you will end up with dense cupcakes.
  5. Divide batter into prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ⅔ full. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 17-20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool on cooling rack completely before frosting.
For Frosting
  1. I infused my milk with anise for 4-6 hours (aka soaking the dried pods in milk, covered in the refrigerator) before using. If you don’t have anise, you can use ¾ teaspoon pure anise extract and 3-4 tablespoons milk.
  2. Whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer. The butter will become pale and creamy
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on low-speed for 1minute. Then increase speed to medium and mix for 6 minutes until the frosting is very light, creamy and fluffy.
  4. Frost cooled cupcakes.
Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita


Vanilla Anise Cupcakes

Thank you Stephie, Taylor, and Stef for inviting me to take part in this shower. Be sure to check out all of the delicious recipes created in honor of Stephanie. Below is a list of bloggers participating in the festivities!

Happy Baby Shower Stephanie!!!

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes from Sarcastic Cooking

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake with Lemon Drizzle from Greens & Chocolate

Super Chewy M&M Blondies from The Realistic Nutritionist

Strawberry Cinnamon Twist Knots from A Kitchen Addiction

Lemon Shortbread with Salted Chocolate Drizzle from The Lemon Bowl

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream from A Zesty Bite

Blackberry and Mango Curd Pie from Joanne Eats Well With Others

Pecan Sticky Buns from Warm Vanilla Sugar

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins from Garnish with Lemon

Chocolate Chip Pancakes from Susie Freaking Homemaker

Super Simple Sugar Cookies from Espresso and Cream

Raspberry Acai Frozen Margarita from Nutmeg Nanny

Berry Coconut Frozen Yogurt from The Law Student’s Wife

Pretty in Pink Buttercream Cups from Keep it Sweet Desserts

Broccoli Salad with Honey Toasted Walnuts from The Roasted Root

Neapolitan Baked Doughnuts from Climbing Grier Mountain

Giant Pink M&M and Raisinette Cookies from Steph’s Bite by Bite

No-Bake Rhubarb Cheesecake Parfait Cups from Hungry Girl Por Vida

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp from A Cedar Spoon

Freckled Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade from Take a Megabite

Vanilla Anise Cupcakes from Blahnik Baker

Mini Vanilla Bean Layer Cakes from The Baker Chick

Mini Blackberry Hazelnut Meringue Cakes from Eat Your Heart Out

Don’t miss a Recipe!

Subscribe to receive new recipes via email PLUS a FREE Ebook with my Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake Recipe and 5 ways to GLAM it up!


  1. says

    These cupcakes are precious!! Absolutely love the way you decorated them and those cupcake liners are so cute. Love Stephanie’s blog and this is such a sweet way to celebrate with her!

  2. says

    These cupcakes are gorgeous! I love how tasty and unique the anise idea is! Brilliant! So happy to “meet” you through our girl Stephanie!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      It’s very nice to meet you too!! I kinda have stalked you a few times :O but I am so glad Stephanie brought us from the shadows lol!

  3. says

    Zainab, these are just the cutest and sweetest addition to this virtual baby shower! And I am dying over those polka dot cupcake liners 🙂 I am totally intrigued by the anise in these and would love to try a bite!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      I’m so glad you were surprised and felt loved!!! You are one special lady and can’t wait to meet you 🙂

  4. says

    This is such a sweet surprise! And you brought the perfect cupcake. I’ve actually never worked with anise … boy am I regretting that! These look absolutely delicious!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Mary Frances has such a sweet flavor. I know you will love it!! I bet you have tasted it in bakery goods you buy already.

  5. says

    Are you kidding me? These are soooo cute, Zainab! I can’t imagine seeing a prettier cupcake. And what an unusual flavour combination – vanilla anise. Just like ouzo cupcakes! (just in case you don’t know, ouzo is an aniseed-flavoured drink in Greece – very nice with fried feta cheese!)

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Thanks Kayle!! I’ve only experienced anise in cookies from Italian bakeries and I am so glad I started baking with it!!

  6. says

    Aw, what a sweet virtual baby shower! And these cupcakes have such a creative flavor combo. I don’t use anise nearly enough in my baking! I really like the idea of infusing the milk with the anise pods before baking — genius! (And, btw, I love how you styled these. Absolutely gorgeous!)

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Thanks Jamie!! This was my first time baking with anise…I’ve tried it before in bought goods from Italian bakeries and I know how delicious it is. Now I know not to ignore it.

  7. says

    These look amazing, Z! I love the addition of the anise. I’m fairly certain those would be gone in a flash around my house. And I am jealous of your flower piping abilities, too!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Thanks David!!! They were kinda gone in a flash here too…except that I did take the entire batch (minus two) to a party at the shelter lol!

  8. says

    I love how you add a little bit of extra WHOA to these with the anise infusion!! So fun! Also, those little flowers on top are just the cutest things. Ever.

  9. says

    such cute little cupcakes….even though it is summer now we felt it was adorable spring by looking at these beauties….absolutely irresistible treat and awesome food clicks as always,thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Yes I love the anise. Thank you so much for them. What a great idea to add cinnamon.those cookies were amazing.

  10. says

    Zainab, I LOVE that you’ve added anise to these adorable cupcakes. It’s a flavor I truly love and is so underutilized! And your cupcake papers are so cute too! Now I’m heading over to Stephanie’s blog to say hi and give my best wishes 😀

  11. says

    I bought anise extract a while a go and haven’t used it yet, I’ll keep the icing in mind. I love those cupcake cases you’ve used, where did you get them from? I find it hard to find ones like that here in the UK.

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      I got these wrappers from Marshalls/ TJ Maxx a home goods store here. There might be places online you could try like

  12. says

    Aaw, these are the cutest and prettiest cupcakes Z – so perfect to celebrate a shower for someone as sweet as Steph 🙂 Love the addition of anise too – pinning 🙂

  13. says

    Those are beautiful cupcakes and pics! I have some anise in my pantry, that I bought, and never used. I will have to try these. Please come share at the Anything Goes weekly linky party, if you have not already.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *