Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
This classic vanilla cupcake recipe is the best! They are quick and easy to make, but taste like the nostalgic dessert. These cupcakes feature a soft and moist cake and homemade creamy buttercream frosting! They are so fun for birthdays, graduations, special celebrations, and more!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- This vanilla cupcake recipe is foolproof and so delicious!
- These cupcakes are moist and fluffy.
- The homemade vanilla buttercream frosting is thick, creamy, and smooth.
- This recipe uses mainly pantry staple ingredients. You probably already have everything in your kitchen!
- If you prefer chocolate, make these Chocolate Cupcakes.
- This vanilla cupcake recipe has been meticulously tested to ensure it delivers perfect results every time.
- No more worrying about flat cupcakes or undercooked centers!
- The process is beginner-friendly, making it an excellent choice for those new to baking. Great for seasoned pastry chefs as well!
- These cupcakes are like a blank canvas waiting for your creative touch. Whether you want to top them with frosting, sprinkles, or fresh fruit, the possibilities for personalization are endless!
- This recipe can be made gluten-free if needed.
- Check out these Red Velvet Cupcakes or these Raspberry Cupcakes for another classic favorite dessert!
Ingredients & Substitutions
These are the main ingredients and substitutions for the best vanilla cupcake recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card for full ingredients list and instructions.
For the cupcakes, use all-purpose flour. If needed, use gluten free 1 to 1 flour. I suggest using King Arthur Flour gluten free 1 to 1 flour.
Both baking powder and baking soda help the cupcakes rise. They remain tall and soft.
Add in a pinch of salt to balance out the sweetness.
I always recommend baking with unsalted butter. This way, you can determine how much salt is added to your recipes. Use softened unsalted butter for this recipe.
Granulated sugar adds the classic sweetness.
Two eggs help the cupcakes hold together. Do not use a vegan egg replacement for this recipe.
Vanilla extract adds the cozy homemade vanilla flavor.
Buttermilk helps moisten the cupcakes. In addition, buttermilk adds a tangy and delicious flavor. If needed, replace with ¾ cup milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes before mixing into the batter.
For the buttercream frosting, use softened unsalted butter. Mix it with powdered sugar, milk or heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to make the frosting. This homemade frosting makes this the best vanilla cupcake recipe ever!
Taste & Texture
This vanilla cupcake recipe is perfectly flavored! The combination of pure vanilla extract and just the right amount of sugar results in a subtly sweet taste that is not overpowering.
The texture is soft, moist, and oh-so-fluffy, making each bite melt in your mouth! It is the perfect balance of flavors and consistency that will leave you craving more.
How to Make
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, using an electric mixer.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined after each addition. Do not overmix.
Fill the cupcake liners about ¾ full with the batter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool in the cupcake pan for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Next, make the vanilla buttercream frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter until creamy and smooth.
Gradually add the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the milk or heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Stir in the vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them with the vanilla buttercream frosting using a piping bag or spatula.
Tips & Tricks for Success
Follow this vanilla cupcake recipe exactly as written. It produces perfect cupcakes every time!
Carefully measure the flour. Do not add too much. I always use a spoon to add flour to a dry measuring cup. Then, take a butter knife and level off the top.
Ensure that your eggs, butter, and milk are at room temperature before starting. This helps in achieving a smooth and well-incorporated batter.
Mix the batter until just combined. Overmixing can lead to tough cupcakes due to gluten development in the flour.
Fill the cupcake liners about ¾ full to allow room for the cupcakes to rise evenly and avoid overflow.
Keep a close eye on the cupcakes while baking. They are ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
If the frosting is too thick, add a drop more milk until desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is to thin, add slightly more powdered sugar.
Wait until the vanilla cupcakes are fully cool before frosting.
Flavor Variations & Add-Ins
While this vanilla cupcake recipe are incredible on their own, you can take them to the next level with various flavor twists and add-ins.
- Citrus Zest: Add some lemon or orange zest to the batter for a refreshing citrusy kick.
- Chocolate Lover’s Dream: Mix in chocolate chips to create a delectable chocolate-vanilla fusion.
- Berry Burst: Gently fold in fresh chopped berries like blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries for bursts of fruity goodness.
- Almond Elegance: Enhance the flavor with a touch of almond extract and top with sliced almonds for a nutty delight.
- Coconut Flavor: Make this coconut cake into cupcakes!
- Use another type and flavor of frosting!
How to Serve & Store
To serve, let your cupcakes cool completely before decorating. Once frosted, present them on a lovely cake stand or cupcake tower for a beautiful display.
For storage, keep any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
If needed, freeze the unfrosted cupcakes for up to 2 months. Then, thaw and decorate when ready to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
The secret to moist cupcakes lies in using the right amount of fat, such as butter or oil, which helps lock in moisture. Additionally, incorporating ingredients at room temperature and avoiding overmixing the batter are essential to achieve a moist texture. Finally, buttermilk can further enhance the moisture and softness.
Baking cupcakes involves mixing the batter, then baking the cupcakes. Lastly, top with homemade or store-bought frosting.
A cupcake can become more dense due to several factors. Overmixing the batter can develop excess gluten, resulting in a dense texture. Using too much flour or not enough leavening agents (baking powder or baking soda) can also contribute to a denser cupcake. Lastly, overbaking the cupcakes can cause them to lose moisture and become dense and dry.
Sure! Double this recipe. Bake into two 9 inch cake layers.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer: Use my favorite kitchen appliance for making the vanilla buttercream frosting.
Hand Mixer: For a smaller appliance, this hand mixer is great for making frosting!
Pyrex 3 Glass Mixing Bowls: These are great mixing bowls for baking and mixing ingredients.
Pyrex Glass Measuring Cups: Measure out the ingredients in these glass measuring cups.
Cupcake Pan: I use this cupcake pan every time I bake muffins or cupcakes!
You May Also Enjoy
- Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
- Funfetti Cake
- Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
- Dark Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream
- Funfetti Cupcakes
If you enjoy this easy vanilla cupcake recipe, please leave a rating and review! You can find more great recipes on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Check out these Cupcakes & Cakes for more recipes!Print
This homemade vanilla cupcake recipe is the best! The cupcakes are soft, fluffy, and moist. The vanilla buttercream frosting is so smooth and creamy. These vanilla cupcakes are perfect for any occasion!
For the cupcakes:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
For the vanilla buttercream frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Vanilla Cupcakes:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, using an electric mixer.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined after each addition.
- Fill the cupcake liners about ¾ full with the batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool in the muffin tin for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter until creamy and smooth.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add the milk or heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Stir in the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
Assembling the Cupcakes:
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them with the vanilla buttercream frosting using a piping bag or spatula.
- Optional: Decorate the cupcakes with sprinkles, edible pearls, or any desired toppings.
- If you need to substitute for buttermilk, combine ¾ cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir together and let this sit for 5 minutes.
- This recipe can be made with gluten free 1 to 1 flour. I love King Arthur Flour gluten free flour!
- Do not overmix the cupcake batter.
- Do not fill the muffin liners more than ¾ of the way full.
- Once a toothpick inserted comes out clean, remove the cupcakes from the oven.
- Allow the cupcakes to fully cool before frosting.
- Beat the frosting using a hand mixer or electric mixer.
- Store cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Keywords: vanilla cupcake recipe, vanilla cupcakes, cupcakes, frosting, buttercream, dessert, baking
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