Home Desserts Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

Every time I make a batch of these vanilla cupcakes, I feel like a kid again! There’s something so comforting and nostalgic about them. The delicate, fluffy cake is the perfect canvas for swirls of luscious vanilla buttercream.

I love how these cupcakes are simple yet so satisfying. One bite, and you’re transported to a happy place. 

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just craving a treat, these babies are sure to hit the spot. Bake up a batch and get ready to swoon! 

Bunch of vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting arranged in a cooling wire rack.
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Why You’ll Love These Vanilla Cupcakes

Comfort Food: These classic vanilla cupcakes bring back memories of childhood birthday parties and special occasions.

Easy to Customize: The simple base allows for endless customization with different frostings, sprinkles, or decorations to suit any theme or event.

Homemade Treat: Baking these cupcakes from scratch provides a sense of accomplishment.

Crowd-Pleasing Favorite: They’re a beloved, crowd-pleasing dessert that appeals to all ages and palates.

Vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting arranged in a cake tray.

Ingredients

  • All-Purpose Flour: The foundation of the cupcake batter to provide structure and texture.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: These leavening agents help the cupcakes rise and become light and fluffy.
  • Salt: It enhances the flavor of the other ingredients and balances the sweetness.
  • Unsalted Butter: It adds richness and a delicate buttery taste to both the cupcakes and frosting.
  • Granulated and Powdered Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the cupcakes, while powdered sugar is used to create a smooth, creamy frosting.
  • Sunflower Oil: It contributes to a moist and tender crumb in the cupcakes.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: It infuses the cupcakes and frosting with a classic, irresistible vanilla flavor.
  • Large Egg: It binds the ingredients together.
  • Full-Fat Sour Cream: It lends a subtle, tangy flavor to the cupcakes.
  • Whole Milk: It contributes to a soft, delicate crumb.
  • Heavy Cream: To thin out the frosting to the perfect consistency.
Bitten vanilla cupcake, in front of the rest of the cupcakes in a cake tray.

How to Make Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes:

1. Prep. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.

2. Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Cream the butter and sugar. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the oil and vanilla extract.

4. Add the egg and sour cream. Add the egg and mix until well combined. Mix in the sour cream.

5. Alternate the dry and wet ingredients. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated.

6. Fill the cupcake liners. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 full.

7. Bake and cool. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

1. Beat the butter. In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

2. Add half of the powdered sugar. Gradually add about half the powdered sugar, mixing on low speed until combined.

3. Mix in the flavorings. Mix in the vanilla, 1-2 tablespoons of the cream, and the salt.

4. Add the remaining powdered sugar. Beat in the remaining powdered sugar until smooth. Add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency.

5. Whip the frosting. Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

6. Frost the cupcakes. Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

Vanilla cupcake with frosting garnished with sprinkles arranged in a plate.

Tips for the Best Vanilla Cupcakes

Following these tips makes for the very best cupcakes.

  • Set things out before baking. Ensure all refrigerated ingredients are at room temperature before starting. This helps them incorporate evenly into the batter.
  • Work some sifting magic. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together to remove any lumps and aerate the mixture for lighter cupcakes.
  • Don’t overbake! Bake the cupcakes just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Overbaking leads to dry cupcakes.
  • Try a softening trick. For the frosting, use butter softened at room temperature for about 30 minutes. It should dent slightly when pressed but not be overly soft or melty.
  • Get creative. Experiment with different extracts like almond or lemon, or add citrus zest to the batter or frosting. Fold in sprinkles or chocolate chips for Funfetti cupcakes.
Closeup of vanilla cupcakes topped with smooth buttercream frosting and sprinkles.

How to Store

Here’s how to keep the cupcakes fresh so you can take them to any gathering.

To Store: Store at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. For longer storage, refrigerate them in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.

Let refrigerated cupcakes come to room temperature before serving for the best flavor and texture.

To Freeze: Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container or Ziploc bag.

Frosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen cupcakes overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

More Cupcake Recipes You’ll Love

Strawberry Cupcakes
Lemon Cupcakes
Oreo Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

Course: DessertCuisine: American
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

18

minutes
Calories

471

kcal

These vanilla cupcakes are simple, sweet, and satisfying! With a luscious buttercream frosting, they’re perfect for any occasion.

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Ingredients

  • Vanilla Cupcakes
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

  • 1/4 cup full fat sour cream, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

  • Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 4-5 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk

  • pinch salt

Instructions

  • To Make the Vanilla Cupcakes:
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the oil and vanilla extract.
  • Add the egg and mix until well combined. Mix in the sour cream.
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
  • To Make the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Gradually add about half the powdered sugar, mixing on low speed until combined.
  • Mix in the vanilla, 1-2 tablespoons of the cream, and the salt.
  • Beat in the remaining powdered sugar until smooth. Add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency.
  • Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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