These are the best vanilla cupcakes that are both easy to make and are very vanilla-forward in flavor. The cupcakes are fluffy, moist, and are topped with my favorite vanilla buttercream!
This recipe was originally published in August of 2020, but was updated on February 22, 2023 with newer content and fresh pictures.
These simple vanilla cupcakes are perfectly soft and tender; not dry at all!
I love an easy cupcake recipe that requires simple ingredients, but the flavors are also bursting. That's what you'll get with these homemade vanilla cupcakes!
Why You'll Love These Cupcakes
- The vanilla cake is perfectly moist and fluffy.
- All you need are two mixing bowls in order to make the cupcake batter.
- The vanilla frosting is so smooth and creamy.
- All you need is a little bit of prep time before baking.
- They're perfect to serve at birthday parties!
I wanted to create a perfect vanilla cupcake where you could taste the vanilla flavor with every bite.
The combination of the cake and buttercream defintiely allows the vanilla to shine!
Expert Baking Tips
- Measuring Flour: To help ensure you don’t add extra flour, follow these three simple steps: 1) Fluff up the flour using a fork. 2) Spoon the flour into your measuring cup. 3) Scrape a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level out the flour.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: If an ingredient calls to be at room temperature before baking, do it. This helps to ensure the best quality in both flavor and texture. If you don't, the cupcakes texture will be off.
- Cupcake Batter: Fill the cupcake liners ⅔ of the way full, which is just under 3 tablespoons of batter.
- Vanilla: In order to have the best vanilla flavor, be sure to use pure vanilla extract.
Here are some notes on the ingredients we'll be using. For the full ingredients list, look at the recipe card below.
- Flour: I used all purpose flour. Be sure to properly measure your flour (check out "Expert Baking Tips" above).
- Baking Powder: Just baking powder is needed, no baking soda.
- Oil: You can use either vegetable oil or canola.
- Eggs: Adding an extra egg white helps the cupcakes to be more light and fluffy.
- Yogurt: Use either plain or vanilla yogurt. You could also use sour cream. This also helps to create the best texture.
- Vanilla Extract: Be sure to use pure vanilla extract. No imitation. You could also use vanilla bean paste.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: Helps to make the frosting creamy. You can substitute it with milk or heavy cream.
Here are the step by step instructions on how to make this easy vanilla cupcake recipe.
Step 1: Dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Step 2: Wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg, egg white, yogurt, and vanilla extract until combined.
Step 3: Combine the ingredients. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the wet ingredients (flour, milk, flour), whisking just until everything is combined.
Step 4: Bake. FIll the cupcake liners ⅔ of the way full and bake for 15-20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring them over to a cooling rack.
Step 5: Make the frosting. In a large bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed until smooth.
Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until combined.
Then increase to high speed and beat until smooth and fluffy.
Step 6: Assemble. Place the frosting in a piping bag and use your favorite piping tip. I used the Wilton 1M.
Keep any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can pair almost any flavor with these cupcakes. I like the vanilla buttercream, but you could also top them with cream cheese frosting, strawberry buttercream, chocolate buttercream, or even peanut butter frosting.
Yes they can. Simply make the cupcakes the night before and then make the frosting the day of. Decorate and serve!
It brings me so much joy to see you make my recipes. 🙂
More Cupcake Recipes
Best Vanilla Cupcakes
- 12-count muffin pan
- Mixing Bowls
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil (or canola)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 large egg white, room temperature
- ¼ cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk, room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg, egg white, yogurt, and vanilla extract until combined.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the wet ingredients (flour, milk, flour), whisking just until everything is combined (be careful not to overmix).
- FIll each cupcake liner ⅔ of the way full (just under 3 tablespoons of batter) and bake for 15-20 minutes. Use a toothpick to check the centers for doneness and let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring them over to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until creamy (about 1-2 minutes). Add the powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until combined (about 30 seconds).
- Then increase the speed to high and beat for another 1-2 minutes (frosting should be light and creamy).
- Frost the cooled cupcakes. I placed the frosting in a piping bag and used the Wilton 1M piping tip.
- Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.