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Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream recipe

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Mini cakes
  • Cupcakes
  • Vanilla cupcakes

Cupcakes are a fun and lovely birthday treat for children, as well as a pretty addition to an extra-special afternoon tea. These mini cupcakes are easy to bake in a muffin tray and can be decorated as you wish.

16 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 100g cornflour
  • 140g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 200g sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 115g butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the vanilla buttercream
  • 60g butter, room temperature
  • 375g icing sugar (more if needed)
  • 120ml milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • hundreds and thousands for decoration (optional)

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:17min ›Ready in:37min

  1. Preheat oven to 160 C / Gas 2. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. Mix the cornflour, plain flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl with a spatula. Stir in butter cubes until they are well coated with the flour.
  3. Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla extract together in a tall container, such as a large measuring jug. Pour one-third of the egg-milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with the spatula. Add the remaining egg-milk mixture in thirds, and stir with the spatula until well combined. The batter will be very lumpy and the butter might remain together.
  4. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full with the batter and bake in the preheated oven for about 17-20 minutes. After 10 minutes turn around the muffin tray so that the cakes bake evenly. Use a skewer to test if the muffins are done in the middle - when the skewer comes out clean, they are ready.
  5. Leave the muffins for 10 minutes in the tray and then cool completely on a wire cake rack.
  6. For the buttercream: Beat the butter for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract alternately with the icing sugar and then mix at low speed into the butter until the cream is light and fluffy. If the buttercream is too thin, add more icing sugar a teaspoon at a time.
  7. Spread the buttercream over the cooled muffins with a knife. If desired, decorate with grated chocolate, dragees or even hundreds and thousands.

How to ice cupcakes

Watch our How to ice cupcakes video to see how to dress them up or down for any occasion!

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(6)

Super Moist Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs we earn a small commission from qualifying purchases through our affiliate link. For more information read our Entire Affiliate Disclosure.

Vanilla cupcakes are universally popular at parties.

Cupcakes bring a party table to life when appropriately decorated and coordinated to your party theme.

We themed these cupcakes for a baby shower. These super moist homemade vanilla cupcakes recipe holds well and remains moist.

If you love yummy baking recipes this is a perfect party dessert choice.

Super Moist Vanilla cupcake recipe is perfect for parties. Theme them anyway you like.

Cupcakes make a party table complete, in my opinion. Cupcakes are cute and easy to clean up.

My daughters first birthday I made her a princess Cupcake dress. She had her smash cupcake and we all had a delicious cupcake from her princess dress. It was adorable and not much clean up fuss. I like that.

Never buy boxed mix again! These cupcakes are so easy and so delicious!! (And don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below.)

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or if you are using a handheld mixer, a large bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix on low for a few seconds to combine.
  2. Add butter, oil, and vanilla extract. Blend until the ingredients are combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as you go.
  3. Add in the eggs and yolk, one at a time, and mix on low until combined.
  4. Pour in the buttermilk and mix on low until well combined. Try not to overmix otherwise, your cake will not be as fluffy.
  5. Scoop the batter into the 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for 20-25 minutes. You can check if the cupcakes are fully baked by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, they are ready to be taken out of the oven.
  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then lift them onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  8. Decorate the cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting after allowing to cool fully, and add your sprinkles .

Sprinkles Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (Copycat Recipe)

My favorite cupcake recipe ever. Moist and fluffy, these homemade vanilla cupcakes are better than the real thing!


  • ¾ cups Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 1-½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 whole Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 1-½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 teaspoons Almond Extract
  • 1-¼ cup Sour Cream
  • 2-½ cups Cake Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup Butter, Slightly Softened
  • 3-½ cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Milk
  • 1-½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two 12-count standard-size muffin tins with 20 cupcake liners. If you prefer to make mini cakes, prep enough pans for 40. Set aside.

Cream the unsalted butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, almond extract, and sour cream and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture into the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed. Make sure no lumps remain in batter.

Divide batter among the 20 cupcake liners (or 40 mini) and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake for 8-9 minutes if making mini cupcakes. Remove pans from oven, set on a rack and allow to cool.

For the buttercream frosting:

Put slightly softened butter into a medium-sized bowl. Beat on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer, for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy.

Add powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more milk if mixture is too thick.

Frost cooled cupcakes. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake.

Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 7.

Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream

I have formed this dumb awful habit of allowing myself to stay awake in bed. It happens either late at night when I should be falling asleep or at 3am when I wake up and suddenly everything of minor importance appears to be super urgent. The smart thing to do of course is to try to fall asleep just by brute force or by reading one of Eggboy’s books about economics but the thing about having an amorphous work schedule is that at 3am if I suddenly happen upon the need to do some bridesmaid up-do research I can push my alarm back by 30 minutes and dive right down into Instagram. The problem with all of this is that a) I’m exhausted the next day and b) my brain is so mushy at 3am that all of my decisions made at that hour are just bad. Last month I ordered $400 worth of raincoats from my phone just in case the one that Alana got me for Alaska didn’t fit around my thicker than average arms. They were returnable, I reasoned. And in the end it didn’t rain at all on our trip. Last week I made a hair appointment, saved a dozen inspirational photos of ombré balayage, and made a vocabulary list of hair styles to tell my stylist at my appointment, but then woke up and decided to just go full on brunette and then cancelled my appointment. And of course, 100% of my buttercream flower video watching was also in bed when I should have been asleep.

I am going to get better at this as soon as I understand everything there is to know about butter based cake.

That’s what keeps me up the most at night lately.

With the exception of sprinkle cake, pretty much all of my go-to cakes have been oil-based. They’re very easy, reliable, adaptable, and most importantly, moist. I had no reason to stray from them other than that I woke up a few months ago feeling funny that I wasn’t very familiar with butter cakes, and I also just wanted butter. And some change. So I put my stand mixer to work and tinkered with ratios and different ingredients and sat in the parking lot of the gym googling things that i thought of on the way there like “is there a reason that you shouldn’t use heavy cream in cakes” and made a spreadsheet of every single vanilla cake that I could find. I thought about acidity of sour cream and wrangled with our new oven heating elements that took a few days to even out… It was like being back in music school again, trying to learn a new excerpt. I felt like Rob with his spreadsheets which he used to track every single tempo of every single recording of every single important percussion excerpt.

And I went so crazy that I had to finally download that app where you grow trees if you avoid using your phone for long portions of time.

You know how you’re not supposed to change a door knob? (Because if you change your door knob you’ll soon feel like you’ll have to re-paint your door and if you re-paint your door you’ll have to paint the room and if you paint the room you’ll have to paint the rest of your house, pretty soon you’re demolishing and building a new home? Or something.) That’s what I feel like I’ve just done. I’ve switched from oil to butter and now because I’ve done that I’ve needed to adjust moisture levels and because I’ve adjusted moisture levels I’ve needed to adjust dry ingredients and eggs and cooking time and approach and vision and values, etc.

I’m aware that about ten thousand vanilla cupcake recipes exist.

But I also have this hunch that my ideal moisture level of a cake is on the very high side, and that’s what’s shaping my every move. I want a moist cake that has been lifting some weights. Moist, dense, soft cake. Like if these slipper socks were a cake. Not some airy light dainty pantyhose situation. There’s a time and a place for pantyhose cake, and in my life, that’s Passover in the 90s.

So the name of the game became cramming fat into every possible orifice of this thing, without it deflating. Too much fat will destroy a cake’s structure, it will deflate. Too much liquid will also make it deflate. But of course not enough fat will make it dry. So I drew the conclusion that a moist enough cake will deflate just slightly when it comes out of the oven, making it have a flat top or just a slight divot when it’s cooled. It does not need to have a nice dome. It does not need to be pretty, it just needs to be moist.

So I collected all of the fats:

butter (for flavor, duh)

and it’s european style butter (which has 2% more fat than traditional butter, cha-ching)

refined coconut oil (for additional moisture)*

heavy cream (fat and liquid)**

sour cream (for more richness)***

*since the coconut oil is solid at room temperature, it gives it slightly more structure than canola oil. You can use unrefined if you like a hint of coconut flavor. And if you don’t have coconut oil, using canola oil will indeed work.

**heavy cream adds tons of fat and richness, which is what we’re going for. But it adds so much fat that it makes the structure a little on the edge of stability. There’s enough stability in this batter for cupcakes, but not so much for full layer cakes. We’re going to talk about layered butter cakes in a later post. This recipe will also work with whole milk! Using heavy cream will make it richer, but if whole milk is what you have, that's ok.

***I wouldn’t make you clear out the dairy aisle if it weren’t for a good reason. The difference that sour cream makes in this cake is like the difference between the flannel-lined duck boots and the shearling-lined duck boots. You are reading the blog of a shearling-lined duck boot owner. (You could sub this for plain whole milk yogurt. It will be just slightly less rich than using sour cream.)

And put them in with some flour (all-purpose, not cake flour because I prefer the denser texture of all-purpose), sugar, eggies (I didn’t go down the road of adding single yolks, which, yes, will add richness, but I just have this thing right now where I'm trying to avoid using only part of the egg), vanilla, and for some of the tests, almond extract, which I sometimes enjoy in a vanilla world.

I went through dozens of tests (most of which were right before the Eggsis wedding which provided 320 taste testers and some of which are still in my deep freeze… would you like some cupcakes?) and came up with a cupcake recipe that I am so very happy with!! It has all of the moist/dense qualities that I was going for, and even after all of this taste testing, I still make audible “mmmmm” sounds when I have a bite.

I have one major takeaway that doesn’t have to do with ingredients at all though, and that’s that you cannot let these over bake. Over-baking, even by like 30 seconds, will dry these out. So use an oven thermometer, begin checking them when I say, and when your cakes are thinking about starting to brown, and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs on it, take em out.

And then frost them with a good American buttercream that uses a good European style butter. Because, again, we want more fat.

For now. Because part two of this saga is that we make a layer cake.

Thank you so much, Land O' Lakes, for sponsoring this post and for providing all of the butter for the endless test batches that were required for this recipe! Land O' Lakes®’ European Style Butter has a fat content of 82%, 2% more than traditional butter in the states, so it has more flavor and a creamier texture. It makes a great moist cake and a delicious buttercream frosting!!

Recipe Summary

  • Cupcakes:
  • 4 ounces cake flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup 1% low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray
  • Buttercream Frosting:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt
  • Sugar pearls (optional)

To prepare cupcakes, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat oil, egg, and egg white with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Add granulated sugar beat until thick and pale. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture mix after each addition. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Place 12 paper or foil muffin cup liners in muffin cups coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into cups. Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when pressed in center (they will not be brown.)

Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare buttercream frosting, place butter in a bowl beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar beat at low speed until blended. Add half-and-half, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and dash of salt beat at high speed until smooth and creamy. Top cupcakes with frosting. Sprinkle with sugar pearls, if desired.

Vanilla Buttercream for Cupcakes

This creamy vanilla buttercream frosting is super easy to make in one bowl. You may have noticed that these cupcakes are loaded with frosting. That’s because I made one and a half times the frosting called for in the recipe. It’s my personal opinion that you can never have too much frosting, especially when it comes to this particular vanilla buttercream. If you follow the recipe for these cupcakes, you’ll end up with a more normal amount of frosting than what’s pictured.

  1. Cream the Butter and Sugar: Add butter to a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix until it’s smooth and well combined.
  2. Add Milk or Water: Add the salt and 1-2 tbsp of the milk or water, mixing again until well combined. Then, add in your remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. You can add more milk or water to alter the consistency if you’d like.
  3. Pipe the Frosting: Pipe or spread your frosting onto your cupcakes, decorate to your liking and enjoy!

Top Tip: Don’t knock the air out

After the egg has been whipped, keep beating to a minimum otherwise you’ll knock the air out. Just follow my time and beater speeds and you can’t go wrong!

Gently fold in dry ingredients

3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture into the egg mixture in 3 lots, mixing for just 5 seconds on Speed 1 in between. This should make the flour just incorporated – don’t worry if there are some streaks on the bowl not mixed in. Key here is minimum mixing!

Whisk together some batter with hot milk (tempering)

5. Melt butter and heat milk – use a microwave or stove to heat milk with the butter until it melts. HOT milk helps with rise for these cupcakes – I was dubious so I tried the Vanilla Cake with cooled melted butter in milk and found it did not rise as well.

6. Mix some batter into hot milk (tempering) – this serves two purposes: a) bring down the temperature of the hot milk so it won’t “cook” the eggs (ie. tempering) and b) it lightens up the density of the hot milk (see above – it becomes foamy) so it blends together faster when added to the rest of the whipped egg mixture. Remember, minimal beating is key so we don’t knock out the cake-rising-bubbles we created in Step 2.

Finish batter & fill cupcake liners

7. Slowly pour milk mixture back into whipped eggs over 15 seconds while beating on the lowest speed. Scrape down sides of bowl, then mix for 10 seconds – the batter should now be smooth

8. Fill cupcake liners with batter – I find the easiest way to do this is with an ice cream scoop with a lever. The standard size is 1/4 cup which is actually the perfect quantity for cupcakes!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla (Crusting) Buttercream

Cupcakes with a pillowy soft crumb hit next-level-awesome when topped with the most luscious buttercream.


  • 1-¼ cup Cake Flour
  • 1-¼ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • ¾ cups Sugar
  • 1-½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cups Canola Oil
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • ½ cups Unsalted Butter
  • 1-¼ cup Vegetable Shortening
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 pounds Confectioners Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk


For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 12-count muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and salt. Set aside.

On medium speed, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs until light and frothy. Beat in the sugar. Add vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed until it’s pale and well combined.

Reduce mixer to medium-low speed, and alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk into the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down sides of bowl a couple of times. Beat until just combined. Do not over-beat. Batter should be thin.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter, about ⅔ full.

Bake for 14-17 minutes at 350 F. Remove pan from oven and set it on a rack. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, then remove them from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Frost when cooled.

For the buttercream frosting:
Note: This is a recipe for a crusting buttercream, one that can hold the many shapes it’s piped into. It’s sweeter and usually dries to the touch, perfect for elaborate decorating and these hydrangea flowers.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, shortening, salt and vanilla extract until pale and smooth, 3 to 5 minutes on medium speed.

On the lowest speed, start by adding ½ of the confectioners’ sugar (use a bowl shield if you have one). Pause, scrape down bowl and continue adding additional half cups of sugar, until it’s all been used.

Once sugar is incorporated, raise speed to medium and continue beating, while adding milk, tablespoon by tablespoon. Stop at each addition to test consistency. It should be smooth, a bit stiff and well combined. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream

This Mother's Day, give mom a dozen roses she can sink her teeth into!

Want to let mom know how special she is this Mother's day? Buy her a dozen roses. Want her to know how really special she is? Bake her a dozen of these gorgeous rose-shaped vanilla cupcakes topped with pink and red buttercream.

all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

unsalted butter, at room temperature

(2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 to 8 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature

Pink and green food coloring

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, just until blended after each addition. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile make buttercream. Beat butter and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cream, vanilla, and salt and continue beating until combined, 1 minute. Transfer to bowls and dye to desired colors using food coloring.
  5. Transfer buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a 1M or 1B piping tip (or simply snip off a corner of the bag). Pipe pink buttercream on top of cupcakes in a rose pattern. Add green leaves, if desired.

For icing that mimics roses, use a 1M or 1B piping tip, and swirl from the center out. For leaves, use a 349 or 352 tip.


  1. Windell

    What words ... The phenomenal phrase, admirable

  2. Bakus

    Which good topic

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