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Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

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3.97 from 51 votes

This Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe is loaded with so much vanilla flavor and is perfect for any occasion. Moist, fluffy, and topped with a simple vanilla buttercream frosting. You’ll never want to use cake mix from a box again after you try this recipe!

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Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

If you’re looking for a classic Vanilla Cupcake Recipe that’s super easy and made with basic ingredients, you’ll want to save this one. These cupcakes are bursting with sweet vanilla flavor and are just as easy to make as the boxed stuff. You can make these from start to finish in just about 30 minutes so you can whip them up anytime.

Each bite is so incredibly moist, tender, and has just the right amount of sweetness. These perfect vanilla cupcakes have the same flavors of a vanilla cake in a cupcake form with a sweet and creamy frosting.

Make these cupcakes for birthday celebrations, parties, holidays, and so much more. Switch out the colorful sprinkles for holiday themed sprinkles. Use red and green sprinkles for Christmas, black and orange sprinkles for Halloween, etc..

You can’t go wrong with these bakery-style vanilla cupcakes because they will blow your mind. These might have been the best cupcakes I’ve baked from scratch yet.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Flavor: These cupcakes are so much better than boxed cake mix plus fresh is always best.
  • Perfect for anytime: You can make these all year round and for any occasion especially birthday parties.
  • Long lasting: You can save them for days as they will remain moist.
  • Customizable: You can switch out the frosting flavors and sprinkles to customize them just how you want.
  • Portable: You can easily bring these to a potluck, picnic, party, or wherever you go. Just pack them up and you’ll be good to go!
Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe that anyone can makePin

Key Ingredients

  • Flour: All-purpose flour is what we use. Spoon and level the flour when measuring it. Be sure not to scoop it out of the bag using the measuring cup. This way, you won’t accidentally measure out too much. You could use whole wheat if you wanted to make these cupcakes on the healthier side. 
  • Baking powder + baking soda: Makes these cupcakes rise and get puffy. 
  • Salt: Just a pinch to balance out the sweetness. 
  • Butter: Unsalted butter is best so you can control the saltiness. Be sure the butter is at room temperature so it incorporates into the other ingredients.
  • Vegetable Oil: Use a neutral flavored oil such as vegetable or canola oil. The oil makes these cupcakes extra moist and rich. You just need a few tablespoons.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar to add sweetness. 
  • Vanilla extract: The key ingredient. Enhances all of the flavors and adds the signature “vanilla cupcake” flavor. Pure vanilla extract is always recommended when baking. 
  • Eggs: You’ll need two large eggs that adds richness and helps bind the ingredients together. 
  • Milk: I recommend using whole milk to add richness to the cupcakes but you can also use low-fat or reduced-fat milk. Milk adds moisture to the cupcake batter making them extra soft and tender. 
  • Sprinkles: The best part! I love using rainbow sprinkles to top the cupcakes but you can use any of your favorite sprinkles.
How to make Homemade Vanilla CupcakesPin

How To Make Vanilla Cupcakes

Prepare Cupcake Pan: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake pan or muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

Combine Flour mixture: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.

Mix Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together butter, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often.

Add Eggs: Add each egg one at a time, beating each into the mixture.

Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Reduce the mixer speed and add half of the dry mixture. Beat just until combined, then slowly add in the milk and slowly mix until absorbed. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat together until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Be careful not to over-mix. The batter will be smooth (it’s ok if theres a few lumps).

Bake: Divide the cupcake batter into the 12 lined cupcake holes and bake for 15-18 minutes (the bake time will vary with each oven), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Frost: Let the cupcakes cool in the cupcake pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack or wire rack. Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost by hand or with a piping bag and enjoy!

How to make Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes step by stepPin

Recipe Tips & Variations

  • Make ahead: If you want to make these cupcakes ahead of time you can. Bake the cupcakes according to the recipe and let cool completely. Place them unfrosted in an airtight container or large heavy-duty ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 weeks. You could also refrigerate for up to 5 days. 
  • Sprinkles: You can add any color sprinkles for different holidays and occasions. Add red and green sprinkles for Christmas, black and orange sprinkles for Halloween.
  • Mini Cupcakes: Make these into miniature cupcakes by baking them in a mini cupcake pan. Adjust the baking time to 12-15 minutes. 
  • Frosting options: You can use any of your favorite frostings for these cupcakes. Some options are: chocolate buttercream, swiss buttercream, strawberry buttercream frosting, lemon frosting, cream cheese frosting, any canned frosting, and whipped cream.
  • Gluten-free cupcakes: Swap the all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour.
  • Rich vanilla flavor: Add a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste to the batter for a deeper vanilla flavor.
Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes with bite mark in middle with wrapper undone. Pin

FAQs

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Leftovers & Storage

To-store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 24 hours. After that, transfer to a refrigerator to store for 3-4 days. They may seem dry once they are chilled so it’s always best to eat them fresh. Let the cupcakes sit out for at least 5 minutes to come to room temperature before eating for the best flavor and texture

To-freeze: I don’t recommend freezing cupcakes with the frosting, however, you can freeze the baked cupcakes without the frosting for up to 3 months. When ready to frost, you can frost them frozen or you can let them thaw. Just be sure they are completely thawed before serving. 

baked vanilla cupcakes in cupcake pan with sprinkles Pin

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Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

This Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe is loaded with vanilla flavor and is perfect for any occasion. Moist, fluffy, tender, and quick to make!
3.97 from 51 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy vanilla cupcakes, easy vanilla cupcakes recipe, homemade vanilla cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 497kcal

Ingredients

Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 whole eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • sprinkles

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoon whole milk

Instructions

To Make The Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with paper or silicone liners. Set aside.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together butter, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often.
  • Add in eggs one at a time, beating each into the mixture.
  • Reduce the mixer speed and add half of the dry mixture. Beat just until combined, then slowly add in the milk and slowly mix until absorbed. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat together until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Be careful not to over-mix. The batter will be smooth (it's ok if theres a few lumps).
  • Divide the cupcake batter into the 12 lined cupcake holes and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool in the cupcake pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling wrack. While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting.

To Make The Frosting:

  • In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. Beat until light, fluffy, and smooth- scraping down the sides of the bowl. If the frosting seems too thick, add more milk. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  • Once the cupcakes are cooled, pipe or smear the frosting on top. Add sprinkles of your choice. Enjoy!
Find Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog on Instagram!Mention @Kathryns.Kitchen.Blog or tag #kathrynskitchen!

Notes

Recipe adapted from: Savory Experiments

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 708IU | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




19 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made these cupcakes for a birthday party last weekend and they were a huge hit! Loved by the kids and adults!

  2. 5 stars
    I don’t ever leave reviews, but for these cupcakes it was a MUST! They’re so gooooood ! I ate about 5 cupcakes lol. Simple and easy recipe, amazing taste and texture. LOOOOOOVE ! And my new favorite! Thank you so much for sharing

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Rose! Thank you so much for your review and I’m so glad you loved this vanilla cupcake recipe! I’ve never made this into a cake but I’m sure you can 🙂 I would bake it around the same amount of time, depending on the cake pan you use. Please let me know if you do, I would love to know!

  3. What does “mix in half of the dry ingredients” mean? Am I only using half of the dry mixture for the entire recipe and throwing out the rest, or mixing in half of the dry mixture into the wet mixture at a time?

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Alice, I apologize for the confusion. You will add half of the dry mixture just until it is combined into the batter, then add the remaining flour. See recipe step #5. I adjusted the recipe to make it more clear. I hope you love these cupcakes!

  4. 4 stars
    These were SOOOOO good. I am an 11year old girl that LOVES to bake, and today when I came home from school, almost all of the cupcakes were gone!!

  5. 4 stars
    These were SOOOOO good. I am an 11year old girl that LOVES to bake, and today when I came home from school, almost all of the cupcakes were gone!! My parents absolutely loved them!!