Everyone loves cupcakes! This is the only vanilla cupcake recipe you will need. They are super easy to make and the texture is light, fluffy, and melt-in-your-mouth good.

Watch the video tutorial below and you will be a pro in no time. We love these with our Cupcake Frosting because a cupcake isn’t a cupcake without frosting.

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Vanilla cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles

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Watch Vanilla Cupcakes Video Tutorial!

These cupcakes are perfect for birthday parties and baby showers and they always disappear fast which is why I always make a double batch for gatherings. They are quick and easy to make and homemade cupcakes taste way better than boxed cupcake mix.

Ingredients for Vanilla Cupcakes:

This recipe makes exactly 12 cupcakes and requires simple ingredients: all-purpose flour, butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, baking powder, salt and vanilla. The combination of softened butter and buttermilk creates an amazingly soft cupcake crumb that just melts in your mouth. Also, if you haven’t tried our (2-ingredient) Homemade Vanilla Extract, it will take your baked goods to the next level.

Ingredients for vanilla cupcakes with flour, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, butter and salt

How to Make Vanilla Cupcakes:

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These cupcakes are easy to master and you will be making bakery-quality cupcakes in no time.

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a second bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer), beat together softened butter and sugar on medium-high speed 5 minutes until thick and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, mixing to incorporate with each egg then blend in vanilla and scrape down the bowl.
  4. Reduce mixer to medium speed and add the flour in thirds, alternating with adding the 1/2 cup buttermilk and beating well between additions.
  5. Pour batter into 12 lined muffin tins, filling 2/3 full. Bake in the center of the oven at 350˚F for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan then remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step by step how to make batter for vanilla cupcakes

Tips for the BEST Cupcakes:

  • Room Temperature Ingredients – eggs, buttermilk and butter must be at room temperature to keep your batter an even consistency.
  • Alternate Adding Flour and Buttermilk – this keeps the mixture uniform and well blended. If you add in all of the flour or buttermilk at once, it can saturate the creamed butter and cause the mixture to separate. Mix well between each addition.
  • Measure Correctly – be sure to use the proper measuring cups for wet and dry ingredients. Watch our video on measuring ingredients to ensure great results every time.
  • Don’t Overfill – Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full or they will overflow and cause a muffin top. If you divide evenly between 12 cupcakes, you should have exactly enough batter. A trigger release Ice Cream Scoop makes portioning easier.

How to divide batter into cupcake tin for even rising cupcakes

How to Decorate Cupcakes:

Once your cupcakes are cooled to room temperature, it’s time to decorate. This is a great vanilla cupcake base for just about any kind of frosting and toppings. We pipe frosting on with a pastry bag and our favorite Wilton 1M Tip. We have so many frosting options so pick your craving:

  • Vanilla Cupcake Frosting – our go-to cupcake frosting
  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream – well worth the extra effort
  • Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting – whipped and decadent
  • Blackberry Frosting – you’ll love the flavor and color

Cupcakes decorated with vanilla frosting and sprinkles

Common Questions:

Can I Make Cupcakes Ahead? Once cupcakes are at room temperature, cover and keep at room temperature overnight or refrigerate if storing for longer. After cupcakes are frosted, refrigerate until ready to serve. Cupcakes are great served chilled or at room temperature because they don’t harden with refrigeration.

Can I Use This Batter to Make a Cake? We’ve had great results turning it into a Vanilla Cake. You would need to double the recipe for two 9-inch cake layers.

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Can I Substitute the Buttermilk? Plain kefir will also work well instead of buttermilk. You can also make your own buttermilk at a ratio of 1 cup whole milk to 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice. Combine and let it sit 10 minutes to curdle then stir and use.

How Long to Bake Cupcakes? Bake until the tops are springy and a toothpick inserted int the center comes out clean. These were perfectly baked at 350˚F for 22 minutes in a conventional oven.

Fluffy center of a perfect vanilla cupcake

More Cupcake Recipes:

Who can resist a cupcake? They’re just so cute and easy to love. We enjoy getting creative with cupcakes and they are one of the easiest desserts to make. These are our top-rated cupcake recipes:

  • Moist Chocolate Cupcakes – this is a great base and so easy
  • Pumpkin Cupcakes – with a marshmallow-soft frosting
  • Honey Cupcakes – with a cherry filling
  • Dark Chocolate Cupcakes – with white chocolate frosting

This recipe was first published in June 2012 (below is the original photo). After testing countless batches, we improved the recipe, swapping out oil for softened butter and took out the baking soda to create a super soft crumb. Everyone agrees, these are the best cupcakes. Just read the reviews!

P.S. Thank you all for trying this recipe and sharing it with the people you love.

My go-to vanilla cupcakes. Perfect every time!

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