Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe + Video
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I may receive a commission at no cost to you if you use a link provided. All opinions shared are my own. You can review my full disclosure policy here.
This vanilla cupcakes recipe is easy, classic, moist, fluffy, and perfectly sweet. Great for birthdays, weddings, or any occasion. These basic cupcakes are a must for your recipe box.
This is our favorite vanilla cupcakes recipe. It’s made with basic, everyday ingredients, is light, moist, versatile and easy to make. It makes a great base for muffins, or add sprinkles for funfetti cupcakes.
Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe
Most of the ingredients for this vanilla cupcakes recipe can be found in your home pantry.
- All-Purpose Flour – Be sure to stir the flour first to incorporate air, then gently spoon it into the measuring cup, and finally level it off with the back of a knife. Flour settles as it is stored, and scooping flour straight into the cup will create a heavy, dense baked product.
- Baking Powder – Baking powder will make the cupcake rise, create a tender crumb and light cake.
- Salt – A little salt is added to intensify the flavors.
- Oil – Oil adds moisture while keeping the texture of the cake light. Use a flavorless oil like canola or vegetable.
- Granulated Sugar – Just enough sugar is added for the perfect amount of sweetness. Since cupcakes are typically frosted, you don’t want to overdo it here.
- Eggs – Eggs help with the leavening (rise of the cupcake), moisture, and structure of the cake.
- Vanilla Extract – Pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste will provide the best flavor.
- Buttermilk – Buttermilk tenderizes the crumb and boosts the chemical reaction of the leavening ingredients. TIP: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make it by mixing the 1/2 cup of milk called for in the recipe with 1 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice and letting it sit for 5 minutes before using it.
Sift the dry ingredients. Since we are using all-purpose flour instead of cake flour in this vanilla cupcakes recipe, I highly recommend sifting the dry ingredients. This can be done with any fine mesh sieve. I love using this 6-inch round sifter. Sifting the dry ingredients will help distribute things better and create a lighter, fluffier cupcake. Be sure to stir, spoon, and level the flour when it’s measured as well, so that it’s not packed into the measuring cup.
Use a scoop for filling the cupcake liners. I like to use a #24 scoop to fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full. This creates consistently sized cupcakes and ensures the cupcakes will all bake evenly.
As much as you want that perfect 12 cupcakes only recipe, it is better to have extra cupcakes, than a huge mess in your oven and cake stuck to your muffin tin. Do not overfill your cupcakes!
Frostings for Vanilla Cupcakes
Vanilla cupcakes go well with basically any frosting. Vanilla, chocolate, fruit-flavored, you name it. Here are some of my favorites:
- Vanilla Buttercream Frosting – a classic. Perfect for coloring and decorating. Vanilla buttercream frosting is what is pictured with these cupcakes.
- Cream Cheese Frosting – my recipe only uses 1 cup of powdered sugar! It’s the BEST!
- Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting – the chocolate version of my favorite cream cheese frosting. It’s silky and decadent.
- Strawberry Frosting – I use natural preserves to flavor this fruity frosting.
- Nutella Frosting – chocolatey with a hint of hazelnut and oh so creamy.
- Blackberry Frosting – I won a cupcake competition with this frosting.
- White Chocolate Pudding Frosting – Not as sweet as typical buttercream, and the pudding provides a nice structure for piping and decorating.
Having a good base cake recipe is vital for any baker, and with this vanilla cupcakes recipe in your back pocket, you can be ready for that next party.
Be sure to grab my recipe for classic Chocolate Cupcakes as well. Another must-have for every recipe box.
Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (stir, spoon, & level)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup oil (canola/vegetable)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large/XL eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk with 1 tsp vinegar/lemon juice)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (375˚F for high altitude). Line muffin tin(s) with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each one. Add the vanilla and mix together.
- Add half of the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Add all of the buttermilk. Mix until combined. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix!
- Scoop batter 2/3 full (with a #24 scoop) into the prepared cupcake pans (about 14 cupcakes). Do not over-fill!
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
*Allow cupcakes to cool completely before decorating with frosting.
*If making buttermilk with milk and vinegar/lemon juice, allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes before using.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
22 Comments on “Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe + Video”
These cupcakes are very tasty! Big hit at the party and lots of compliments. Great flavor, with a solid cake-like consistency, not fluffy/airy. I paired the cupcakes with the strawberry frosting. Great combination. Will definitely make again. I got 16 small cupcakes.
Thanks for sharing your experience with this recipe Nicole! Glad you enjoyed these vanilla cupcakes and the strawberry frosting.
on average how much does it cost to make this recipe?
I’m sorry, but I don’t have a cost breakdown. If you had to buy everything needed for this recipe you’d probably spend around $15 for the supplies, but you aren’t using it all on just this recipe.
These cupcakes are amazing! If I’m looking to bake these as a 9 inch round cake, how would you adjust the baking time?
You may need to 1.5-2x the recipe and then bake for about 23-28 minutes.
omggg you are so incredible!!
IVE LITERALLY MADE THESE LIKE 6 times and they ARE SO GOOD! I LOVE ALL YOUR RECIPES 😩🥺 THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Your the best!! ❤️❤️
I’m so glad you are enjoying this recipe! Thanks for your comment!
Hi! Will be trying this recipe this week but wanted to know if the batter will be super thin?
The batter is thinner than one made with butter, but not super thin like my chocolate cupcake recipe that uses hot water in the batter. I think it’s a good consistency for scooping into paper cups without dripping too much.
Thank you for this beautiful recipe! Made a few batches of these for a baby shower and they were devoured. People fought over left overs to take home. I topped these with vanilla buttercream and home made salted caramel sauce. Exquisite. Will never make another recipe again.
Steph – South Africa
Thanks for your comment Steph! I’m so glad they were well liked. And that salted caramel sauce sounds delicious!
These cupcakes were perfectly delicious! I love that they were so moist without being too dense! Do you know if the recipe would work in 8 inch cake pans?
I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why not. It will obviously take longer to bake. Start checking around the 30 minute mark.
Hey, I made this into a 6 inch cake the other day – it works perfectly!
Glad to hear it! Thanks for sharing with us!
I made these with a gluten free flour and they still turned out. The batter does turn stickier, which is normal, but they were still amazing!
Glad it worked out with the gluten free flour Trina! Thanks for sharing so everyone can benefit from the information.
Had some leftover homemade frosting in the freezer, needed something to put it on. Made these, topped them with it, and they were a big hit. Used coconut oil as the oil, which made them extra good.
Awesome! Thanks for sharing!
Can you make these in mini cupcakes? Would it be less baking time?
Hi Monique, you can definitely use this batter for mini cupcakes. I would start checking to see if they’re done after 9-10 minutes.