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Easy Vanilla Cupcakes

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This Easy Vanilla Cupcake recipe makes ultra moist vanilla cupcakes. They’ve topped with my favorite vanilla buttercream frosting, it’s light, fluffy, and just the right amount of sweetness. You can’t go wrong with these.

A vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles

My Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

I think everyone needs a quick and easy cupcake recipe that they can make in a pinch. I have made many cupcakes over the years and this, my friends is the best. You can literally come home from work and have cupcakes in the oven 10 minutes later.

Thousands of readers have made these cupcakes and loved the dense, sponge-like texture. These cupcakes stay moist for several days and they’re packed with vanilla flavor.

I topped these with classic vanilla buttercream, you can’t go wrong with that combination.

Why is This Recipe So Good?

Everyone’s opinion of what a vanilla cupcake should be is very different. Readers love this recipe because it’s truly moist, a little dense, and not too sweet. They stay fresh for several days after baking.

  • 10 Minutes to prepare: This recipe uses oil, so it comes together very quickly. Oil makes the crumb and texture a bit more tender and tighter.
  • Plenty of flavor: This recipe calls for a whole tablespoon of vanilla extract. Be sure you get a high-quality vanilla for the best results
  • They’re super moist: The sour cream in this recipe is a non negotiable for me. It’s really what keeps these soft and tender for several days.
  • Very vertsile: You can make this for any holiday or celebration, it can even be turned into a cake.
A white cupcake with a bite missing frosted with vanilla buttercream

How to Make Vanilla Cupcakes

Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Combine the sugar with the wet ingredients: First combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract until well incorporated. Then add in the sour cream and beat until well combined.

Combine the dry ingredients: In a separate bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients. Add half the dry ingredients and half of the milk and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Repeat until all ingredients have been added.

Fill the pan: I recommend using a large cookie scoop, which is about 3 tablespoons. It ensures an even amount of batter for each cupcake, and they will bake more evenly.

Bake: In my oven, these bake for about 15 minutes. I bake both pans on the top rack and I test the middle with a toothpick to make sure they’re baked through all the way.

Seriously The Best Vanilla Buttercream

I promise this will become your new go-to frosting recipe. It’s the perfect consistency for piping, and the texture is amazing. What makes this frosting so good?

  • Butter temperature: My secret is to use cold butter, straight out of the fridge. The butter is whipped in the beginning for several minutes, so the mixture softened the butter for you.
  • You have more control over the consistency: You don’t have to worry about the butter being too soft, resulting in a runny buttercream that doesn’t hold it’s shape.
  • Whipped to perfection: You’ll be doing extra mixing with this recipe and adding some heavy whipping cream which helps reduce the sweetness and incorporate air into the frosting.

If you’ve never made frosting before, be sure you visit this tutorial which walks you through step-by-step.

How to Frost a Cupcake Like a Pro

Want to make beautiful bakery-style frosted vanilla cupcakes? A simple trick is to use jumbo piping tips for the frosting. Start from the outside edge of the cupcake, working your way up towards the middle, and only fill your piping bag a maximum of 2/3 full. I have shared tons more tips for decorating cupcakes

A close up of a frosted vanilla cupcake in a teal polka dot liner

Tips for the Best Cupcakes

  • Using a cookie scoop or measuring cup to fill the pan: will ensure that there’s an even amount of batter in each cupcake liner. This means the baking times will also be consistent. 
  • Use an oven thermometer most ovens take much longer to preheat than you think. Using an oven thermmeter to monitor the internal temperature of your oven will help ensure it’s not over or under heated.
  • Make it gluten-free: You can swap out the all-purpose flour with a measure for measure gluten-free flour to make the most amazing Gluten-Free cupcakes.
  • Change up the frosting: This cupcake is so versitle. Try adding some chocolate buttercream, or a cream cheese frosting.
Three stacked vanilla cupcakes, the one on top has a bite missing

Can I Use This Recipe to Make a Cake?

Yes, you can. You can find variations of this cupcake recipe to make with a Layer Cake, or a sheet cake

How to Store Frosted Cupcakes?

If you live in a hot and humid environment then I would suggest that you refrigerate cupcakes that are frosted and allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

Since this frosting is all butter-based, it will melt in high temperatures or in humid environments. If you are serving this buttercream at an outdoor party, be sure to keep it out of the sun, especially if temperatures are hot that day.

Otherwise, I store my cupcakes in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 3 days once they are frosted.

Can I Freeze Cupcakes?

Personally, I don’t freeze cupcakes if I can help it. I don’t think they taste the same when thawed. However, if you need to freeze them, I would suggest doing so unfrosted. Flash-freeze the cupcakes on a baking sheet for 15 minutes then transfer them to an air-tight, freezer-safe container. Thaw to room temperature before frosting.

Three frosted vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles
A vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles

Moist Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 24-26 cupcakes


This Easy Vanilla Cupcake recipe makes ultra moist vanilla cupcakes topped with fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting.


For the cupcake:

  • 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (14.8 ml) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup(118 ml) light sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (11.2 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (296 ml) milk (I use nonfat)

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cup (339 g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 6 cups (780g) powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons (37.5ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Add half the dry ingredients, and half of the milk and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.

For the Frosting:

  1. Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally, beating until the butter is very fluffy.
  2. Alternate adding 2 cups of powdered sugar at a time with the liquid ingredients: vanilla extract & heavy cream. Ensure the powdered sugar is well combined, and whip for 1-2 minutes before adding more powdered sugar.
  3. Once all the ingredients have been added, increase speed to medium-high and beat for another couple of minutes to whip additional air into the frosting. Pipe these cupcakes with a large piping tip and top with sprinkles.


  • The batter will be quite thin. It’s important that you stir the batter after mixing, to ensure everything on the bottom of the bowl is well mixed.
  • Sour Cream: You can substitute the light sour cream for Greek yogurt. You can also use full-fat sour cream if needed.
  • Gluten-free option: This recipe has been tested with a measure for measure all-purpose gluten-free flour that already contains xanthan gum.
  • To make 12-14 cupcakes, halve all the dry and wet ingredients, but use 2 whole eggs, 2/3 cups milk
  • Storage suggestions: If you live in a hot and humid environment then I would suggest that you refrigerate cupcakes that are frosted and allow them to come to room temperature before serving. Otherwise, they can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.
  • Make-ahead: These are best served within 2 days of preparation but will proper storage they can stay fresh for several days.
  • Freezing: If needed, flash-freeze the cupcakes on a baking sheet for 15 minutes than transfer them to an air-tight, freezer-safe container. Thaw to room temperature prior to serving. If possible, it’s best to store them unfrosted.
Nutrition Information:
1 cupcake
  • Category: Cupcake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cupcake Recipe, Birthday Cupcakes

Variation Ideas:

This vanilla cupcake recipe is very adaptable. I’ve made this recipe into:

Looking for more cupcake recipes? Here are all my best cupcake recipes.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

273 Responses
    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Yep just make sure it’s well mixed as you are filling the liners. This is a pretty thin batter so I stir it often as I am filling

  1. BEssie

    My go to cupcake recipe, simply the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. My family gobbles these up its hard to keep them for several days. Thank you for the recipe.

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        The answer to this question can be found directly in the recipe card under the notes section.

    1. Carolyn

      My grandson and I made these they are so so good, thank you for sharing this recipe. This is one for the books

  2. Raaz

    Wowww, I made these vanilla cupcakes yesterday. They were really amazing and sooooo fluffy. And even today they are so soft. The best cupcake recipe ever. You explain all your recipes so well. Thanks.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Yeah Raaz! Thank you so much! I greatly appreciate that! I love this recipe and how versatile it is, so glad you love it to.

  3. Jody

    So I have been searching for a scratch recipe for a long time for a white cake….this one is the best I have ever tried, I have even used it as the base for other cupcakes and it make a great 9 inch layer cake also.

    I have a small baking business and I always prefer to bake from scratch, thank so much!

  4. Lissy

    Hands down the best vanilla cake recipe I’ve come across. This is now my new favorite and my go to vanilla recipe!

  5. Amanda

    I’ve made this recipe twice now and both times, my batter has been clumpy! I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, I’ve been following the recipe exactly! Any suggestions? I like the flavor and consistency, but those clumps!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Amanda, if you find it’s getting clmupy at the stage when you add the dry ingredients, I would recommend sifting the dry ingredients and adding them a bit more slowly to the batter

  6. Hailey

    Hi! I love this recipe as a layer cake, but I was hoping to try it as mini cupcakes. Any idea how many mini cupcakes this would make?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Hailey, it would depend on the size of your mini cupcake pan, it could make 48 or it could make closer to 36. So I can’t say for certain.

  7. Thelma Rose

    I tried this recipe and the cupcakes were absolutely delicious. I will definitely be using it again. I didn’t have for cream and used normal cream and still delicious. Highly recommended

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