This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details
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.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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.
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.
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.
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.
Moist Vanilla Cupcakes
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- 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.
- 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.
- Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Category: Cupcake
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cupcake Recipe, Birthday Cupcakes
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.
Congratulations for new baby
Thanks a lot for great cupcakes
You are amazing
I *LOVE* this recipe! So easy to switch it up (lemon, orange, strawberry, etc.) and the BEST cake texture ever. Thank you, thank you, thank you! <3
Yeah! Thanks so much. You are right, it’s so easy to switch up the flavors!
Soooo I made these cupcakes last night and made the frosting…. Can I say these were AMAZING!!! I made 2 batches . Not only were they moist, but also DELICIOUS 😋. Now to top everything else … mind blown 🤯 with learning about using cold unsalted butter for the frosting.
Thanks soooo much!!!
Love this so much! Thank you for sharing, and I am happy you found my little corner of the internet!
My girls and I are going to have to make these! They look so delicious!
Can I use cake flour? If so, how much?
Hi Angela, this recipe doesn’t work well with cake flour, there’s a lot of liquid ingredients and it’s not a 1:1 substitute
Can this recipe be made in cakes?
Hi Des, this is answered in the blog post under the large heading “Can I Use This Recipe to Make a Cake?” and includes a link to the different cake recipes.
Can you use sunflower oil instead of vegetable oil, can’t seem to get it anywhere. What’s the difference please. Really want to give this recipe a try yummy.and thank you for sharing
Hi Carriann, I have never baked with sunflower oil. If it’s a 1:1 replacement then it should be okay.
Instead of vegetable oil can I use half apple sauce and have olive oil?
I have not tested it but it’s worth a shot, you can also try coconut oil if you have it