My Favorite Vanilla Cupcakes

These Vanilla Cupcakes will easily become your go-to cupcake recipe! This simple and sweet dessert, made completely from scratch using the reverse creaming method, is the best vanilla cupcake you will ever taste! These soft, light, and buttery cupcakes topped with a swirl of buttercream are guaranteed to be your new favorite too!

Fluffy, soft vanilla cupcakes

Today we’re taking it back to basics! This vanilla cupcake recipe is one I shared many years ago, back in 2013 but I thought needed an update. The recipe remains the same, but I wanted to include some more tips and tricks for ultimate cupcake success. PLUS, I felt like they needed some pretty new pictures!

Everyone Needs a Vanilla Cupcake Recipe That Always Turns Out Perfect!

A classic vanilla cupcake might seem like a basic or no-brainer type of recipe to bake, but I will tell you that it took me many years to perfect! There was a lot of trial and error that went into this recipe to get the texture moist, light, and soft! So many recipes I have tried in the past have been too dense, or too dry, or too too oily. But this one is soft, buttery, and light in texture with the perfect dome.

Buttery, soft vanilla cupcakes

How To Make The Best Vanilla Cupcakes

The trick I use in this cupcake recipe is the Reverse Creaming Method. I have used this in a few other recipes on my site, like my Confetti Cupcakes and LOVE how they turn out. Reverse creaming produces an ultra-fine crumb, which makes these cupcakes super tender!

What Is Reverse Creaming?

Reverse Creaming is when you mix the butter into the dry ingredients before mixing in the remaining ingredients and liquids. Generally when you bake a cake you cream the butter and sugar together to start and then add the dry ingredients in alternating additions with the wet.

Reverse creaming evenly combines the butter into the dry ingredients creating a coarse sand texture, coating all the dry ingredients with fat, and then add in the remaining ingredients. We’re always told when making cake batter NOT TO OVER MIX! because over-mixing batter can cause more gluten to form, creating a denser, less light and airy cake. BUT reverse creaming coats the flour in fat which minimizes gluten formation. This also creates smaller air particles being formed in the mixing, producing a finer crumb, and a perfect dome.

How To Make The BEST Vanilla Cupcakes

How To Make The Best Vanilla Cupcakes

Let’s get started, the process is super easy, but just make sure to follow a few quick steps to ensure perfection!

  1. Use room temperature butter cut into cubes. This allows the butter to mix into the dry ingredients easily and efficiently without large clumps!
  2. Place all your dry ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer and turn the mixer onto low and mix for 1 minute. This essentially does the same thing as whisking or sifting the dry ingredients, only easier!
  3. When you mix the butter in, start with a few cubes at a time. Bu the time it’s all mixed in you will want it to look like Parmesan Cheese!
  4. After you add your wet ingredients to the dry make sure you scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so you make sure you get everything mixed in evenly.
  5. When you fill your liners with the batter, fill them 2/3 full, which is about 1/4 cup. I use a measuring cup, or a large scoop to portion it out to ensure every liner is filled exactly the same.
  6. Bake them until the domes have formed and they are set!

Soft and fluffy vanilla cupcake recipe

What Frosting Recipe Should I Use On Vanilla Cupcakes?

  • Buttercream. Of course this is my go-to on vanilla cupcakes! And it’s what I have frosted on the cupcakes in the pictures featured here!
  • Chocolate Frosting. A vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting is a classic, and my Creamy Chocolate Frosting Recipe is the BEST!
  • Perfect Party Frosting. This recipe is a marshmallow buttercream with sprinkles INSIDE! It’s a fantastic recipe!
  • Pumpkin Butter Frosting. This is a great recipe to give your cupcakes a fall twist!
  • 2 Ingredient White Chocolate Buttercream. Creamy, decadent, with the perfect amount of sweetness, this recipe is silky and rich!

Feel free to get creative with your frosting. I used a Wilton 1M tip for the swirls in these photos, and it’s my go-to piping tip! And of course don’t forget the sprinkles!

Print

My Favorite Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 35 min
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description:

This vanilla cupcake recipe is easy, soft, and moist! The perfect birthday cupcake topped with a tall swirl of frosting!


Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Recipe for Vanilla Buttercream


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the cake flour, all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and stir together using paddle attachment for 1 minute on low speed.
  3. With mixer still on low, drop in butter, a few cubes at a time, continuing until all butter is in and mixer resembles coarse sand.
  4. Add eggs one at a time on low speed until combined.
  5. With mixer still on low slowly pour in milk and vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium and beat for 2 minutes until batter is smooth, scraping sides of bowl as necessary, making sure batter is well combined.
  6. Fill liners 2/3 full (about 1/4 cup batter) and bake for 15-20 minutes until centers are set and toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Notes:

Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Keywords:: cookies and cups, vanilla cupcake recipe, best vanilla cupcake recipe, cupcake recipe, buttercream

Want To Save This Recipe?

The Best Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

 

Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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223 Responses
  1. Anel

    Hi!
    I’ve been looking for a go to Vanilla cake recipe and I want to try yours.. But one question, how can I make Cake Flour or can I substitute it with something?
    Thanks!

  2. Kerrie

    FAB U LOUS!!!!!!!!!!
    BTW – a double batch fits in the KA.
    A double batch made a 10″ (7 ish cups batter – yes I measured in a 3″ high pan) and a o8″ (3 1/2 ish cups in a 3″ high pan) Also got 4 cupcakes…bonus!!!!!!!!!
    What would be your favorite buttercream for under fondant?
    Can’t wait to try your other recipes!

  3. Jillian

    I was wondering about the butter….did you use unsalted, or salted butter? I know with baking it’s usually best to go with unsalted, but I just wanted to make sure first. I can’t wait to try these! Thanks!

  4. Laura

    Ha ha – this is too funny and SO true! If you can’t do a basic vanilla cake then what kind of baker are you?! Can’t wait to try this recipe this weekend.

  5. Kim

    This recipe is PERFECTION! I’m so happy I found it after a disastrous cupcake attempt last weekend, these came out light and fluffy and delicious. Like Tammie, my domes shrunk slightly as they cooled, but nonetheless, what a great recipe. It will be my go-to vanilla cupcake recipe from now on. Thank you!

  6. Kerrie

    Hi,
    These cupcakes look amazing – exactly the texture I’m looking for. I’m sure it can be made into any size cake…correct? Is it sturdy enough for fondant?
    Thanks so much – I’m looking forward to checking out your site!!!!!!!

  7. Tammie

    Have been searching for THE vanilla cupcake recipe for awhile and thought I’d give these a try. The mixing method was almost too easy and I was skeptical. After taking these out of the oven I was impressed with how beautiful they looked – perfect domes! Let them sit for 5 min and checked on them and the perfect little domes fell. 🙁 So sad. I thought, “we’ll back to the drawing board.” Then I took a bite… Oh sweet heaven! Perfect taste and ahhhhmazing texture! Best texture ever! Total forgiveness on the domes! They’ll be covered in frosting anyway. 🙂
    Thnx so much for sharing this recipe!

    1. Caryn

      Tammie–Exact same thing happened to me! Took them out of the oven with perfect domes then they shrunk! But, the taste and texture is amazing! Did you figure out why that happened? Will definitely make again! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Made these today and my family LOVED them, I paired them with your Salted Caramel Butter cream and sauce, all combined a little too sweet for me, but no problem for everyone else. Once these are baked the “fluffy, but not airy” quote makes complete sense! These are very delicious even without a frosting on them! Thanks a ton for the recipe~!

  9. Valerie

    I’m new to cupcake baking and wondered why some recipes call for the “sugar and butter” creaming method, while others like yours mix ingredients differently? Seems to me this is a major difference. I end up with dense cupcakes most of the time so I’m highly interested in finding out the secret to light and airy cupcakes baked from scratch. Should the batter be “pourable”? How critical is it to have a mixer with a “paddle” attachment, as I only have regular beaters. Also, when the recipe calls for cake flour, does that actually mean buy a box of cake mix? Thanks for your recipe and for all the tips to help this newbie.

    1. Shelly

      The batter for these isn’t necessarily pourable. I use a chocolate cake recipe that the batter is SO thin, but they turn out great! This batter is a little thicker, but nothing like some vanilla cake recipes I’ve used in the past. Yes, use a paddle attachment for cakes.. it will definitely help with the texture, as you don’t want to over beat.. they’re definitely worth getting. And cake flour is not cake mix. It’s a special flour that they sell by the box down the flour aisle. It’s a little silkier. You could make it yourself if you can’t find it.. here’s a link.. http://joythebaker.com/2009/09/how-to-make-cake-flour/

  10. I just made these cupcakes and they are awesome! I’ve added this to my Pepperplate as my new go-to cupcake recipe.

    I have been using variations on Martha Stewart and Billy’s cupcake recipes, but they always come out with that slightly cornbread-y texture that you mentioned. Actually, until I tried this recipe, I didn’t realize how inferior my previous recipes were.

    Also, we tend to like our baked goods not-too-sweet (and add sweetness with frosting). I reduced the sugar by about 1/4-1/2 cup, leaving the other ingredients the same. It came out perfect. Thanks!

  11. I just made these and they’re delicious! I’d been looking for a vanilla cupcake that was light but not too dry…and I usually cop out and make chocolate instead. I could only squeeze 21 cupcakes out of my batter, which is too bad because they are SO yummy and I want as many as possible : ). Thanks for the great recipe!

  12. Henny

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I love seeing food bloggers post basics! I made these with your recommended buttercream yesterday for my daughters 6th birthday– (Rock Star slumber party!- so cute) They were a HUGE hit!

    1. Shelly

      If you do it in 2 8″ cake pand I would do it for 20-25 min. I use a convection oven so things tend to cook a little faster for me, but I think 25 is a safe bet!

  13. Wow– I’ve been out of circulation for about a year and a half, but I’m glad I’m back to see this! Already saved it, and printed it for my kitchen. Can’t wait to try these!!

Leave a Reply

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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