A vanilla cupcake with a bite taken out of it.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Everyone should have an excellent vanilla cupcake recipe in their collection, and this one is the best! I call my Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes the little black dress of desserts — it works for any occasion. They’re perfect for every event, from first birthday parties to weddings, depending on how you decorate them! 

My recipe calls for buttermilk (you can use my Homemade Buttermilk Recipe, of course), which ensures a perfectly moist vanilla cupcake with a delicious and satisfying, subtle tang. I also use cake flour to give them a really fantastic texture. If you want, use my Cake Flour recipe!

Along with this cupcake recipe, I’m including my Best-Ever Vanilla Buttercream recipe. From there, it’s up to you to decorate the way you like! Get creative with some cheerful sprinkles, food coloring, flavor extracts.

Vanilla cupcakes topped with buttercream and colorful sprinkles.

What Is Cake Flour? Can I Use Plain Flour Instead Of Cake Flour?

Cake flour is a finely milled, low protein flour, and because it produces less gluten than other flours, your cakes will be perfectly tender, soft, and fluffy. 

If you don’t want to use cake flour, you can use regular all-purpose flour in a cake, subbing it for the other 1:1.

What You Need To Make Vanilla Cupcakes With Buttercream

A close up of my vanilla cupcakes recipe finished and topped with buttercream.

How To Make Vanilla Cupcakes

Never buy boxed mix again! These cupcakes are so easy and so delicious!! (And don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below.)

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or if you are using a handheld mixer, a large bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix on low for a few seconds to combine.
  2. Add butter, oil, and vanilla extract. Blend until the ingredients are combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as you go.
  3. Add in the eggs and yolk, one at a time, and mix on low until combined. 
  4. Pour in the buttermilk and mix on low until well combined. Try not to overmix; otherwise, your cake will not be as fluffy. 
  5. Scoop the batter into the 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for 20-25 minutes. You can check if the cupcakes are fully baked by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, they are ready to be taken out of the oven.
  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then lift them onto a wire rack to finish cooling. 
  8. Decorate the cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting after allowing to cool fully, and add your sprinkles.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Vanilla Cupcakes

  • For the best rise, allow all of your ingredients to come to room temperature before beginning. 
  • Don’t have an ingredient? I have recipes for Cake FlourVanilla Buttercream FrostingButtermilk, and Confetti Sprinkles
  • Cupcakes tend to dry out if kept in a refrigerator. It’s better to keep them stored at room temperature or in the freezer if you plan to store them for longer.
  • The buttercream frosting can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for up to 4 weeks or frozen for up to 2 months. Allow it to come to room temperature before frosting. 

The interior of my vanilla cupcakes to show texture and consistency.

How Do I Store Vanilla Cupcakes?

The best way to store cupcakes is in an airtight container at room temperature. They can be kept for up to 2 days. If you’d like to store them for longer, they can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Before serving, allow them to defrost at room temperature for about 2 hours. 

Make More Cupcakes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Prep Time 25 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

My soft, perfect, Classic Vanilla Cupcake Recipe is topped with my best-ever buttercream frosting and sprinkles, and works for any occasion!

Author: Gemma Stafford

Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (7oz/198g) cake flour
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons (1oz/28g) butter softened
  • cup (2 ½ floz/71g) neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, sunflower, canola)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup (6 floz/170 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 recipe vanilla buttercream frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer) combine cake flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix on low for a few seconds to combine.
  • Add butter, oil, and vanilla extract and blend until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

  • Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, and mix on low until fully combined.

  • Pour in the buttermilk and mix on low until thoroughly combined, but take care not to overmix.
  • Scoop batter evenly into the 12 prepared muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before lifting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Decorate the cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and sprinkles
  • Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, they can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature for about 2 hours.

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