If we're going to call this the "Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe," ease should matter just as much as the finished product. The simplicity of this cupcake recipe is second-best only to the cupcake's rich and buttery vanilla flavor and moist interior!
These vanilla cupcakes from scratch are perfect for birthdays, showers, holidays, and more!
You'll find this recipe super easy to make and simple to follow, but one you can turn to again and again for dependable and trustworthy results.
In order to equip this Vanilla Cupcake Recipe with the utmost amount of flavor possible, we opted for butter over vegetable oil. However, because of the butter, you'll likely notice the edges of your cupcakes tinging a deep golden hue toward the end of the bake time.
If the coloring bothers you, feel free to sub in canola or vegetable oil in the place of melted butter for this recipe!
6 SIMPLE PRACTICES FOR THE BEST VANILLA CUPCAKES
As mentioned above, part of what makes this the best vanilla cupcake recipe ever is the ease of the recipe itself.
No toggling egg whites back and forth, no tempering of the batter, and no scraping of the vanilla bean. Nope. Just a straightforward, easy-to-follow cupcake recipe that is eons better than boxed cake mix!
However, even though this recipe for the Best Vanilla Cupcakes is beyond simple to throw together, there are a few practices you absolutely must adhere to as you undergo the baking process:
- Room temperature ingredients seriously matter.
- Don't even start on your batter until your oven is preheated.
- Set your ingredients out before you begin.
- Measure your ingredients carefully.
- Never overfill your cupcake liners.
- Don't frost cupcakes until they are completely cooled!
ROOM TEMPERATURE INGREDIENTS ARE SO IMPORTANT!
When it comes to baked goods, temperature matters. Particularly, when it comes to whipping up the best vanilla cupcake recipe from scratch! If your ingredients are not at room temperature, they cannot mix properly.
You want the ingredients to blend as seamlessly as possible so that the texture of your cupcakes bakes up light, fluffy, and delicate in texture!
The likely culprit when it comes to lowering the temperature of your vanilla cupcake batter are eggs, butter, and milk.
HOW TO BRING INGREDIENTS TO ROOM TEMPERATURE QUICKLY
The butter in this recipe is melted, so you don't have to necessarily worry about it going into the batter cold, however, you also don't want it going into the batter hot.
Room temperature ingredients are key for cupcakes that rise properly. For best results, melt your butter first and allow it to cool while you knock out any other prep work.
If you need to bring your eggs to room temperature in a hurry, place them in a bowl, and allow warm water to run over them for a minute or so.
Then set the eggs in the bowl of warm water off to the side for 10 to 15 minutes. After this time is up, your exit should be ready for the best vanilla cupcake batter!
If you need to bring milk and sour cream to room temperature quickly, place each in a microwave-safe vessel and microwave at short, 10 to 15-second intervals until the chill has been removed.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST VANILLA CUPCAKES FROM SCRATCH
Make sure your oven is preheated. It is very important that baked goods go into the oven when the oven is at the proper temperature. Otherwise, your baking time will be all over the place.
This recipe makes two dozen vanilla cupcakes. You will need two 12-cup standard-sized muffin tins lined with cupcake liners and spritzed with nonstick cooking spray.
Once your pans are ready and your oven is preheated to 350°F you can begin whipping up the best vanilla cupcakes scratch!
To kick off the batter, you'll first mix up the dry ingredients. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
A noteworthy ingredient in this recipe is baking powder. Take care not to confuse baking powder with baking soda. While baking soda is also a chemical leavener, it does not behave in recipes the exact same way as baking powder. Long story short -- be sure you use baking powder!
After your dry ingredients are mixed up, you can move on to the wet ingredients.
Add room temperature, melted butter, and sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Then, add in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract, and whisk until all of the wet ingredients are well blended.
At this point, you can whisk in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and whisk once more
Fill the cupcake liners about ⅔ of the way full and bake for 22 to 24 minutes, taking care to rotate the pans halfway through the baking time. Do not overfill the cupcake liners. This will result in wonky, mushroom-shaped cupcakes.
Your cupcakes are done when you can gently poke them and the indentation from your finger slowly bounces back upwards. If the indentation remains, continue baking for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Transfer the cupcakes to cool completely on a cooling rack, and move on to the vanilla buttercream frosting.
HOW TO MAKE VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
Vanilla buttercream frosting from scratch is extremely easy to make! But, it is very important that your butter is at room temperature. If your butter is not at room temperature, your ingredients will not blend smoothly and you will end up with lumpy frosting.
Room temperature butter will appear soft and pliable, you should be able to easily poke and leave an indention in the stick with your finger, and it should not appear melty whatsoever.
To make the frosting, combine the room temperature butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and begin mixing on low.
Increase the speed to medium-high, and mix for 2 to 3 minutes until all of the ingredients are well combined, and the frosting appears light and fluffy.
Then, you can transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a large pastry tip, and pipe swirls across the tops of your cooled vanilla cupcakes.
6 MORE CAKE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Key Lime Cake
- Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
- Peach Cobbler Pound Cake
- Butter Pecan Cake
- Butterfinger Cake
- Easter Cake Pops
The Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe that delivers rich, buttery vanilla cupcakes with a soft, moist interior! Easy to make and always a hit!
- 2 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 ½ cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups room temperature butter
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk, half-and-half, or heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Set out your eggs, milk, and sour cream up to 2 hours in advance and bring to room temperature. See blog post for tips on bringing these ingredients to room temperature faster, if needed.
Line two 12-cup, standard-sized muffin tins with cupcake liners and then spritz with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the room temperature, melted butter and sugar until well combined. Then, add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla, and whisk until blended. Whisk in the dry ingredients in three separate additions, alternating with the milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk once more.
Fill the cupcake liners ⅔'s of the way full and bake for 22-24 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking process. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Add the butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and salt to a large mixing bowl mix with a handheld mixer, starting on low and working your way up to medium-high speed. Mix for 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
Add big scoops of the icing into a piping bag fitted with a large piping tip. Twist the bag shut and pipe swirls across the surface of the cupcake. Serve and enjoy!