Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

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Vanilla Cupcakes
These simple Vanilla Cupcakes are everyone’s favorite! Not too sweet. Not too dense or too airy. Buttermilk and brown sugar add depth of flavor. A fluffy cloud of Vanilla Buttercream perfectly compliments the rich cake. Top with sweetened, shredded coconut for an added treat.

UPDATE: These Vanilla Cupcakes are AWARD WINNING! Check out the recipe and see how I won!

Ingredients for Cupcakes:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk

Ingredients for Vanilla Frosting:
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons whipping cream

NOTE: Makes enough batter and frosting for 12 cupcakes, 24 mini-cupcakes. Bake 350(F) for 20 minutes.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350(F). In an electric mixer, cream butter thoroughly. Add white and brown sugars and cream again. Mix in baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs and cream thoroughly. Add flour and combine thoroughly. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl if necessary.

Vanilla Cupcakes
With mixer running on low speed, stream buttermilk into mixing bowl. When all of the buttermilk has been added, crank the speed to whip air into the batter.

Vanilla Cupcakes
Add vanilla. Notice how fluffy and soft the batter looks? Fluffy is good.

Vanilla Cupcakes
Spoon batter into paper lined pan.

Vanilla Cupcakes
This recipe makes 12 – 16 cupcakes depending on how much batter is filled into each cup. Bake at 350(F) for 20 minutes, checking every two minutes thereafter. For mini-cupcakes, reduce baking time to 10 minutes, checking every two minutes thereafter.

Vanilla Cupcakes
Cupcakes will be golden and puffed. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for about ten minutes; until they can be handled without crumbling or dimpling.

Vanilla Cupcakes
Allow cupcakes to rest on rack until completely cooled before frosting.

Vanilla Cupcakes
Chill mixing bowl and wire whisk attachment for best results. Sift powdered sugar for best results. Just sayin’. Cream butter thoroughly and add powdered sugar one half cup at a time.

Vanilla Cupcakes
Mixture will be creamy but stiff.

Vanilla Cupcakes
Begin adding cold whipping cream by the tablespoonful with mixer running on low speed.

Vanilla Cupcakes
When all whipping cream has been added, crank the speed of the mixer to high to beat air into the mixture and whip the cream.

Vanilla Cupcakes
Frosting will be thick, silky and delicious.

Vanilla Cupcakes
When I show up with a plate of cupcakes, people always comment on how “perfect” my frosting looks. I’ll let you in on my secret: I use the most highly praised kitchen gadget of all… a butter knife. The key is to pile the frosting in the center of the cupcake and rotate the cupcake, keeping the knife mostly stationary.

As you can see, my knife has not really changed position, but the cupcake frosting is piling up nicely on top and tapering at the bottom. For best adhesion, add sprinkles or coconut immediately. Tune in next week when I do basic home improvement with my kitchen butter knife. OK. Just kidding.

Vanilla Cupcakes
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Chocolate Pudding Filled Cupcakes!
Looking for Chocolate Pudding Filled Cupcakes? Click on the photo…

Link to the Tastes like Spring Spirit! blog post.

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65 Responses to “Vanilla Cupcake Recipe”

  1. Kaitlin
    4/2/2010 at 8:53 am #

    You frosted these so perfectly! They’re adorable!

  2. Jessie
    4/4/2010 at 6:32 pm #

    I just love these cupcakes! I like the simplicity of Vanilla cupcakes they are so yummy!

  3. Brit
    5/6/2010 at 7:22 am #

    These are so yummy and moist! i only had to bake mine for about 15 minutes – that is when they turned a beautiful golden brown color. thanks for this delicious recipe! the brown sugar and buttermilk make all the difference.

  4. Stephanie
    6/20/2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Hey Betty, I want to make these cupcakes tomorrow. I live in NY and was wondering do I buy whipping cream or heavy cream to make the frosting?

  5. Average Betty
    6/21/2010 at 7:42 am #

    Hi Stephanie! Can’t wait to hear how the cupcakes turn out! Whipping cream and heavy cream will both work – they are essentially the same thing; heavy cream has more fat. Heavy cream will whip to a more stiff consistency, so if you are making ahead of time and need the frosting to stand up at room temp awhile, heavy cream may be a better choice. Hope this helps!

  6. CJ
    6/25/2010 at 11:40 am #

    I haven’t made these yet but how do you store these cupcakes for an event since they have a whipping cream frosting. I would hate to refrigerate and dry the cake part out.

    Please advise. Thanks!

  7. Average Betty
    6/25/2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Hi CJ,

    You didn’t mention how far in advance you will be making ahead, but you can leave these cupcakes, frosted and all, covered (or preferably sealed in an air tight container), at a reasonable room temperature for about 48 hours. I’ve never had anyone get sick from a two day old cupcake… but fresh is best :D

    It is better to *not* refrigerate either the frosting or the cupcakes. That said, I had a nervous friend of mine put my cupcakes in her fridge before a party and they were still delicious. I think having them in an airtight container is key.

    Hope this helps!
    Let me know how they turn out :)

  8. Stephanie
    7/28/2010 at 11:02 pm #

    Hey Betty,

    heres a photo of the cupcakes

    they were delicious! thanks for the recipe!

  9. Average Betty
    7/29/2010 at 11:01 am #

    OMG! They look beautiful and delicious!! Thanks for sharing them with me :)

  10. Manal
    9/19/2010 at 6:17 pm #

    I tried this recipe .. and it was so delicious..
    thanks for sharing :)

  11. Erica
    12/21/2010 at 3:31 pm #

    For you Vanilla cupcakes, when you say 2 tsp of vanilla in the cupcake, you mean vanilla extract correct? I am making them for xmas with green and red sprinkles! Thank you!

  12. Average Betty
    12/21/2010 at 3:57 pm #

    Hi Erica! You got it – I will change the recipe… It is 2 tsp of vanilla extract :) So happy you are trying my cupcakes – Awesome with the green and red sprinkles!! Merry Christmas!

  13. Svetlana
    1/20/2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Hello Betty))Could you please tell me if Baking Soda is the same as Bicarbonate of Soda?Thank you for your wonderful cupcakes)

  14. Average Betty
    1/20/2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Hi Svetlana, yes baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Happy baking :)

  15. Lucy
    7/20/2011 at 10:19 pm #

    I will try to make this soon! Wish me luck!haha

  16. Average Betty
    7/21/2011 at 7:48 am #

    Awesome! Good luck, Lucy :)

  17. Kevin
    7/22/2011 at 10:30 am #

    I think I’ll give these a go and add a little lime zest into the mix w/ coconut on the icing as you’ve done in some of them. Give it a tropical flavor!

  18. Kelly
    8/17/2011 at 5:11 pm #

    I just baked this recipe last night. I absolutely love the softness and it was indeed very moist. the flavor was so delicious. thanks averagebetty! I have yet to try the vanilla frosting.

  19. Kelly
    8/17/2011 at 5:37 pm #

    by the way Betty, aside from the vanilla frosting, what other frosting can i pair with these vanilla cupcakes? i’m thinking of chocolate cream cheese frosting and swiss meringue frosting. need your suggestion please. thank you.

  20. Average Betty
    8/17/2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Hi Kelly, I’m so happy to hear you love these cupcakes as much as I do :) Chocolate cream cheese or swiss meringue sound terrific – I do love the vanilla. The only other recipes I have on the site right now are Peanut Butter and a super basic Chocolate: Hope this helps…

    I have some new cupcakes and frosting in the works :)

  21. Kelly
    8/17/2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Thank you so much Betty! I am confident that my husband’s officemates will love this. I can’t wait to come home from work (i’m from Manila) as i am so excited to bake these delicious cupcakes. more power to you Betty.

  22. Kate
    8/22/2011 at 7:04 am #

    oh my, the vanilla frosting is a winner! i added mint flavor to it. I frosted my chocolate cupcake with vanilla mint buttercream and it tasted like After Eight chocolates. Thanks Betty for the trustworthy recipes. Hope you have recipe for boiled icing that the same as marshmallow icing?

  23. annoymous
    12/22/2011 at 6:50 am #

    i will certainly try these what type of flour do u use all purpose or self raising. luv your website

  24. Average Betty
    12/22/2011 at 8:57 am #

    Hi annoymous,

    Thank you! I use all-purpose flour, not self rising. Hope you give these cupcakes a try — they are my favorite :)

  25. marissa
    12/22/2011 at 9:45 am #

    hi betty im annoymous i wanted to make a suggestion. do u think you could come up with a chocolate cupcake with a white chocolate filling.
    luv ur website again!

  26. Average Betty
    12/22/2011 at 10:00 am #

    Hi marissa :) lol

    I definitely think I could come up with a chocolate cupcake with a white chocolate center — that sounds fantastic! Thanks for the inspiration…

  27. brandon
    12/22/2011 at 11:53 am #

    can u make a vanilla cupcake with a white and milk chocolate cupcake plz?

    thx for ur help

    from brandon p.s i LOV UR WEBSITE

  28. marissa
    12/22/2011 at 1:31 pm #

    hi betty its me again sorry i write alot but can u use dark brown sugar insted of light

  29. Average Betty
    12/22/2011 at 3:41 pm #

    Thank you for visiting, brandon! I’ll give it my best shot :)

  30. Average Betty
    12/22/2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Hi marissa,
    You can, the cupcakes will be darker but the flavor should be about the same.

  31. brandon
    12/25/2011 at 8:58 am #

    Hi again can i use light sugar :)?

    thx for ur help. p.s hope you’ve tryed the recipe.

  32. LD
    1/19/2012 at 1:14 am #

    Just made the cc. They were delish…am wondering if you could put the estimated time needed for every steps.
    the first badge i made went wrong, no idea why, but i whipped it again second time and it went well. I just need to play around with how much i need to put the batter into the cupcake to make it the right height.

    the temp in my oven is weird so , i have to cook for ten mins for small cc. at 160 deg, is that right?

    anyways, qtns, any ways to make the frosting less sweet?. my daughter, 3 yrs old, gets sugar rush as soon as she ate half the cc.


  33. Average Betty
    1/19/2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Hi LD, I think the most important thing with these cupcakes is the order you add the ingredients. Having the ingredients at room temperature can help sometimes too — but it’s baking, so things turn out differently from kitchen to kitchen and oven to oven. For mini cupcakes, I think your oven temp of 160(C) is about right. 160(C) = 320(F). I recommend 350(F) for regular-sized cupcakes. As far as the frosting… I don’t know of any way to reduce the sugar… do they make artificial powdered sugar? Ironically adults tell me they like this frosting because they don’t find it too sweet – many similar buttercreams call for twice as much sugar, but us silly Americans like the sweet. Hope this helps!

  34. Alice
    1/28/2012 at 3:02 am #

    AWESOME RECIPE! I just baked cupcakes using your recipe and they taste delicious. I don’t like Safeway-type cupcakes.

    The sweetness is just right.

    Thank you!

  35. marissa
    2/13/2012 at 7:21 am #

    hi Betty i haven’t written in a long time. i want to make these cupcakes for valentines day tomorrow . Can u please convert this recipe into grams love ur website.thx xxx

  36. Average Betty
    2/13/2012 at 10:21 am #

    Hi marissa! Happy Valentine’s Day!! Here is a little calculator for converting the recipe:
    I hope the cupcakes turn out great :)

  37. Asmaliza
    2/26/2012 at 4:43 am #

    Hi Betty, just found you in the youtube and can’t wait to try your recipes

  38. Average Betty
    2/27/2012 at 10:44 am #

    WooHoo! So nice to meet you Asmaliza — and thanks for coming over from the YouTubes :)
    I’m always here to help if you have any questions!!

  39. Ana Risek
    3/14/2012 at 10:31 pm #

    Hello! Am I to use salted or unsalted butter in this recipe?

  40. Average Betty
    3/15/2012 at 9:34 am #

    I always use salted butter, Ana :)

  41. Rachel
    5/23/2012 at 10:14 am #

    Thank you SOOOO much betty!! i’ve been looking for a best vanilla cupcake recipe for such a llloooong TIME!!and finally IT’S HERE!!

    I made these cc this afternoon and they came out so moist and fluffy,far way beat the magnolia’s vanilla cupcake(their cook book recipe),but problem is they didn’t rise as expected,may it because of i cream the butter and egg for such long time that the baking powder baking soda lose their power??

    btw,can i use the regular order to add in the ingredients,like butter+sugar+egg+drys+wets? what’s the different between your recipe order and regular order? will it comes out different cake consistency?


    …OH!AND!If have time,would you pleeease make coffee mocha cupcake*v*

  42. Average Betty
    5/23/2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for your comment!

    Adding the ingredients in the order I have listed in the recipe is important. I have added them in different order with not as good results. If your cakes are not as fluffy as you would like, make sure your baking powder and soda are fresh. When I have added ingredients in a different order, sometimes they are not as fluffy.

    Mocha cupcake?!? I’ll see what I can do!

    Hope this helps!!

  43. Rijul
    6/23/2012 at 8:03 am #

    Hi Betty!
    This is Rijul.
    I can’t get whipping cream.
    I can just get normal fresh cream.
    Please give me some suggestions.

  44. Rijul
    6/23/2012 at 8:07 am #

    By the way, your red velvet cakes are my favorite.
    I have made them 3 times and all the 3 times they have been great.
    Tomorrow I will be trying these.
    Thanks a lot.

  45. Average Betty
    6/23/2012 at 9:19 am #

    Hi Rijul, Your fresh cream will work just fine in the frosting, just be sure to whip it till it’s good and fluffy. And if you see a product labeled “heavy cream” that is the same as whipping cream. Hope this helps!! So happy to hear you love the red velvet!! I think you will like these too!!

  46. mandy
    7/5/2012 at 8:45 pm #

    I made these tonight with TJ’s frosting mix. The cake came out delicious! so moist and fluffy. Thanks for sharing <3!

  47. Average Betty
    7/6/2012 at 1:39 pm #

    So awesome, Mandy! Thanks for letting me know :D

  48. rachel
    7/8/2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Hi Betty
    i saw in the earlier comment reply that you used APP flour here. i wonder if it will comes out different texture if i use cake flour?if will, what difference ?

  49. Average Betty
    7/10/2012 at 9:50 am #

    Hi rachel, I don’t know. I’ve only ever used all-purpose flour. All of my recipes use all-purpose or plain flour unless otherwise noted.

  50. amy haung
    10/11/2012 at 5:33 pm #

    haii so like i am at los angles rosemead nd where can u buy the best icing ??? thank you :)

  51. Average Betty
    10/12/2012 at 7:07 am #

    Hi Amy, I don’t buy icing, so I don’t know… Sorry!

  52. Katherine
    11/11/2012 at 1:08 pm #

    I made these last year for my daughter’s birthday and they were a hit! Thank you! I would like to make them this year as a double layer cake. Do you think I should double or triple the recipe? Thanks for your help and guidance!

  53. Average Betty
    11/12/2012 at 8:22 am #

    Hi Katherine! So happy to hear the cupcakes were a hit last year:) I think if you double the recipe you should have two 9″ layer cakes (or approximately 24 cupcakes). I’d love to know how it works out for you — Happy Birthday to your daughter!!

  54. Shahla
    6/11/2013 at 5:38 am #

    Hello Betty :
    Can u say me plz 3/4 of a cup milk is how many ml plzz

  55. Average Betty
    6/12/2013 at 5:20 am #

    Hi Shahla, It’s 180ml — You can type questions like that into the Google search bar and get the answer very quickly :) Hope this helps!

  56. jasvinder
    4/3/2014 at 9:12 am #

    Hey average betty…. having problems with the batter, I am finding that the cakes dont rise well like yours what could be the problem? Also all the batter fits into the cases what could be the issue?

  57. Average Betty
    4/3/2014 at 10:39 am #

    If the cakes aren’t rising – check your baking powder. It may have expired or gone flat. And I’m not sure I understand your second question…


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