How to make the best vanilla cupcake recipe with a deliciously soft and fluffy texture perfect with all kinds of frosting. Make this plain cupcake recipe at home it's so easy and perfect for any occasion!
Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes
These homemade vanilla cupcakes are my favorite basic cupcake recipe when I want to make plain cupcakes for any occasion. They have a deliciously soft and moist texture with a nice buttery taste.
These perfect vanilla cupcakes have a wonderful fluffy crumb and a delicious vanilla flavor simply added by a pure vanilla extract that can easily be intensified with an extra vanilla bean seed or a vanilla bean paste.
To go along with these fluffy cupcakes, I've added my favorite vanilla frosting here for a twist on chocolate ganache or vanilla buttercream frosting. It's whipped mascarpone frosting, with a texture that is both light and firm, perfect for decorating with a piping bag.
Make my best cupcake recipe at home, they will be perfect for any occasion, for a birthday party, a wedding day, a baby shower or just to enjoy with your family.
>> See all cupcake recipes from the blog
Ingredients and substitutions
Here are the ingredients and any substitutions needed to make this vanilla cupcake recipe, scroll down the page to see the quantities in the recipe card.
Plain cupcake batter
- Butter: Use unsalted butter that has been softened, take it out in advance, or put it in the microwave for a few moments. If you want to replace the butter with oil, it is possible, just use neutral vegetable oil instead like sunflower oil or grape seed oil.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar, which you can replace with flavored granulated sugar such as brown sugar or brown sugar.
- Eggs: Room temperature eggs, which you can replace with the same amount of egg whites for a white cupcake version.
- Vanilla: Essential for flavoring plain cupcakes, use pure vanilla extract, vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste, or a packet of vanilla sugar.
- Milk: Buttermilk is preferable, but you can replace it with either half-skimmed milk or whole milk, almond milk, plain yogurt, or sour cream.
- Flour: Use white cake flour or all-purpose flour that you can replace with a gluten-free flour blend to make gluten-free cupcakes.
- Baking powder: Measure the quantity carefully, you can replace the baking powder with baking soda but be careful with the quantity because it is 4 times more powerful than baking powder.
- Salt: Essential to bring out the flavors.
Helpful Tools: Use a standard cupcake tin with cupcake liners or muffin tin and an electric mixer or a stand mixer to make the batter
- Fruit: You can replace some of the wet ingredients with fresh lemon juice, orange juice or fruit coulis, raspberries, berries, passion fruit, etc. to flavor the cupcakes.
- Nuts: chopped nuts to add texture such as almonds, hazelnuts and pecans.
- Spices: add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon or gingerbread mix to flavor the cupcakes.
- Chocolate: Chocolate chips or chunks.
- Color: you can easily color the base by adding gel food coloring.
⚠️ You will find the quantities of ingredients and complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
Which frostings to choose for cupcakes
For cupcakes, it is best to use a firm enough frosting to make pretty decorations with a piping bag. Most often a vanilla buttercream frosting or Swiss buttercream is used.
I like to make mascarpone whipped cream which is a frosting made of mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, and powdered sugar. It's a light and fluffy frosting and is firm enough for cupcakes.
But these vanilla cupcakes are a perfect base for any frosting flavor, like lemon frosting, strawberry buttercream frosting, or chocolate buttercream.
Here are some other perfect frostings:
- Chocolate ganache
- Whipped chocolate ganache
- Whipped With chocolate ganache
- White chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream
- Cream cheese frosting
- Chocolate mascarpone frosting
- Milk chocolate ganache
- Coconut Frosting
- Kinder chocolate ganache
How to make Vanilla Cupcakes from scratch
1 - Cream butter and sugar
- In a large bowl, place the softened butter and sugar and mix with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes until creamy and smooth.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix again with the mixer for 1 minute to incorporate them.
Tips: Always use ingredients at room temperature and it is also preferable to make the blend with an electric mixer or you can use your stand mixer with the paddle attachment or the whisk.
2 - Add dry ingredients
- In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, and salt and sift together at least twice.
- Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, mixing between each addition with a rubber spatula to incorporate.
- Pour the cupcake batter into a cupcake pan or a mini cupcakes pan lined with paper liners, making sure to fill them up to ¾ of the way to have perfect cupcakes.
Tip: Mix and sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl before adding them to the batter.
3 - Baking
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C and bake vanilla cupcakes in the oven on halfway for about 18-20 minutes until they are slightly puffed and golden on top.
- Let the cupcakes cool a bit in the pan before removing from the pan and letting them cool completely on a wire rack.
- When your cupcakes are completely cooled, decorate them with a piping bag and a decorating tip by forming a swirl on top.
Tip: At the end of the baking time, check that they are well done by inserting a toothpick into the center and it should come out clean or with a few crumbs.
Storage and freezing
At room temperature: These plain cupcakes (without the frosting)can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container bow for about 4-5 days.
In the fridge: With a frosting, store the vanilla cupcake recipe in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in a box or under plastic wrap.
In the freezer: You can store the cupcakes alone or with frosting in the freezer for up to 3 months, placed in a storage box. Let them thaw gently in the refrigerator.
Tips for successful plain cupcakes
- Use room-temperature ingredients! The mixture will be more homogeneous if all the ingredients are at the same temperature, so remember to take out the butter and eggs in advance
- Do not over-mix! Particularly after adding the dry ingredients to keep the texture fluffy.
- Fill the cups ¾ full! No more or less, they will have a perfect size and a nice dome on top.
- Be careful with the baking! If the cupcakes are overcooked they will be too dry in the mouth, so watch them carefully and check with a toothpick to see if they are done.
- Chocolate cupcakes
- High hat chocolate cupcakes
- Coconut cupcakes
- Carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese
- Lemon curd cupcakes with mascarpone frosting
More vanilla cake recipe
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- Total Time: 33 minutes
- Yield: 12 cupcakes
Super soft and moist vanilla cupcake recipes (for 12 standard cupcakes)
- 100 g (½ cup) Butter - softened
- 150g (¾ cup) Sugar - granulated
- 2 Eggs - room temperature around 100g
- 1 ½ tsp Vanilla extract - or ½ vanilla bean
- 135 ml (½ cup) Buttermilk - or plain yogurt
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) Flour - Cake flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder - about 6 g
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C and line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
- In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder and salt and sift twice.
- In a large bowl, beat the softened butter with the sugar for about 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat again for a good minute to incorporate.
- Finish by alternately adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk, mixing with a spatula between each addition until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the baking cases to fill them ¾ of the way.
- Bake in the oven for about 18-20 minutes until they are slightly puffed and golden.
- Check for baking by sticking a toothpick into the center of a vanilla cupcake, it should come out clean without crumbs.
- Let the vanilla cupcakes cool a bit in the pan before removing them from the pan and letting them cool completely on a wire rack.
- When completely cool, frost with your favorite frosting and serve.
Storage: up to one week at room temperature in a covered storage box and up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Category: cupcakes,
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: vanilla cupcakes, vanilla cupcake recipe, plain cupcakes, best vanilla cupcakes, homemade vanilla cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes from scratch
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