Vanilla Cupcakes

Moist and fluffy vanilla cupcakes are perfect for parties, celebrations or just because. This is my new favorite vanilla cupcake recipe!

These are fluffy, soft, light, and simply perfect vanilla cupcakes that will melt in your mouth. Did I mention they are easy?! Oh, and they can be customized for any special event or occasion. For more yummy cupcakes try Cookies and Cream Cupcakes, Lemon Cupcakes, or Peanut Butter Cupcakes.

Vanilla cupcakes topped with frosting and sprinkles

Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe!

Classic vanilla cupcakes don’t get the love they deserve, mostly because they can easily fall flat. I wanted a cupcake classic that would WOW! After all, it is important to have a tasty vanilla cupcake recipe in your repertoire.

You can take that perfect base and build on it to create a variety of flavor profiles. They can be made individual with a slight twist or special icing. You can add mix ins, change up the frosting, and really get creative with the decorations.

Well friends, this vanilla cupcake recipe is simply the BEST! They are so moist bursting with vanilla flavor and will simply melt in your mouth. They will be your new go-to homemade vanilla cupcake recipe. Better tuck it away now before you lose it.

Step by step pictures for how to make vanilla cupcakes

How to Make Vanilla Cupcakes

PREP. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line 16 wells of a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.

WHISK. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, egg whites, vanilla, sour cream, and milk.

COMBINE. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until well combined.

SCOOP & BAKE. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling the cups 2/3 full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until the tops spring back when touched lightly. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

FROSTING. To make the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and 1 tablespoon of milk, and mix. Add additional milk as needed to make a smooth frosting. Increase the speed to high and beat 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

DECORATE. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Helpful tips:

  • All refrigerated items should be at room temperature before using. 
  • Don’t over mix.
  • Bake times can fluctuate depending on your oven, so watch carefully. 
  • Make this batter into a cake! Bake in 9×13 for thinner cake or 11×7 thicker cake. Bake at 350°F for 30-40 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Save your egg yolks: Use yolk to make Pastry cream, lemon curd, and Hollandaise Sauce. You can also mix them with other eggs to make nice creamy scrambled eggs or an omelet. Store egg yolks in an airtight container along with enough water to cover the yolks. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days. Remove the yolk from the water with a slotted spoon before using in a recipe. 

Homemade vanilla cupcakes on a cooling rack next to cupcake frosting

Variations

The classic vanilla cupcake and frosting is simply delicious as is. With that said, the vanilla base pairs well with so many other toppings such as:

Best vanilla cupcake recipe with frosting on top

Storing Tips

Ahead of Time: You can make these cupcakes up to a day ahead of time. Store cupcakes in an airtight container on the counter. The frosting can be stored in a container in the fridge.

If you want to make them further in advance to be stored in the freezer you definitely can. Once the cupcakes have cooled stick them in a freezer safe container. Store the frosting in a separate freezer safe container. Freeze both for 2-3  months. 

Storage: Leftover cupcakes, frosted or unfrosted, can be stored in an airtight container for several days and longer if refrigerated. Unfrosted cupcakes can be placed in a freezer bag and frozen for 2-3 months. 

To store frosted leftovers in the freezer you’ll want to flash freeze the cupcakes by placing them on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once solid wrap each piece with plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Remove the plastic wrap before thawing. 

Close up of vanilla cupcakes on a cupcake stand

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Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

4.72 from 7 votes
Moist and fluffy vanilla cupcakes are perfect for parties, celebrations or just because. This is my new favorite vanilla cupcake recipe!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 387 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

for the cupcakes:

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter melted
  • 3 egg whites room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk room temperature

for the frosting:

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or half and half
  • sprinkles optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Line 16 wells of a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, egg whites, vanilla, sour cream, and milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until well combined.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling the cups 2/3 full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until the tops spring back when touched lightly. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  • To make the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and 1 tablespoon of milk, and mix. Add additional milk as needed to make a smooth frosting. Increase the speed to high and beat 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. I am 11 years old and love to bake, and this recipe was perfect! The only thing I would suggest is instead of sour cream, use heavy whipping cream. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    They are Amazing sweet fluffy cupcakes that are great for snacks. I would recommeNd this reCipe to all.

  3. Hi Kristyn!
    In the recipe it says to add the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and milk, and then mix. Should I use a spatula or whisk to “mix?” I’m always confued when a recipe asks me to “mix” or “stir.” I just don’t know if I should use a whisk or spatula! Also, would whisking and mixing with a spatula make a difference in this recipe?
    Thank you so much!