This recipe makes the best vanilla cupcakes! They’re moist, full of vanilla flavor and topped with fluffy buttercream frosting.
Let’s talk cupcakes. If you like to bake, knowing how to make classic vanilla cupcakes is a necessity. Today I’m sharing my best vanilla cupcake recipe with homemade buttercream frosting. So what makes these the best vanilla cupcakes? Well, I’ll tell you.
The best vanilla cupcakes are moist, fluffy and filled with vanilla flavor. The moist and fluffy ratio has to be perfect so each bite melts away in your mouth. The vanilla flavor can’t be toothachingly sweet, but sweet enough to keep you coming back for more.
Choosing the right frosting is also crucial. It’s easy to have a rich frosting overwhelm any cupcake, but I find that you can never go wrong with a classic buttercream frosting. It is the perfect compliment for classic vanilla cupcakes.
How do you make good cupcakes?
Let’s start from the very beginning. Here are a few tips to make good cupcakes…
- Choose high-quality ingredients. Pure vanilla extract is crucial for this recipe. Organic free-range eggs help as well because the yolk is richer.
- Bring ingredients to room temperature. Butter, milk, eggs, anything liquid should be room temperature as it helps the ingredients mix together evenly and smoothly.
- Avoid over-mixing the batter. When a recipe says “mix just until combined.” Do just that otherwise the cupcakes will become tough. The air in the batter will not expand as easily leaving you with a dense cupcake.
What to add to cupcakes to make them moist?
Moisture in cupcakes comes from the ingredients. Sour cream adds moisture to cupcakes and makes it denser as well. Vegetable oil helps as well since the fat content is higher than butter. However, I choose to use part vegetable oil and bar butter because the butter flavor really aids in the richness of a vanilla cupcake.
How do you make cupcakes fluffy?
The number one tip for fluffy cupcakes is mixing the batter just until the ingredients are combined, particularly when you add in the flour. This helps create air bubbles in the batter that will expand during the baking process. Over mixing the batter will crush the air bubbles and create dense, tough cupcakes. This is because gluten is formed and it’s more difficult for any air bubbles to expand.
How to make buttercream frosting
The buttercream frosting I used for these cupcakes is my absolute favorite. It’s not too sweet and is buttery smooth (I hate when you can taste the sugar granules in frosting). To get that consistency, I beat the room temperature butter for a while, usually using the whisk attachment for my stand mixer. After about four or five minutes, the butter turns lighter in color and fluffy. Then, all you need to do is add the sugar and vanilla (maybe some milk if you want a thinner consistency) and pipe the cupcakes!
More cupcake recipes…
IF you’re just here for the cake, then maybe you should stay a while and check out a few more recipes. Here are some of my favorite from my collection and other bloggers as well!
So here’s your chance to bake the best vanilla cupcakes. Master this recipe and your family and friends will consider you a pro!
Best Vanilla Cupcakes
Vanilla Cupcake Ingredients
- 1 3/4 cups (224 g) cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (57 g or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup (75 g) sour cream (or plain, low-fat yogurt)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) cup milk
- 1 cup (226 g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups (300 g) powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
- Gradually add in the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk (So it goes flour, milk, flour, milk, flour). Mix until batter is uniform and smooth.
- Fill baking cups about 2/3 full and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack, and allow them to cool to room temperature before frosting.
- In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter (with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer) until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the powdered sugar until completely incorporated.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the vanilla and salt, and beat for a minute, until fluffy. Add milk until desired consistency is reached.
- Transfer to a frosting bag with tip and frost away!
Recipe adapted from Pastry Affair.