Everyone loves cupcakes! This is the only vanilla cupcake recipe you will need. They are super easy to make and the texture is light, fluffy, and melt-in-your-mouth good.

Watch the video tutorial below and you will be a pro in no time. We love these with our Cupcake Frosting because a cupcake isn’t a cupcake without frosting.

Vanilla cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Watch Vanilla Cupcakes Video Tutorial!

These cupcakes are perfect for birthday parties and baby showers and they always disappear fast which is why I always make a double batch for gatherings. They are quick and easy to make and homemade cupcakes taste way better than boxed cupcake mix.

Ingredients for Vanilla Cupcakes:

This recipe makes exactly 12 cupcakes and requires simple ingredients: all-purpose flour, butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, baking powder, salt and vanilla. The combination of softened butter and buttermilk creates an amazingly soft cupcake crumb that just melts in your mouth. Also, if you haven’t tried our (2-ingredient) Homemade Vanilla Extract, it will take your baked goods to the next level.

Ingredients for vanilla cupcakes with flour, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, butter and salt

How to Make Vanilla Cupcakes:

These cupcakes are easy to master and you will be making bakery-quality cupcakes in no time.

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a second bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer), beat together softened butter and sugar on medium-high speed 5 minutes until thick and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, mixing to incorporate with each egg then blend in vanilla and scrape down the bowl.
  4. Reduce mixer to medium speed and add the flour in thirds, alternating with adding the 1/2 cup buttermilk and beating well between additions.
  5. Pour batter into 12 lined muffin tins, filling 2/3 full. Bake in the center of the oven at 350˚F for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan then remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step by step how to make batter for vanilla cupcakes

Tips for the BEST Cupcakes:

  • Room Temperature Ingredients – eggs, buttermilk and butter must be at room temperature to keep your batter an even consistency.
  • Alternate Adding Flour and Buttermilk – this keeps the mixture uniform and well blended. If you add in all of the flour or buttermilk at once, it can saturate the creamed butter and cause the mixture to separate. Mix well between each addition.
  • Measure Correctly – be sure to use the proper measuring cups for wet and dry ingredients. Watch our video on measuring ingredients to ensure great results every time.
  • Don’t Overfill – Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full or they will overflow and cause a muffin top. If you divide evenly between 12 cupcakes, you should have exactly enough batter. A trigger release Ice Cream Scoop makes portioning easier.

How to divide batter into cupcake tin for even rising cupcakes

How to Decorate Cupcakes:

Once your cupcakes are cooled to room temperature, it’s time to decorate. This is a great vanilla cupcake base for just about any kind of frosting and toppings. We pipe frosting on with a pastry bag and our favorite Wilton 1M Tip. We have so many frosting options so pick your craving:

Cupcakes decorated with vanilla frosting and sprinkles

Common Questions:

Can I Make Cupcakes Ahead? Once cupcakes are at room temperature, cover and keep at room temperature overnight or refrigerate if storing for longer. After cupcakes are frosted, refrigerate until ready to serve. Cupcakes are great served chilled or at room temperature because they don’t harden with refrigeration.

Can I Use This Batter to Make a Cake? We’ve had great results turning it into a Vanilla Cake. You would need to double the recipe for two 9-inch cake layers.

Can I Substitute the Buttermilk? Plain kefir will also work well instead of buttermilk. You can also make your own buttermilk at a ratio of 1 cup whole milk to 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice. Combine and let it sit 10 minutes to curdle then stir and use.

How Long to Bake Cupcakes? Bake until the tops are springy and a toothpick inserted int the center comes out clean. These were perfectly baked at 350˚F for 22 minutes in a conventional oven.

Fluffy center of a perfect vanilla cupcake

More Cupcake Recipes:

Who can resist a cupcake? They’re just so cute and easy to love. We enjoy getting creative with cupcakes and they are one of the easiest desserts to make. These are our top-rated cupcake recipes:

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Perfect Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

4.93 from 2011 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Vanilla cupcake with frosting and sprinkles
This is the only vanilla cupcake recipe you need! They are perfectly soft, rise evenly and go well with just about any cupcake frosting. The best cupcakes!
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 cupcakes

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 1/4 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Set flour mix aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed 5 minutes until thick and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition then scrape down the bowl. Add 2 tsp vanilla and beat to combine.
  • Reduce mixer speed to medium and add the flour mixture in thirds alternating with the buttermilk, mixing to incorporate with each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed and beat until just combined and smooth, and don't overmix. Divide the batter evenly into a 12-count lined muffin or cupcake pan, filling 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 20-23 minutes at 350 °F, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature before frosting.

Nutrition Per Serving

183kcal Calories23g Carbs3g Protein9g Fat5g Saturated Fat49mg Cholesterol120mg Sodium80mg Potassium1g Fiber13g Sugar292IU Vitamin A38mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Perfect Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
183
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
9
g
14
%
Saturated Fat
 
5
g
31
%
Cholesterol
 
49
mg
16
%
Sodium
 
120
mg
5
%
Potassium
 
80
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
23
g
8
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
13
g
14
%
Protein
 
3
g
6
%
Vitamin A
 
292
IU
6
%
Calcium
 
38
mg
4
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcakes, vanilla cupcake recipe, vanilla cupcakes
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 183

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

This recipe was first published in June 2012 (below is the original photo). After testing countless batches, we improved the recipe, swapping out oil for softened butter and took out the baking soda to create a super soft crumb. Everyone agrees, these are the best cupcakes. Just read the reviews!

P.S. Thank you all for trying this recipe and sharing it with the people you love.

My go-to vanilla cupcakes. Perfect every time!

The best frosting for cupcakes or cakes. Easy, delicious and pipes beautifully! | natashaskitchen.

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • JP
    April 12, 2024

    The perfect vanilla cupcakes! I used plain kefir and they turned out amazing.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 12, 2024

      I’m so happy you enjoyed these cupcakes, JP!

      Reply

  • Lisa Charles
    April 11, 2024

    Hi Natasha I did make these cupcakes for church they were a hit I tell you. my go to for now.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 11, 2024

      That’s wonderful, Lisa!

      Reply

  • Carolyn Daniel
    April 11, 2024

    I made these cupcakes, followed recipe to as instructed; and while the flavor was there, they came out quite dense.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 11, 2024

      Hi Carolyn, I’m sorry to hear that it was dense and heavy. Did you make any substitutions or changes? If not, the most common cause would be not measuring your flour correctly (using too much). Please watch my tutorial on How to measure ingredients to help. Also- be sure to not over-mix the batter or it can become gummy/dense.

      Reply

  • Amanda
    April 10, 2024

    These look delicious. Do you know the cook time for mini cupcakes?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 10, 2024

      Hi Amanda, I have to test that out first to give some recommendations.

      Reply

  • dan
    April 9, 2024

    I made these cupcakes but when I baked them they tasted like corn bread. The batter did not look like the picture.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 9, 2024

      Hi Dan. The most common reasons are likely the temperature of your ingredients, the way things were measured, or how things were mixed.
      I would look over the recipe again to see where you may have done things different. Make sure your eggs, butter, and milk are not cold. If they are too cold, the batter won’t mix properly which can lead to cornbread like texture. I would also watch my tutorial on How to measure ingredients to ensure you’re measuring your flour correctly. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Suzie DeAngelis
    April 9, 2024

    Have you ever used large 1 cup muffin pans? I’m going to m!ke these for my granddaughters first birthday. I don’t know how much additional baking time to expect.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 9, 2024

      Hi Susie! I have not. I have only made them in standard cupcakes pans.

      Reply

  • Madison
    April 8, 2024

    Hello, these look amazing! I was wondering if they could be frozen ahead of time? My son’s birthday is during the week but we won’t be celebrating with the whole family until the weekend. I was hoping to make some for his birthday and freeze the leftovers for the weekend.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 8, 2024

      Hi Madison. If you keep them in an airtight container, they will keep well in the freezer.

      Reply

  • Evelyn
    April 6, 2024

    I’ve tried a lot of your recipies and they were all delicious and all worked perfectly!
    Keep up the good work!

    Reply

  • Angela
    April 5, 2024

    My daughter and I love this recipe for beginners, it’s worked for us every time we’ve tried our hands at making cupcakes.

    We’ve substituted buttermilk with kefir a couple of times and they came out as great. We have also experimented with coloring them pink/purple and even marble, and they still turn out perfect.

    NB: Make sure your refrigerated items are at room temperature and you measure out your ingredients correctly and you’ll be good to go!

    Will follow Natasha for more beginner-friendly recipes!! Thank you, super helpful.

    Reply

  • Claire
    April 5, 2024

    I literally just made these and tried my first one and WOW. Done to perfection at 20 minutes, perfect amount of sponge to it, and a guaranteed show-stopper at your next event or gathering! Thank you for making cupcakes from scratch actually achievable for a novice baker like me! 🙂

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 5, 2024

      I’m so happy you loved it, Claire! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Sveta
    April 3, 2024

    This is literally the best cupcake recipe I’ve tried! It’s so soft and moist! Mmm
    I like to make holes in my cupcakes and add some jam inside. So Good! Thank you very much!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 3, 2024

      That sounds wonderful, Sveta! I’m so glad you love the recipe.

      Reply

  • sheri
    March 31, 2024

    I don’t know what I could have done wrong, but they came out super heavy, solid, and dry.
    I couldn’t use them, so I am making cake pops out of them. The taste was good, but the dry heavy texture was too heavy. 🙁

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 31, 2024

      Hi Sheri! I’m sorry to hear that it was dense and heavy. Did you make any substitutions or changes? If not, the most common cause would be not measuring your flour correctly (using too much). Please watch my tutorial on How to measure ingredients to help. Also- be sure to not over-mix the batter or it can become gummy/dense.

      Reply

  • Cindy
    March 29, 2024

    Can I use this batter to make a lmb cake? How long would I bake it for?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 29, 2024

      Hi Cindy! I’m not sure you’ll have to experiment with the quantities and baking time.

      Reply

  • Linda
    March 29, 2024

    Made for Easter with lemon filling. Came out good, just not as brown on the top. Can’t wait to eat.f

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 29, 2024

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Linda.

      Reply

  • Anna
    March 27, 2024

    I tried this recipe, tasted good
    But why did my cupcakes go flat????

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 28, 2024

      Hi Anna! Be sure to fully preheat the oven before you bake them. Don’t open the oven during the baking process, the drop in temperature can make them go flat. Also- check that the baking powder is fresh, not old (no longer active) or expired. Those are some of the most common issues.

      Reply

  • Anna
    March 27, 2024

    Thanks so much Natasha! Best reviews I have ever had on my vanilla & chocolate cup cakes along with the icing. You are a gem in your videos. So fun to watch you.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 27, 2024

      I’m so glad to hear that, Anna! Thank you for the kind words.

      Reply

  • Meerah
    March 26, 2024

    They taste amazing but they’re cracked in the middle and instead of having that smooth upper layer. Any way to solve that? I heated it by applying heat from both sides (above and below) at 350

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 26, 2024

      Hi Meerah! This can happen if your oven temperature is too hot. The surface will bake faster before the middle has a change to rise and set. This recipe was tested in a conventional oven using regular bake mode. If you’re using a different oven setting, it would require adjusting time/temp.
      I also encourage using an Internal oven thermometer (Amazon affiliate link) to ensure your oven is calibrated.

      Reply

  • Margaret Sustar
    March 25, 2024

    I tried making it, and it was DELICIOUS, but the next day it was all dense and dry, and I’m not sure why. The frosting (witch I drizzled chocolate over) was also a hit.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 25, 2024

      Hi Margaret! This cupcake recipe uses butter which will harden when the cupcakes are refrigerated. If you refrigerated them, it’s best to let them sit for just a little while so them come to to room temperature which will help them become softer before you eat them. Also- be sure to store them in an airtight container to avoid them drying out more.

      Reply

As Featured On

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.