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

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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:

Perfect Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

4.92 from 2033 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
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

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 creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Fleur
    June 13, 2024

    This is hands down the best recipes for cupcakes I’ve ever made. The search is over and this is now my go to!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 13, 2024

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite, Fleur!

      Reply

  • Amy
    June 9, 2024

    I followed the recipe to a T but my cupcakes turned out really dense and floury tasting 🙁

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 10, 2024

      Hi Amy! I’m sorry to hear they didn’t turn out well for you. Did you use all purpose flour? Also- be sure to watch my tutorial on how to measure ingredients here. The most common reason would be using too much flour.

      Reply

  • Anne Parrot
    June 9, 2024

    Best ever vanilla cupcake recipe
    Made them for my grandson ‘,three year old birthday party with orange flavor icing
    Thes cupcakes are moist and are 6so good

    Reply

  • Elizabeth
    June 8, 2024

    Finally, a cupcake recipe my family actually eats! I’ve gone through so many cupcake recipes and this one has worked beautifully. I even made them gluten free by using gluten free flour and they worked the exact same. I would 100% recommend this recipe.

    Reply

  • Abby cummins
    June 5, 2024

    I’m excited to try this recipe but was wondering if you have a dairy free recommendation for the buttermilk? I have some family members that are avoiding it. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 5, 2024

      Hi Abby, I haven’t tried a dairy free substitute, but here’s what one of my readers wrote: “someone else commented this “I substitute the butter for margarine (since my business is dairy free) and made my own buttermilk with vanilla almond milk and lemon juice.
      These are the best cupcakes for decorating!”” I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Rosa & Ryla
    June 5, 2024

    This cupcake recipe is horrible it overflows. It makes more than 12 cupcakes

    Reply

    • Natasha
      June 6, 2024

      Hi Rosa, I tested this recipe many times to ensure it fits into 12 cupcakes. Did you use a mini cupcake pan? Or did you possibly use too much leavening or the wrong leavening? Baking soda is 4x stronger than baking powder and if that is used by mistake, it would cause an overflow.

      Reply

  • Katie
    June 2, 2024

    Hi! I was wondering if I could make this as a sheet pan cake instead of cupcakes?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 3, 2024

      Hi Katie, I haven’t tried this in a sheet pan myself to advise; we do have a Vanilla Cake recipe you may want to try. But if you’re looking to adapt baking recipes to different pans, I highly recommend this online guide. I hope it helps!

      Reply

  • Marie
    June 2, 2024

    This is an awesome and simpler substitute to my favorite recipe although I changed a couple of steps in the procedure. I started with the egg and sugar beaten on high until very pale yellow. Then added the butter and vanilla and continued with the rest of the recipe. Came out fluffy and gorgeous!

    Reply

  • Peggy
    May 30, 2024

    Just to be sure: Can I make thise in mini-size cupcake tins? About how many would it make and what would be the baking time ? Love, love your recipes!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 30, 2024

      Hi Peggy, I haven’t tried this in minis, but here’s what one of my readers wrote, I hope it helps: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a silky batter for cupcakes before. Delicious. My kids were eating them before the frosting was done. I made a tray of minis and a tray of regular (doubled the recipe) and I had too much batter. The minis came out perfect, the regular ones were all overflowing the little cups. Meh, they tasted great, so who cares what they looked like?! Also, I ended up baking the minis for the same time as the regulars and it worked out fine: 20 minutes.”

      Reply

    • Marie
      June 2, 2024

      I did! Mine took 10 minutes and they were awesome! Whenever I convert a cupcake recipe to minis, I start at 10 minutes and check if they’re done. Then I add a minute at a time as needed.

      Reply

  • Eva
    May 28, 2024

    Hi Natasha, these are amazing! Thank you for your recipe. I have a question for u… can I make the base of cupcakes three days before party without freezing them. Can I just keep them in the fridge in air tight container and then ice day before the party? Will they still taste fresh?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 28, 2024

      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.

      Reply

  • Johanna
    May 26, 2024

    This worked really well. It’s a similar base to what I use in my lemon drizzle cake, where the buttermilk creates a reliably moist outcome. I found the volume on the generous side – a double batch filled 2×12 tins plus a 24x minis tin. But then maybe that’s because I go for the perfect flat top so if in doubt I underfill. Thank you, appreciate the recipe.

    Reply

  • Camellia
    May 24, 2024

    I made these to pair with peach frosting but the texture ended up grainy like cornbread. I was careful not to over mix after added flour, I substituted buttermilk for homemade buttermilk and used brown eggs(added on at a time. Could it have been the sub buttermilk or brown eggs?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 26, 2024

      Hi Camellia, it may be more likely the temperature of the ingredients. It should still bake up ok if it’s a little grainy. Hopefully they turned out ok for you.

      Reply

  • Marie
    May 21, 2024

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a silky batter for cupcakes before. Delicious. My kids were eating them before the frosting was done. I made a tray of minis and a tray of regular (doubled the recipe) and I had too much batter. The minis came out perfect, the regular ones were all overflowing the little cups. Meh, they tasted great, so who cares what they looked like?! Also, I ended up baking the minis for the same time as the regulars and it worked out fine: 20 minutes. 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 21, 2024

      Yes and don’t worry because practice makes perfect! I’m so glad you and your kids enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Rose
    May 16, 2024

    Hi Natasha – Love these cupcakes. I have made them over and over again. Quick questions … can I add blue food colouring to this frosting … will it take?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 16, 2024

      Hi Rose, I’m so glad you love these cupcakes. That should work as long as you don’t go overboard with the food coloring, I recommend gel food coloring.

      Reply

  • Ester
    May 16, 2024

    hey Natasha! I don’t have heavy cream or whipping cream. Can I substitute it with buttermilk and cream cheese?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 17, 2024

      Hi Ester, I haven’t tested that substitution to advise. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • Rachel
    May 13, 2024

    First I want to say that I LOVE all of your recipes. They have never let me down! For this recipe, do you think I could use brown sugar instead of the white? Do you think it will affect the taste too much? TIA!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 13, 2024

      Hi Rachel, I haven’t tested that so I’m not sure how it would affect the overall bake of the cupcakes. It probably will make them a little more golden in color since brown sugar has molasses in it. I did see one reader write the following helpful review: “I don’t think I have ever made any cupcakes that taste THIS good. They don’t even need frosting! Lol.
      The only thing I did differently was add 2/4 cups of light brown sugar and then 1/4 cup of white sugar.”

      Reply

  • Nancy
    May 9, 2024

    Hi Natasha!
    Love this recipe!
    Is it better to use whole buttermilk instead of reduced fat buttermilk?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 9, 2024

      Hi Nancy! Both will work just fine. This batter already has fat from the butter and egg yolks too.

      Reply

  • Brooke
    May 8, 2024

    Hello, buttermilk is not a staple in my house so i dont like to purchase it just for a single recipe. What can i use to substitute?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 8, 2024

      Hi Brooke! You can make your own buttermilk with 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar.

      Reply

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