Classic vanilla cupcakes with whipped buttercream

 In Baked Goods, Dessert, Recipes, Vegetarian

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Perfectly moist vanilla cupcakes topped with whipped vanilla buttercream and sprinkles is the ultimate, classic bake and is perfect as a birthday treat.

Classic vanilla cupcakes with whipped buttercream

People ask me for my vanilla cupcake recipe all the time (I used to run a cupcake business many years ago). Every now and then, friends and family will beg and plead for me to bake them a batch. I’ve always found this quite funny because you guys, there is no simpler recipe than this one. It’s literally a one-bowl batter that takes 5 minutes to whip up. And it delivers perfectly moist delectable cupcakes every time.

They are the perfect base for any frosting you’d like to top them with but here I’ve kept the vanilla theme by topping them with swirls of whipped vanilla buttercream. Whipping the buttercream results in smooth, light buttercream which adds just the right amount of sweetness to the cupcakes. Top them with a sprinkle of sprinkles and everyone’s happy because who doesn’t love sprinkles? No one that’s who!

Classic vanilla cupcakes with whipped buttercream
How to make the best vanilla cupcakes

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This is an important step because you can get a lot of air into the batter this way without over-working the flour. Add the eggs and vanilla followed by the dry ingredients, milk and yogurt. Spoon the batter into cupcake cases and bake until golden brown and cooked through. Allow to cool before piping on the whipped butttercream.

Classic vanilla cupcakes with whipped buttercream

Do you need vanilla extract for cupcakes?

Vanilla extract is often seen as a superior product and is more expensive than vanilla essence. I think it was Cook’s Illustrated who recently did a taste test and found that vanilla essence often won the taste test when compared to extract in baked goods. I think if you can find a good quality essence it should be fine used in baking. But when in doubt, stick with a scraped vanilla bean or extract.

Classic vanilla cupcakes with whipped buttercream
How do you keep cupcakes moist?

The introduction of fat or dairy into a cupcake recipe is what keeps it moist. Oil, butter, yogurt and buttermilk are all good ways to keep a cupcake recipe moist. I love yogurt-cakes as they are always moist and light and that’s why I prefer to use yogurt in many of my cake recipes.

Classic vanilla cupcakes with whipped buttercream
Do I need to keep buttercream icing in the fridge?

If it’s not terribly hot outside, it’s best to keep buttercream at room temperature as the butter will firm up and make it unpleasant to eat and impossible to decorate a cake or cupcake with.. If the temperature is too hot, you can refrigerate the buttercream and allow to come to room temperature before serving/using to decorate.

Classic vanilla cupcakes with whipped buttercream

More delicious cupcake recipes:

  1. Toasted coconut cupcakes
  2. Easy one bowl chocolate cupcakes
  3. Hummingbird Cupcakes
Classic vanilla cupcakes with whipped buttercream
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4.58 from 7 votes

Classic vanilla cupcakes with whipped buttercream

Classic vanilla cupcakes with whipped buttercream Author: Alida Ryder Perfectly moist vanilla cupcakes topped with whipped vanilla buttercream and sprinkles is the ultimate, classic bake and is perfect as a birthday treat.
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Best vanilla cupcakes, Easy cupcake recipe, Vanilla cupcakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 381kcal
Author Alida Ryder

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup/ 1 stick butter room temperature
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/seeds from one vanilla pod

for the whipped vanilla buttercream

  • 100 g butter room temperature
  • 400 g icing sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • sprinkles for decorating

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°c/350ºF and line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix through then add the milk, yogurt and vanilla.
  • Mix until everything is combined then spoon the batter into the cupcake liners.
  • Place into the oven and allow to bake for 12-15 minutes until the cupcakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • To make the buttercream, whip the butter until pale then add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and whip until soft and fluffy. Add a little milk if your buttercream is too stiff.
  • Transfer the whipped buttercream to a piping bag and pipe swirls of frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
  • Top with sprinkles and serve. (These cupcakes can be made the day before you intend to serving them.)

Nutrition

Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 259mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 11.9% | Calcium: 3.7% | Iron: 5%

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Showing 24 comments
  • Anke
    Reply

    Doubled the recipe for my daughter’s birthday and they came out great. We always have so much cake leftover after parties but for once there was not a crumb left. They were the perfect vanilla cupcakes.

  • Ann
    Reply

    I’m from the States but live in Spain now where a good cupcake is pretty hard to find. I had a big craving for one and decided to make my own having stumbled on your recipe. I halved the recipe to make 6 and boy did they it hit the spot!!!! My husband also loved them and refuses to give any away!! Hahaha. Thank you for sharing, they were delicious!

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      I am so happy to hear that! Thanks so much for your lovely comment Ann!

  • Lu
    Reply

    If I wanted to turn this into a cake instead of cupcakes, would the above recipe cater for 2x 20cm cake tins or would I need to double it to get a layer cake?

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      I would double it just to be safe. I’ve never used this recipe for a layer cake so I won’t be able to say with certainty.

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci
    Reply

    You can never go wrong with a classic vanilla cupcake. These are beauties!

  • Reply

    These look delicious! And perfect timing, as I was looking for a simple vanilla cupcake recipe to bake for my daughter’s birthday party. Yay, I’m so happy I found it!!

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Thanks so much Fida! Please let me know what you think when you’ve tried this recipe. x

  • Cathy | whatshouldimakefor.com
    Reply

    we’ve had similar paths and frustrations! i have a go-to vanilla cupcake recipe and it took me forever to perfect it. your cupcakes look sweet and delicious. my boys would devour them!

  • 2pots2cook
    Reply

    Perfect for Sunday afternoon with coffee ! Thank you

  • Val
    Reply

    What other flavorings could you add if you wanted something other than vanilla?

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      The options are endless. Citrus zest (lemon cupcakes!), almond/caramel essence, etc. will all work.

  • Jenni
    Reply

    These cupcakes are just darling. Your photos are so pretty.

  • Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    Reply

    Alida, I hate to say this but it was best that your cupcake business ended bc you are slaying this food blogging thing. I think we all have that creativity bug. I was making preppy ribbon belts and selling them before my blog came about. These look like the perfect birthday treat!

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Aw, thanks Karen. That is a lovely thing to say. I think blogging is just our calling. 😉 These cupcakes are PERFECT for birthdays.

  • Reply

    We all need the perfect little vanilla cupcake in our dessert arsenal Alida! These look wonderful!

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Thanks Mary Ann. They’re a classic for a reason. 🙂

  • Isra
    Reply

    Hi. The 1/2cup butter what is that in grams?
    thanks

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      1/2 cup butter is 125g or 1/2 stick if you’re in America.

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