A perfect vanilla cupcake topped with a fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting. So simple but perfect every time!
Every good baker needs a go to vanilla cupcake in their arsenal. And friends. This is it.
It’s funny isn’t that being called vanilla means plain and boring? Poor, poor vanilla. I mean being called vanilla should be like the highest compliment ever.
But I feel like because vanilla is such a pure and simple flavor, unadorned, and just “take me as I am” it can sometimes fall flat. But I swear by these vanilla cupcakes.
Baking Tools You Need To Make These Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes:
- Cupcake Pans – My favorite cupcake pans are these ones from Wilton and these ones from Chicago Metallic.
- Large Piping Tips – To get those professional looking cupcakes you need large cupcake tips. You could get a set like this one, or individual cupcake tips from Ateco (which are the ones I own).
- Greaseproof Cupcake Liners– I love the greaseproof ones so they still look nice after baking.
- Piping bags – You can use reusable piping bags or disposable piping bags (which is my preference). I prefer to use the 18-inch bags so I do not have to refill as often!
How To Make These Vanilla Cupcakes – Step By Step
Step 1: Line your cupcake liners and pre-heat your oven to 350°F
Step 2: Whisk your dry ingredient together (cake flour, baking powder, and salt) in a bowl and set aside.
Step 3: Cream your softened unsalted butter in the bowl until it is smeared around the sides of the bowl on high about 3 minutes.
Step 4: Add the sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time. Cream the mixture for 1 minute after each addition.
Step 5: Adds the eggs one at a time. Scraping down the bowl after each addition.
Step 6: Combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract in a seperate cup.
Step 7 and 8: Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk/vanilla, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Step 9: Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cream for an additional 15 seconds.
Step 10-12: Using an ice-cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full and bake!
Do I have to use cake flour?
Yes, I do recommend it! If you don’t have any cake flour you can make your own. Cake flour is lighter in protein content so it will result in a light and fluffy textured cupcake.
You could use all purpose flour, but keep in mind this will change the result of the texture in the end.
Do I have to use buttermilk?
These vanilla cupcakes are moist due to the addition of buttermilk. You can make your own buttermilk if you don’t have any on hand. And last not but least, what makes these cupcakes.
A Few Tips On Making These Vanilla Cupcakes:
- Get your ducks in a row friends: What do you I mean by this? I mean get your self set up for success, by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. And preparing your cupcake pans with cupcake liners, so everything is set and ready to go for you once you have your batter made. Nothing worse than having perfect batter ready to be popped into the oven, and no pans or a hot oven to put them in.
- Scooping your cupcake batter: Two ways I like to scoop/pour my cupcake batter- really depends on the consistency of the cupcake batter- if its a thicker batter I like to use my cookie scoops. This ensures equal amounts in each cupcake well. If it is a more pourable batter, then I like to put my batter into a measuring cup. This of course means you might have to eyeball each cupcake to ensure that each got equal amounts of batter and can result in some uneven sized cupcakes.
- Frosting your cupcakes: I use my Ateco pastry tips and plastic piping bags (because of my serious aversion to more dishes). Note: Large pastry tips is where it’s at folks if you want to achieve that bakery swirl.
For more tips on baking cupcakes, be sure to check out my 15 tips for perfect cupcakes.
For More Help In Making Cupcakes Check Out These Posts:
- Ultimate Guide To Baking Cupcakes At Home
- Ultimate Guide To Making The Best Buttercream Icing
- Ultimate Guide To Decorating Cupcakes For Beginners
- Cupcakes 101: 10 Tips To Bake Perfect Cupcakes (Life As A Strawberry)
- How To Bake Perfect Cupcakes (Handle The Heat)
- 10 Tips For Baking The BEST cupcakes (Sally’s Baking Addiction)
For More Cupcakes Recipes Check These Out:
So let’s recap. Perfect vanilla cupcakes. Bland and boring? No way. Good lesson learned. Now get to making them…
If you love this recipe, then be sure to subscribe to join a community of bakers! And as a thank you I will send you my buttercream cheatsheet!
Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 16 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 large eggs at room temperature
- 1¼ cups buttermilk at room temperature
- 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.
Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full (you will likely have batter left over after filling 24 wells.I managed to make a full 3 dozen cupcakes) Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Replace paper liners and bake remaining batter if desired. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.
To make the vanilla buttercream frosting: Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add in your powdered sugar 1/2 cup at at time with mixer on low. Cream until combined. With mixer off, add your heavy cream and vanilla extract and then mix on low until combined. Then mix on medium to medium high speed for 8 minutes until light and fluffy. Use right away on cooled cupcakes. If not using right away, then store in a closed container in the refrigerator. You will need to mix the frosting again when ready to use to bring it back to that light and fluffy texture!
- Frosting your cupcakes: I use my Ateco pastry tips and plastic piping bags (because of my serious aversion to more dishes). Note: Large pastry tips is where it's at folks if you want to achieve that bakery swirl.
- To frost the whole batch, I make two batches of frosting. I use A LOT of frosting on my cupcakes, so if you want the tall swirl of frosting, I recommend you make a double batch as well 🙂
- Adapted from Annie's Eats
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