These Homemade Easy Vanilla Cupcakes are fluffy and moist and can be customized with your favorite frostings or toppings! Plus, they’re made with cake flour, so they’re super light, airy, and delicious!
PSA! All cupcakes are not created equal!
As we learned in pastry school, there are so many ways you can manipulate the texture and flavor of baked goods including these cute little cupcakes.
Some cupcake recipes can be moist and dense, and others are light and fluffy. These vanilla cupcakes are a bit different than my typical vanilla cupcakes with oil because they are much lighter and fluffier. You can also make them into mini vanilla cupcakes too! If you are looking for a dairy free version, I got you covered! Try my recipe for dairy free cupcakes!
They are made with cake flour along with a creaming method to make them even more fluffy! Definitely go the extra mile and get cake flour, it really makes a difference!
Cake flour is a type of flour that has been milled to a very fine powder and sifted to remove any larger pieces. It’s made from soft wheat, which gives it a lower protein content than all-purpose flour. When baked goods are made with cake flour, they tend to be more tender and have a softer crumb.
Along with cake flour, all you’ll need is simple baking ingredients to whip up a batch of these easy vanilla cupcakes!
If you are looking for a lighter frosting, you can’t go wrong with this light whipped chocolate frosting. It only has 3 ingredients!!
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS RECIPE
Well firstly, because I was SUPER dedicated to it and had to test it 5 times to make sure it was where I wanted it. No dense cupcakes here!! But you should also make them because:
- The texture is light, fluffy, and moist all at the same time.
- Vanilla cupcakes are the perfect canvas for many different toppings and frostings.
- They’re made with simple baking ingredients you can find anywhere.
- These versatile vanilla cupcakes can be made for any special occasion or when you need a sweet treat.
I also love that these cupcakes are tall. I hate it when I find a cupcake recipe that has a short looking cupcake!
- Cake Flour – This fine-milled flour is perfect for making baked goods where you want a light and fluffy texture as it’s less dense than all-purpose flour.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – Both of these leavening agents help give the cupcakes their classic fluffy texture by creating air in the batter when baked.
- Kosher Salt – Salt helps to activate the leavening agents and also balances the sweet flavor in the cupcakes.
- Unsalted Butter – Your butter needs to be at room temperature. If you forget to take your butter out before baking, learn how to soften butter quickly.
- Granulated Sugar – Adds a classic sweet flavor to the base of the cupcake.
- Egg & Egg Whites – Helps bind the ingredients together. The additional egg whites add additional fluffy texture to the batter and keep the vanilla white and not yellow.
- Vanilla Extract – Gives the cupcakes a classic vanilla flavor.
- Buttermilk – Adds a light tangy flavor and creamy richness to the cupcake.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE VANILLA CUPCAKES
- Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
- Combine the dry ingredients: In a medium-size bowl combine the cupcake flour, 1 baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Whisk until combined.
- Cream the wet ingredients together: In the bowl of a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter for 1 minute on medium speed. Then, scrape down the bowl and add 1 cup sugar. Turn the mixer to medium and mix for an additional 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl again, then add the egg, egg whites, and vanilla extract. Mix again for one minute until fully combined.
- Assemble the cupcake batter: To the wet ingredients, add 1/3 of the dry mixture along with half of the buttermilk. Alternate in this combination making sure to end with the dry ingredients. Mix everything just until combined without over mixing.
- Bake, cool, and frost: Using a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop, evenly distribute the cupcake batter into the prepared muffin tin and fill each 3/4 of the way. Bake for 21-22 minutes or until the tops are fully set. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack until fully cooled. Add your favorite toppings or frostings before serving.
These cupcakes were frosted with my Classic American Vanilla Buttercream.
TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS
- Make sure you are using room temperature eggs, egg whites, buttermilk, and butter to ensure a proper texture and smooth batter.
- Using a kitchen scale is the best way to measure your flour for most accurate results.
- Use a light-colored cupcake tin as the light color helps distribute heat more evenly. Dark-colored pans can cook too quickly causing the cupcakes to burn.
- When preparing the batter, don’t over mix or cupcakes will flatten.
- Use a 3 tbsp cookie scoop to measure each cupcake perfectly.
- Don’t overfill the muffin tins as they may spillover while rising.
- My favorite cake flour is Swan’s Down.
HOW TO MAKE CAKE FLOUR WITH ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
Can’t find cake flour? Use this simple method for turning all-purpose flour into soft and fine cake flour.
- Per 1 cup flour, remove 2 tbsp.
- Replace with 2 tbsp corn starch.
- Whisk or sift until fully combined.
**For this recipe-take out 4 tbsp from this recipe and replace it with corn starch. Sift or mix well.
STORAGE AND FREEZING
Storing: Store cooled cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. You can also store them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Freezing: Cupcakes can be frozen unfrosted or frosted in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
How to decorate vanilla cupcakes
First, choose your favorite frosting recipe! Next, I like to use a Wilton 1M tip with a piping bag to make pretty swirls. You could also use an offset spatula or even a knife if you want. Top with sprinkles for extra fun!
You can use all purpose flour but they wont come out as light as if you used cake flour.
Cake flour is available in most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can use the simple substitution method above to make your own.
The creaming method is a process of beating butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This is used in many cakes and cookie recipes for a light and fluffy texture.
If your cupcakes are coming out too dry, it’s possible that you overmixed the batter or that your oven temperature is too high. Make sure to use room temperature ingredients and don’t overfill the muffin tin.
Using cake flour, eggs, and buttermilk help keep cupcakes moist, light, and airy!
A number of reasons! You could have over mixed the batter, used ingredients that were too cold, or your oven was too hot.
Vanilla cupcakes are so versatile and complement the flavors of frostings and toppings. Try using these delicious buttercream frosting recipes!
- Classic American Buttercream Frosting
- Mascarpone Frosting
- Zesty Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- Caramel Buttercream Frosting
- Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
- Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Homemade Easy Vanilla Cupcakes
- 1 ¾ cup cake flour (207g)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (113g) softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- 1 egg (50g)
- 2 egg white (70g)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk at room temperature (118mL)
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
- In a medium size bowl combine the 1 ¾ cup cake flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp baking soda, and ¼ tsp kosher salt. Whisk until combined.
- In the bowl of a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the ½ cup butter for 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl and add 1 cup sugar.
- Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Scrape down the bowl and add the egg, 2 egg whites and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Mix for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Add in 1/3rd of the dry ingredients, then half of the buttermilk and alternate, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
- Mix only until combined. Do not overmix.
- Using a 3 tbsp cookie scoop, scoop the batter into the muffin liners ¾ of the way full. Bake for 21-22 minutes or until the cake is set.
- Cool and frost with your favorite buttercream.
- These cupcakes are frosted with Classic American Vanilla Buttercream
- Make sure to properly measure your flour. The best way to properly measure is with a kitchen scale. If you are using measuring cups- spoon flour into the measuring cup can level it off with a knife.
- Make sure all refrigerated ingredients are at room temperature. If you forgot, learn how to soften butter quickly.