Best Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

This is indeed the best vanilla cupcakes recipe. The cupcakes are so moist and fluffy and the recipe so easy to follow!

Vanilla Cupcakes RecipeVanilla Cupcakes Recipe

This is a basic cupcake recipe and if you are new to baking and are looking for a good, basic cupcake recipe, this would be perfect for you. 

The ingredients are basic, the making method pretty easy too, so all in all, this is a fairly easy recipe to master. And the best part is, you get cupcakes that are so moist and fluffy! 

Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

Here is the full printable version of my vanilla cupcakes recipe. Also included are my recipe notes right below it, so don't forget to check those out as well. With the right techniques, you will baking the best vanilla cupcakes in no time!

Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

By , Dec 13, 2019

 Best Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

This is indeed the best vanilla cupcakes recipe. The cupcakes are so moist and fluffy and the recipe so easy to follow!


Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Keyword: Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe
Category: Dessert


  • 190 g self raising flour
  • 100 g butter
  • 175 g castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 140 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
Frosting Divider


    1. Pre heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Prepare cupcake liners.
    2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, for approximately 2 minutes. Scrap the sides of the bowl constantly.
    3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt into the creamed mixture in 4 batches, alternating each batch with milk. Start and end with the flour. Mix until the flour is well incorporated.
    5. Finally, fold in the vanilla essence.
    6. Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes, until the cupcakes are well risen and have turned golden brown.
    7. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing them onto a wire rack to cool further.
    8. Keep the cupcakes covered as soon as they turn warm and let them continue to cool down, covered.
    9. Frost the cupcakes only when they have completely cooled down. Fill buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe a large swirl on top of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles and add a small fondant flower on the side.

Baked vanilla cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe - Recipe Notes

These are my recipe notes - tips that will help ensure your cupcakes turn out successfully, right on the first attempt. 

  • Highest quality ingredients - Make sure your ingredients are of good quality and fresh. Good quality butter has a positive impact on the taste of your cupcakes. Fresh self raising flour and baking powder will ensure your cupcakes rise well and a good quality vanilla essence will give you the best, aromatic cupcakes, so it is important that your ingredients are of the best quality.
  • Cream the butter and sugar well - For the recipe amount above, you would need to cream these for a good 3 minutes, constantly scraping the sides of the bowl. Make sure your butter is soft enough to be cut into small cubes. If your butter is cold and hard, you would need to cream it for a longer time. Well creamed butter and sugar will produce soft and fluffy cupcakes so it is important not to cut this process short.
  • All ingredients should be at room temperature - This is particularly important for butter, eggs and milk. Cold butter or eggs can cause your batter to curdle. If that happens, fold in the flour until the batter is no longer curdled before adding any milk to it. 
  • When adding flour to the cupcake batter, do it in batches and alternate with milk -  For the recipe amount above, add the flour in four batches and the milk in 3 batches, starting and ending with flour. That way, you will be able to mix the flour well into the batter and don't end up with uneven batter. 
  • Do not over mix the batter after adding flour - While the butter and sugar need to be well beaten, it is contrary for the flour and milk. Flour and milk is best folded into the batter by hand, and if you prefer to use a mixer, use a very low speed and avoid over mixing. Over mixing can cause the texture of your cupcakes to become hard. 
  • Do not over bake the cupcakes - The baking time will depend ultimately on the size of your cupcake casings. When I bake these in paper liners, they take 20 minutes to bake, but when I bake these in slightly larger muffin cups, they take 25 minutes to bake. Best is to check the cupcakes if they are done a few minutes before the baking time is up. Insert a skewer in the center of one cupcake. If there is not wet batter sticking to it, the cupcakes are done (ideally, there should be a few soft crumbs sticking to the skewer). 
  • As soon as the cupcakes have cooled down (ideally they should be just slightly warm), if you do not intend to use them immediately, keep them in an airtight container and refrigerate them. This helps ensure the cupcakes remain moist. Leaving them open at room temperature for too long can cause the texture to become dry. 
  • These cupcakes can last at room temperature for a good 4 to 5 days (provided they are handled without any trace of water/moisture). If you wish to keep them longer, store them in the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature before serving.

Decorated vanilla cupcakes

How to Make Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Start by preparing your cupcakes liners by placing them into a cupcake tray. Set aside. Preheat your oven.
  • Cut butter into small pieces and put it into your mixing bowl. Add sugar and cream both the butter and sugar until light and fluffy for approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Scrap the sides of the bowl constantly.
  • Add in the eggs. Start with one egg, beat it well until you do not see any traces of egg before adding the next egg. Beat again until all traces of the eggs are no longer visible.
Egg in a bowl

  • Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt into the creamed mixture in 4 batches. Alternate the flour with milk. Fold these in until well incorporated.
Fold in the flour
Add milk into the cupcake batter

  • Finally, add in the vanilla essence and give the batter a quick mix until its all smooth.
  • Scoop or spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake casings, and fill each casing to about two thirds full. The cupcakes will rise quite substantially when baking so it is important not to overfill the casings.
  • Bake the cupcakes until well risen and golden brown in color. Remove from oven and let them cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before removing them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Baked cupcakes

  • As soon as the cupcakes turn just slightly warm, cover them in a container and let them continue to cool down, covered. 
  • Make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled down before frosting them. I decorated mine with a simple swirl of buttercream and decorated them with a small fondant flower. Here is how I did it:

How to Decorate Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Using a large star tip (tip number 1G), I piped a simple swirl of buttercream on each cupcake.
Piping tip 1G
Buttercream swirl on cupcake

  • And then I added sprinkles on. You can use any sprinkles you like, and I used sprinkles from Fancy Sprinkles.
Fancy sprinkles
Sprinkles on cupcake
  • Next, tinted my white fondant with Americolor Plum food color and rolled it thin. I cut out simple 5-petal flowers using the largest of my flower plunger cutter set. And then I set them in a flower former for a few minutes so that they set in a curved shaped.
Purple fondant flowers
Setting fondant flowers

  • I then attached one flower onto each cupcake, right at the point where I lifted my piping nozzle off the cupcake when piping the buttercream swirl earlier. The flowers were an easy way to cover the buttercream swirls joints.
Decorated vanilla cupcakes

And that is how I decorated my vanilla cupcakes. Give these a try and let me know what you think of them!

Vanilla cupcake

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