Favorite Vanilla Cupcakes

November 9, 2012 by Ali

I love coming up with creative new cupcake flavors. And I love being served creative new cupcake flavors. But at the end of the day, if given a choice between, well, pretty much any kind of cupcake and a vanilla cupcake, that delicious little white cupcake almost always wins.

I don’t know what it is about it, but I love a good vanilla cupcake. Always have. Always will.

But I feel like I need to make a confession. When it came to homemade, I was a closet “box mix” girl for years. Yep. Would show up to a party with “homemade “vanilla cupcakes, and everyone would oooh and ahhh and think that they were from some fancy homemade recipe. But the reality was that I had just never been able to find a recipe that rivaled the taste, texture and (admittedly) the ease of a box mix…until now.

I think I have finally figured out my favorite homemade vanilla cupcake!! And I kind of wanna shout it from the rooftops, because this recipe is amazing!!! It has all of the wonderful vanilla flavor and the light texture of a box mix. But it happens to be made from scratch with all normal everyday ingredients, plus a vanilla bean and some Greek yogurt. Easy peasy. And to stay pure, I topped these with a classic vanilla buttercream.

It doesn’t get any more “vanilla” than that, people! But if you’re like me, you will love it too. Enjoy!

Favorite Vanilla Cupcakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 16-18 cupcakes


    For The Vanilla Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream (avoid non-fat versions of either)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • For The Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean (optional)
  • 3-4 Tbsp. milk or heavy cream


To Make The Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).

Add granulated sugar and vanilla bean to the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds until blended. Add in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and beat for an additional 1 minutes until well-mixed. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes until well combined and a little crumbly.

In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, Greek yogurt (or sour cream), and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be very thin and liquid.

Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it. Remove and let cool on a cooling rack. Once the cupcakes have reached room temperature, frost with the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (recipe below).

To Make The Buttercream Frosting:

Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for 1 minute on medium speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla extract, the seeds of a vanilla bean and about 2 Tbsp. milk and reduce speed to low. Beat for a minute or so until the sugar no longer sprays. Then increase speed to medium high and beat for an additional minute until smooth. Add an extra tablespoon or two of the milk if you need a thinner frosting.

Cupcake recipe adapted slightly from Cupcake Project.

(c) 2013 Gimme Some Oven. All rights reserved.

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

Leave a Reply


31 thoughts on “Favorite Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. I can use presto flour?

    - Shadey Pérez

  2. What happens if you use non fat?

    - Sarah

  3. How many cupcakes does this recipe yield? And can it be halved? Thanks!

    - Rachel T

  4. Wow these look so yummy!

    - TakeItOffCanada

  5. Ali these look divine! One day I hope to be able to make cupcakes half as beautiful as yours. Congrats on the new website and additions. Everything looks great:)

    - Nancy/SpicieFoodie

  6. Yum. Vanilla cupcakes should always have actual vanilla bean in them. I love them with a vanilla bean cream cheese frosting, too.

    - Mama B @ My Edible Journey

  7. Ooooh! I love me some vanilla cupcakes as well. And these look picture perfect :)

    And I’m STILL a box mix girl to this day…baking is just terrifying to me!

    - Parsley Sage

  8. They look PERFECT! When you nail a classic like this, there is just no better feeling.

    And your new site look is absolutely gorgeous!! Who did it? So beautiful – great job!!

    - Averie @ Averie Cooks

  9. Such pretty cupcakes and liners! I’m happy that you added that link. I can’t wait to get my hands on some of those! Congratulations again on the new site. It looks wonderful! It was great before but this is definitely an improvement. :)

    - Erin @ Texanerin Baking

  10. Yes! I totally agree. Before I went gluten-free I always always used the box mixes. The homemade always were too dry or too dense. Luckily I found some good gluten-free recipes that taste just like the box mixes. Glad you finally found a winner too :)

    - Cate

  11. Perfection!

    - The Flying Couponer

  12. These cupcakes are seriously stunning! Love the vanilla bean shot!

    - Laura (Tutti Dolci)

  13. Those sound and look wonderful!! Tell me, how to you keep your whites so nice? Mine always look so blown out. I edit in lightroom if that helps…

    - Carrian@ohsweetbasil

  14. There is something so amazing about fresh vanilla beans. Love this recipe!

    - Cassie | Bake Your Day

  15. It’s very hard to beat a good vanilla cupcake and these look just perfect!

    - Kathryn

  16. Umm, could your cupcakes get any more PERFECT LOOKING?!?! ;) I think they’re almost too pretty to eat…..nah! =D


    - summer

  17. Definitely one of my favorite cupcakes. Why mess with a good thing?!

    - Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

  18. These are so pretty and I’m sure taste just as good as they look!!

    - Julie @ Julie's Eats & Treats

  19. Okay these just look gorgeous!! Vanilla cupcakes are my favorite!!

    - Kristy (Sweet Treats & More)

  20. The directions in paragraph two say to ‘whisk together eggs, Greek yogurt (or sour cream), oil, and vanilla extract’ but there is no oil in the ingredients list. Is there oil in the recipe? Thanks.

    - Brian

  21. Vanilla is the best! And these look truly perfect, Ali!!!

    - Ashley - Baker by Nature

  22. I love the classic vanilla cupcakes!

    - Meagan @ A Zesty Bite

  23. Gorgeous!! There is so much to be said about a simple, vanilla cupcake. So satisfying. I think I’d take a really good one any day over a super crazy flavor!

    - Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats

  24. Your swirls are so perfect! Vanilla is right up there near the top of my list!

    - Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

  25. Looks great! How do you feel about brownies? I have never found a homemade version that even comes close to being as good as the boxed kind. And no boxed kind that’s as good as Godiva.

    - Holdthegross

  26. These look great but I REALLY love the purple wrappers! ;)

    - Blog is the New Black

  27. If I wanted to adapt this to be chocolate, how much cocoa powder would need to be added? I’m assuming some of the liquid ingredients may need to be altered as well.

    - dmolavi

  28. i totally agree – i’ll take a vanilla cupcake any day! yours look awesome! xx

    - little kitchie