These Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting are moist and flavorful vanilla cupcakes with the rich and creamy vanilla buttercream frosting. Add some sprinkles and they're the perfect treat for any special occasion.
This easy vanilla cupcake recipe is a popular choice for birthdays, weddings, parties, or just as a sweet treat to enjoy anytime.
Why I love these fluffy vanilla cupcakes
• Sweet and Comforting Flavor: These moist vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting have a delightful, sweet flavor that is so satisfying. The vanilla-infused cake and rich, buttery frosting is simply the perfect combination.
• Nostalgic: These homemade cupcakes are remind me of so many childhood birthday parties, and special occasions. The nostalgia factor is undeniable.
• So Satisfying: The soft and moist texture of the vanilla cupcake contrasts beautifully with the creamy and smooth buttercream frosting. This balance of textures can be very satisfying to the palate.
• Customization: Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting are so versatile. You can customize them with different frosting colors, sprinkles, or other decorations to suit your preferences or the theme of an event.
• They're So Pretty: These classic vanilla cupcakes are visually appealing, making them not only delicious but also pleasing to the eye. Using a pastry tip to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes makes them look extra special.
• Homemade Goodness: Baking these delicious cupcakes from scratch or enjoying homemade versions often adds an extra layer of satisfaction. The process of baking and decorating can be enjoyable and create a sense of accomplishment.
What you need for cupcakes
• Flour - We used all-purpose flour which is also suitable for a wide range of recipes, including cakes, cookies, muffins, biscuits, pancakes, pie crusts, bread, and more.
• Butter - This recipe calls for softened unsalted butter because it allows you to control the salt content more precisely. I don't recommend using salted butter for this recipe because it will be too salty.
• Sugar - You'll need two types of sugar. Use granulated sugar for the cupcake recipe and powdered sugar (also called confectioners' sugar) for the buttercream frosting recipe.
• Milk - Whole milk works best for this recipe but you could use 2% or skim in a pinch.
• Vanilla extract - Always use vanilla extract (not flavoring) in baking recipes because it has much fuller flavor than vanilla flavoring. Vanilla bean paste is another option that packs a lot of punch in the flavor department. If you're wanting your frosting to be as white as possible, try using clear vanilla extract.
How to make classic vanilla cupcakes
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Add cupcake liners to a 12 serving cupcake pan, and set aside.
Step 2 - In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Step 3 - Add butter to a large mixing bowl, and beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Slowly pour in sugar, followed by the egg and vanilla extract, mixing each until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula and mix again to ensure all ingredients are well combined.
Step 4 - With mixer set on LOW speed, add in half of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the milk, mixing well after each addition. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Increase speed and mix until smooth.
Step 5 - Using a large cookie scoop, divide batter evenly into prepared cupcake pan, filling about ¾ full. Bake on 300 F. for 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place each cupcake on a wire cooling rack to cool.
How to make vanilla buttercream frosting
Add butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for about 1 minute, or until very creamy. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can do this in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer. Slowly add in powdered sugar and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Slowly add in a SMALL amount of milk until desired consistency is reached. Add frosting to a piping bag fitted with a 1M pastry tip and swirl on frosting.
• Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure all of your ingredients for this recipe are room temperature before you begin.
• Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality vanilla extract for a rich and authentic flavor. You can also consider using vanilla bean paste for an even more pronounced vanilla taste.
• Proper Baking: Ensure your cupcakes are baked just right. Use a toothpick or cake tester to check for doneness by inserting it into the center of a cupcake; it should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
• Frosting Technique: Experiment with different frosting techniques to achieve a pleasing texture and appearance. Try using various piping tips for decorative effects.
• Flavored Variations: Explore different flavor variations by adding extracts, fruit purees, or zest to the cupcake batter or frosting to create unique custom cupcakes.
• Baking Tools: Invest in quality baking tools, such as a stand mixer, piping bags, and tips, to make the process more efficient and enjoyable.
Frequently asked questions
• Can I make these delicious vanilla cupcakes ahead of time? Yes, you can make vanilla cupcakes ahead of time. Bake the cupcakes, let them cool completely, and store them in an airtight container. Make the buttercream frosting separately and store it in the refrigerator. Frost the cupcakes shortly before serving.
• Can I freeze vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting? While it's possible to freeze unfrosted vanilla cupcakes, it's not recommended to freeze them once they are frosted with buttercream. The frosting may not retain its texture and appearance after thawing.
• How do I store leftover cupcakes with buttercream frosting? Place in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for 24 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
• Are there any tips for making gluten-free vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting? To make them gluten free, substitute gluten free flour instead of all purpose flour.
• Can I flavor the vanilla buttercream recipe differently? Yes, you can flavor buttercream frosting with various extracts like almond, lemon, or orange, or even add fruit purees, melted chocolate, or coffee for different flavors.
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Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
For the cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Add cupcake liners to a 12 serving cupcake pan, and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Add butter to a large mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until creamy Slowly pour in sugar, followed by the egg and vanilla extract, mixing each until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula and mix again to ensure all ingredients are well combined.
- With mixer set on LOW, add in half of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the milk, mixing well after each addition. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Increase speed and mix until smooth. Using a large spoon, divide batter evenly into prepared cupcake pan, filling about ¾ full. Bake on 300 F. for 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place each cupcake on a wire cooling rack to cool.
For the buttercream
- Add butter to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for about 1 minute, or until very creamy. Slowly add in powdered sugar and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Slowly add in a SMALL amount of milk until desired consistency is reached. Add frosting to a piping bag and swirl on frosting.