Classic Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

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Our classic white vanilla cupcake recipe is made with vanilla cake batter and topped with a whipped vanilla buttercream frosting. Using cake flour, butter, and oil these cupcakes are moist and delicious. Perfect for celebrations!

vanilla cupcake recipe with buttercream frosting and sprinkles being poured over the top.

My kids go crazy for vanilla cupcakes, especially one topped with sprinkles. If I’m being totally honest, I’m more of a chocolate cupcake gal, but even I can’t resist these cupcakes. They remind me of the white vanilla cupcakes I used to gobble up as a child. The classic fluffy vanilla cupcakes with creamy buttercream, topped with irresistible rainbow sprinkles, yum. They are perfect for birthday parties!

The batter is made without egg yolks to keep the cupcake a warm shade of vanilla. They’re moist and perfect celebration cupcakes with sprinkles on top.

Five vanilla cupcakes overhead on a marble table with sprinkles.

Vanilla cupcakes are a great base to add your own flavors. Top it with chocolate frosting or fill the center with lemon curd or caramel! There are so many options for creating your own version of these.

You can even make them into charming flowers!!

Vanilla cupcake with a bite taken out of it and gold star sprinkles on top.

How to Make Vanilla Cupcakes



Ingredients on a marble table to make vanilla cupcakes.


  • Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
  • Beat butter and sugar on high in an electric mixer for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add in egg whites one at a time, with the mixer on medium speed. Beat until incorporated.
milk, oil, eggs in a glass measuring cup to make vanilla cupcakes.
  • Combine whole milk, buttermilk and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup and lightly whisk.
  • Alternate the dry and the liquid ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to mix until the batter in fully incorporated.
  • Preheat the oven to 350.
Cupcake tin, vanilla cupcake batter and a scooper to scoop batter into the tins to make cupcakes.
  • Line a cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers.
  • Place two scoops of vanilla cupcake batter into each cupcake paper. About 3/4 of the way full.
Vanilla cupcake batter in a cupcake tin before baked.
  • Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes. Always start with less time, check on them and then continue baking if needed.
  • Let them cool before frosting.
A fluffy white vanilla cupcake with a whit paper and creamy buttercream.

Is white cake the same as vanilla?

White cake and yellow cake are both vanilla cakes. White cake is made without egg yolk making the color of the cake white. Yellow cake has egg yolks so the color of the cake comes out with a yellow tint.

Tips for Making the Best Cupcakes

Use High-Quality Ingredients

  • This makes a huge difference in the outcome of the cupcake. Try to buy King Arthur flour, whole grass-fed organic butter, organic eggs, Nielsen-Massey Vanilla, organic milk, etc.

Don’t Over Mix

  • Once the butter, eggs, and sugar are beaten until light and fluffy, the rest of the ingredients should not be mixed on high. This will create a dense cupcake. When the flour goes in the mixer should be set to low.

Preheat the Oven

  • A certain amount of heat applied quickly is required to activate the baking soda in the recipe. This will make the cupcake rise to be light and fluffy and not flat.
Overhead picture of a vanilla cupcake topped with buttercream and sprinkles with a bite taken out.

How can I make my cupcakes moister?

Adding in a little oil to the cupcake batter will result in a more moist cupcake. Other ingredients like sour cream and butter will also create a moist cupcake. We like to use two ingredients like butter, buttermilk, and oil when making cupcakes.

How long with cupcakes stay fresh?

Cupcakes will stay fresh for about 1 week covered. Store unfrosted cupcakes at room temperature in an airtight container. You can also freeze unfrosted cupcakes for up to 3 months!

Furthermore, cupcakes frosted with buttercream and just a little milk will last a few days covered at room temperature. Use a dome or an airtight container to store them.

Check out more tips on how to store cupcakes.

Pro tip – Only frost the number of cupcakes you will be serving for ultimate freshness!

A classic vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream.

More Cake and Cupcake Recipes You’ll Love!

Chocolate Toffee Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Sunflower Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes

Homemade Funfetti Sheet Cake

The Best Yellow Birthday Cake

Chocolate Dragon Fruit Cupcakes

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

Let us know if you make this vanilla cupcake recipe by leaving a comment and review below! We love to hear what you think. You can also tag your photos @sugarandcharm on all social channels!

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Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

The perfect, fully white vanilla cupcakes!
4.66 from 29 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 20 cupcakes
Calories: 223kcal
Author: Eden


Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp corn startch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temp, unsalted
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


  • Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  • Beat the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. About 5 minutes.
  • Add in egg whites one at a time and beat until mixed.
  • Using a fork whisk together liquid ingredients: milk, buttermilk and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup.
  • Alternate the dry and wet ingredients into the butter mixture beating on medium until incorporated. 
  • Fill cupcake molds 3/4 of the way full. 
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. If they need more time leave them in for another few minutes. Do not over bake.  
  • Let them cool and then frost with our simple buttercream frosting recipe!


Use the highest quality ingredients you can. 
Add a flavorful jam or lemon curd in the center of the cupcake by removing a little of the middle, filling and then piping frosting over the top.
Make sure to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
When adding the liquid ingredients, add them very slowly as the mixer is beating. 
Baking times are different for each oven, so tap the top of a cupcake to see if it’s baked through. 
Frost these cupcakes with our creamy buttercream frosting!


Serving: 24Cupcakes | Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 314IU | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
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18 thoughts on “Classic Vanilla Cupcake Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    I made these for a bridal shower and they were a hit! I subbed sour cream for buttermilk because that’s what I had on hand.

    I also whipped the egg whites to stiff peaks and folded them in to the batter at the end just to make them extra fluffy and with that, they made a full 24 cupcakes. If anyone else is trying to just get a couple additional cupcakes with this recipe – that will work!

    They were moist, flavorful and delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    I love vanilla cupcakes and this recipe did not disappoint. Delicious. Thanks for the easy directions and stunning photos.

  3. 4 stars
    The only reason why I’m not rating this as five stars is because I had to make some substitutions to fit my sons dietary needs (he is lactose intolerant). I’ve never made a cake or cupcakes from scratch before but all the preboxed mixes contain milk, so I thought I’d give it a shot and I’m so glad I did! He loves these cupcakes and so do we!!! I subbed: lactose-free whole milk for the milk and dairy-free butter (Country Crock Plant-Based Butter made from Almond Oil) for the butter. I didn’t have any cake flour on hand, so I combined all purpose flour and cornstarch (for each one cup of cake flour: sub 1 cup of all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons of flour, plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch). The dairy-free butter and sugar didn’t get real ‘light and fluffy’, but I kept going and I’m so thrilled with how these turned out. His whole preschool class devoured them for their Christmas party today, and now I have this amazing recipe to use for his birthday in a few weeks too! Thanks so very much!!

    • Amy this is wonderful to hear that with all of those alternations it turned out delicious! So happy this recipe could be a base for that and happy the class loved them. Thank you for sharing!


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