Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

These Vanilla Cupcakes will be your absolute Favorite!  So Fluffy, with an Intense Vanilla Flavor and Buttery Richness.  They have a Fine, Even Crumb, and a Perfect Dome on top!  They are Sturdy enough to stand up to all sorts of Fillings and Frostings, but I’ve kept it Simple with a Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  You’ll reach for this Recipe again and again!

Guess what?  I’ve reworked this recipe and come up with something even better!  Go check out my Even Simpler, More Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes—-> here

Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

I was so pleased when the people at Zulka reached out to me recently, and offered me a sample of their product.  (If you aren’t already familiar, Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar is a less-processed, non-GMO version of the granulated sugar we already know and love.)  Since I am a huge lover of all things sweet, and ALSO of all things natural, I thought Zulka would be a great fit for me, this blog, and you, my readers!

I knew from the start I wanted to bake up a recipe that really allowed the flavor of the sugar to shine through.  Something simple and sweet, that would showcase this lovely product.

Also, I was overwhelmed by the positive response to my Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies.  It took me by surprise, that such a simple recipe was so well-received, and it got me thinking… maybe I should offer more tried and true basics on Baking a Moment?  Kind of silly for me to assume that everybody already has their favorite standby recipes to reach for.

So, today, I’m introducing a new category/recurring series here on Baking a Moment: “Simply Perfect.”  I still want to offer you guys some clever and inventive ideas, but I’m also going to arm you with some seriously awesome building-block recipes too!  These will be all my favorites, from years of practicing and experimentation!  I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do….

Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

First up are these simple white cupcakes.  I tested a total of four vanilla cupcake recipes, in search of my absolute favorite.  Here are the key features I was looking for:

  • A fine, even crumb
  • A fluffy texture, but not so soft that it couldn’t stand up to filling/frosting
  • A domed top
  • Intense vanilla and buttery flavor

The recipes I tested are as follows:

Billy’s Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes (tasted great but had a hard crust on top), America’s Test Kitchen White Cake (pillowy soft and delicious, but too delicate), Dorie Greespan’s Perfect Party Cake, via My Baking Addiction (subbing vanilla bean paste), and My Favorite Vanilla Cupcakes, by Cookies and Cups, which was adapted from Back in the Day Bakery.

Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

It was a close race, but in the end, Shelly’s (Cookies and Cups) Favorite Vanilla Cupcakes edged out Jamie of My Baking Addiction‘s by a hair’s breadth.  Mainly by virtue of this simple fact:

Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Also I thought Shelly’s had a slightly richer flavor, which is probably because of the egg yolk.  (But if you’re really going for a snowy white cake, I’d go with Jaimie’s.)  And her recipe is so easy to throw together, with only a mixing bowl, paddle, and measuring cup to wash when all’s said and done.  All of them were so very delicious though!  I’ve only made one slight modification to Shelly’s recipe, and that is the addition of vanilla bean paste.  It really amps up the flavor, and it’s a more economical choice than whole vanilla beans.

Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

These little beauties bake up so fluffy and soft, and they can be filled or topped with all sorts of deliciousness.  But today, I kept it simple with another “Simply Perfect” recipe: Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  It’s a little more effort than the straight-up powdered sugar + butter variety, but the satiny-smooth, light-as-air, yet richly indulgent flavor and texture make it more than worth your while!

Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 dozen cupcakes
These Vanilla Cupcakes will be your absolute Favorite! So Fluffy, with an Intense Vanilla Flavor and Buttery Richness. They have a Fine, Even Crumb, and a Perfect Dome on top! They are Sturdy enough to stand up to all sorts of Fillings and Frostings, but I've kept it Simple with a Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. You'll reach for this Recipe again and again!
For the Cupcakes:
  • 1½ cup cake flour
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into small cubes
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the Buttercream:
Make the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add the butter and mix on low speed, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (2-3 minutes).
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are well-combined.
  5. Combine the milk and vanilla in a measuring cup. Beat half this mixture into the flour/butter/eggs.
  6. Beat on medium speed for 1½ minutes, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, add the remaining milk mixture, and beat for another 30 seconds.
  7. Fill paper liners ⅔ full with batter, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely before topping with buttercream.
Make the Buttercream:
  1. Place the egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water, and whisk continuously, until the mixture is hot, opaque, and the sugar is completely dissolved (should not feel gritty between your fingers), about 5 minutes.
  2. Whip the mixture on high speed, until stiff peaks form and it has completely cooled.
  3. Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, whipping well after each addition. If it begins to look curdled, continue to beat until it comes back together, before adding the remaining butter.
  4. Mix in the vanilla until well blended.
Cupcake Recipe (barely) adapted from Cookies and Cups

Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

You are going to love these simple, sweet cupcakes!  Sometimes the simplest pleasures can really be the best.  Not everything needs to be fussed around with, right?  And that goes just as much for sugar as it does for cupcakes.

Morena Pure Cane SugarIf you like things simple, unfussed around with, and natural, then you’ll definitely enjoy Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar.  I have not been compensated by Zucarmex (the makers of Zulka), but I was given a sample of their product to review.  All of the opinions expressed in this post are my own.  Visit or the Zulka Sugar Facebook page, for more great recipe ideas.

Here are some of my other “Simply Perfect” recipes:

Peanut Butter Cookies | Baking A Moment

Simply Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies (Naturally Gluten-Free)

Simply Perfect Pizza Dough

Simply Perfect Pizza Dough

Simply Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

Simply Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

Simply Perfect Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Seedless Blackberry Jam Made Simple | Baking a Moment

Simply Perfect Homemade Jam (No Pectin)

Simply Perfect Brownies | Baking a Moment

Simply Perfect Brownies from Scratch

Simply Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce | Baking a Moment

Simply Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce


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  1. I love posts like these that share tried and true recipes. I am always on the quest to find that perfect vanilla cupcake and these look absolutely beautiful Allie!
    I have tried a lot of vanilla cupcake recipes too and my favorite so far has been Jamie’s. I haven’t tried Shelly’s version but will definitely be pinning this recipe the next time I make a batch. They sound incredible! Thanks so much for sharing Allie and have a great weekend!

    1. So glad you like the post and the idea for the series! I really did like Jamie’s recipe too. I don’t know if that was just a fluke, the way they cracked, so I may have to try it again. Do they crack like that for you? Thank you, for the nice comment. Take care and Happy Friday! <3

      1. No they don’t seem to crack and I’ve made them a number of times as close as last Thursday for my niece’s birthday party. I usually use buttermilk in place of milk and watch closely at 14 minutes to check for doneness as I notice they tend to bake up pretty quickly in my oven (even though I use an oven thermometer).

        1. Oh, ok! Thanks for getting back to me on that. I will have to try making them again, maybe it was just a one-time thing. I did really love the flavor and texture of that recipe… Hope you’re having a great week!

  2. Oh! So you love it too! I use that same Cookie and Cup’s recipe for my Blackberry Swirl Cupcakes – with some slight modifications 🙂 It’s so easy and convinient! I use vanilla paste all the time – I think I’ll never buy vanilla extract again and the beans I only use in custards 😉

      1. I use plain flour only and, because I use jam in these cupcakes, I don’t use any vanilla 🙂 – blimey, I spelled “convenient” wrong!

  3. Oh! So you love it too! I use that same Cookie and Cup’s recipe for my Blackberry Swirl Cupcakes – with some slight modifications 🙂 It’s so easy and convenient! I use vanilla paste all the time – I think I’ll never buy vanilla extract again and the beans I only use in custards 😉

    1. Zulka is great, right? I’m pretty sure I’ve actually purchased it before… I was on an all-natural kick a while back (probably shouldn’t have gotten away from it), and I’m pretty sure that was my go-to sugar. So happy to have received their gift! Thanks for the sweet comment, Kayle! <3

      1. hi, just looking at your cup cake receipe can you confirm the amounts of cake flour and all purpose flour, is it one and a half cups or is it half a cup.
        Thank you

  4. Hello!

    Maybe a dtupid question, but what kind of cup do you use? (With a contents of 237 or 250 ml)
    It’s because I live in the Netherlands and I really don’t know which one of them you use.

    You have a beautiful blog, though!
    xox Sarah

    1. Hi, Sarah! Well I am in the U.S. and we I used a liquid measuring cup for the milk, and a dry measure for the flour, sugar, etc. A liquid cup is 8 ounces, which is 237 ml (just googled it, lol!). I hope that answers your question.

      Thank you so much for reading my blog and for your kind words! I hope you enjoy making the cupcakes! 😉

  5. I’m not a big cake/cupcake fan but I was drawn here because of your pictures and now I am curious to try out these cupcakes! I read your post and you’ve got me wondering how delicious these are! Pinning and looking forward to returning 🙂

    1. Thanks, Liz! I hope you give them a try! As vanilla cupcakes go, these are pretty awesome! I just love the texture of the cake and the icing is just divine! Plain and simple, but so good! Thanks for reading & commenting! <3

    1. Hi Loretta! I usually do chocolate too, or something a little crazier/more inventive/interesting, but I thought this was a great basic recipe and I just had to share it! It’s good as is, but I figured it could probably be easily modified too. Glad you enjoyed; thanks for commenting!

      1. I made them and they are literally the best ever vanilla cupcakes I have ever had. So light and fluffy and totally delicious!! They are for a work friend’s birthday tomorrow and I am super confident that everyone is going to loooove them! 😀 thanks for the recipe, I will definitely keep you bookmarked xxx

  6. Hi, you mention that you add in half of the wet ingredients before beating, but you never mention the other half of the wet ingredients. Do you add them after the first minute and a half in the mixer, after you scrap the bowl?


        1. Hi Nicole! Thanks for the excellent question. I’d say they can be stored at room temperature for a few days (3?) or in the fridge for a week and a half or so. Any longer than that, and they might start to get a bit dry. If you’d like to make them ahead, I’ve done that and froze them in a zip-top bag, unfrosted. They’ll keep in your freezer for months, and they thaw really quickly (10-15 minutes?). Thanks for reading! 😉

  7. Hi Allie!
    I just made a batch of these cupcakes and they tasted delicious! I could really taste the strong and rich vanilla flavor. However, the top of my cupcakes were slightly burnt while the inside of them were exactly like the picture. They taste moist and fluffy. Was it due to my oven temperature that got the top burnt?

    1. Hey Jasmine! Thanks so much for reading my blog and trying one of my favorite recipes! I’m so glad you liked the flavor, but sorry you didn’t get exactly the result you were hoping for. I have a few ideas as to why the tops may have overbrowned.

      1) The best place to bake anything is in the center of the oven. Move the racks around if need be. Place a rack in the center of the oven and place your cupcake pan right in the middle. This way the hot air can circulate evenly, 360 degrees around whatever it is you’re baking.
      2) Your oven temperature could be off. Sometimes ovens will show a certain temp, but really, it could be as much as 50 degrees off in either direction! I keep a thermometer in my oven, so I can be sure that I’m baking at the right temperature. This kind of thermometer can be purchased for $15 or less at most supermarkets.
      3) One of the best baking tips I’ve ever heard is to watch your cake, not the clock. < --This is Averie Sunshine's mantra (, and girlfriend knows what’s up. I often set the timer 5 minutes less than a recipe calls for, and I bake with the oven light on. If the timer goes off and I can see through the glass that they’re still wet looking, I give them another few minutes. If they’re starting to look more set up after that, I’ll crack the door and check them with a long skewer. (Just be careful not to let all the heat out of the oven or your cake could collapse!) Still gooey? Another minute or two. Take them out when the skewer comes out dry, or, preferably, with a few moist crumbs. They’ll continue to cook a little more as they cool, so it’s ok to take them out just (very) slightly underdone.

      I hope you find these tips to be helpful! Again, thank you so much for reaching out. Hopefully your experience with this recipe doesn’t discourage you from trying again, with my favorite vanilla cupcakes or any other of my recipes. Good luck and happy baking, dear!

      1. Thanks so much again Allie! I will definitely try them again with the tips you have given! Awesome blog by the way and keep updating us with new recipes! Can’t wait to bake another one of your wonderful recipes!

  8. Hello. This recipe sounds amazing. Ive been searching a around for a good vanilla cupcake recipe…made a few and some have not come out so well. Well i was wondering if i cannot find vanilla bean paste, will i be able to just use vanilla extract? Thanks for posting pictures too. It def caught my eye 🙂

    1. Hi Melody! Thanks so much for stopping by here ;). I’m glad you liked the photos and the cupcake recipe. It would definitely work with vanilla extract. The flavor would not be quite as intense, and you wouldn’t have those black specks, but it wouldn’t affect the texture or anything. I buy my vanilla paste online, and there’s actually a link to my source within the recipe. I love having it on hand, it just bumps everything up to another level! Good luck, and hope to see you here again!

          1. I’ve made these cupcakes three times now. Every time I’ve made that icing it comes out too runny, and I have to add powdered sugar to thicken it up. Am I not waiting long enough before I add the butter, and as a result it’s ‘melting’? I have a kitchen aid stand mixer with a glass bowl. Could the glass be keeping the heat from the sugar and egg white mixture longer than a metal bowl would? I the icing tastes great, but isn’t thick enough for frosting the cupcakes. What am I doing wrong?

          2. Gee, Lieschen, I’m so sorry you’re having trouble! I wonder if the glass bowl does hold the heat longer…? That certainly does seem logical. I wonder if it would make a difference if you left it to cool a little longer. You wouldn’t necessarily have to be whipping it the whole time. Also, is your butter very soft? I know the recipes always call for softened butter, but I’ve actually had similar issues if my butter isn’t still slightly cool. You know, it shouldn’t be cold and hard, but slightly softened. Over the summer I did have a few struggles, where I would whip all the butter in, and if it was still too runny, I’d pop it in the fridge for around 20 minutes, and then whip it some more. It always worked like a charm, and no need to add more sugar and make it overly sweet. I hope it works for you! It’s such a delicious treat, I would hate for you to give up on it completely! Thanks for reaching out, Lieschen 🙂

          3. Lieschen, I just whipped up another two batches just to see if I could figure out what the issue is for you. I am now convinced that it has everything to do with temperature. Your buttercream is just too warm. Either the meringue, or the butter, or maybe both. You want to be absolutely certain that there is ZERO warmth left in that meringue before you start whipping the butter in. If you have to, put it in the fridge for a bit (after whipping to stiff peaks). Also, the butter wants to be soft enough to incorporate into the meringue, but not so soft that it’s slumping and losing its shape. IOW, it should be slightly softened but still cool. If all else fails, and it’s still runny, try my other tip about refrigerating it for 20 minutes and then re-whipping. I wish you lots of success! Please do let me know if you have better luck next time around, and thank you again for asking such a very good question! 😉

    1. Hi there! I’m thinking by “real vanilla,” you mean vanilla extract? If so, the answer is yes, although you won’t get as intense a vanilla flavor. Vanilla bean paste is crushed up vanilla beans, so it’s SUPER vanilla-y. I’ve linked to a source where it can be purchased, the link is within the ingredients list on the recipe card. Good luck! 😉

    1. Hi Brianna! I have actually made them as minis and they work really well. I would decrease the baking time by 5 minutes or so, and check them. They’re done when moist crumbs cling to a toothpick inserted in the center. Good luck and I hope you enjoy! Mini cupcakes are just so perfect for little ones… 😉

      1. Its the bowl temp that caused the icing to be runny. I made it last night. I had to wait close to 30min for the bowl to be cool. It was worth it. The icing finally came out perfect!

  9. These have such a rich vanilla flavour, yum! My problem was they didn’t turn out nice and fluffy like yours. Mine were moist but dense and gummy. Where did I go wrong?

    1. Hi Sarah! I’m so sorry you did not get the result you were hoping for. I wish I could give you a simple answer as to why, but unfortunately there could be a lot of factors involved…

      I’ve made the recipe a few times since originally posting it, and added some additional direction in the method part. I think it helps if the butter is cool/cold and cut into small cubes. Also, I’ve been adding in the eggs one at a time, and incorporating completely before adding the remaining ingredients.

      Are you preheating the oven before baking the cupcakes? My oven gives a beep when it’s reached full temp, but if yours does not, you probably want to let it preheat for a good 20 or so minutes, just to be sure that it’s at the right temperature when the cupcakes go in.

      Also it helps to measure all the ingredients out before getting started. I find that I make fewer mistakes when I do it that way. Mistakes in measuring, ie: wrong quantities, or even leaving an ingredient out altogether. (I think we’ve all been there/done that, lol!)

      Other than that, the only other thing I can suggest would be to check out the post by the original author of the recipe: I made a few minor changes to Shelly’s recipe, but maybe looking at hers would jog something in your mind…

      Sorry I can’t give you a more definitive answer! If I could look over your shoulder while you were baking maybe I could tell you, lol! I hope you’ll give them another try and hopefully they’ll come out better. For now, I just want to say thanks for reading, and for trying one of my recipes. 🙂

      1. Hi. Just found this recipe and i will give it a try tomorrow. How can I subsritute vanilla bean paste? I don’t have at home at this time.

        Hope this turns out good cause I am having a bday party and will be baking reeses peanut butter cupcakes and of course vanilla cupcakes.

        1. Hi Lisseth! Excellent question and you’re not the first person to ask. If you look over the comments you’ll probably see that a lot of people aren’t familiar with the ingredient. If you have a vanilla bean/pod, you can split it and scrape out the seeds, but other than that there’s really no substitution. You can leave it out, and just rely on the vanilla extract that’s called for, but the flavor will be more subdued. Still really good, though, I’m sure! But I love that vanilla bean paste, and I highly recommend it! Not just for these cupcakes, but for any recipe where you really want that intense, aromatic vanilla flavor. If you click the link within the recipe, it will bring you to a mail-order source. Or, I’ve also been told that it’s carried at Sur la Table stores. Maybe Williams Sonoma too? Worth checking… Good luck! Happy Birthday! I hope you and all your guests enjoy the cupcakes! And thanks for reading my blog! <3

          1. Just wanted to share that I followed the recipe except fpr the vanilla bean paste cause I didn’t have any and the cupcakes came out so good and moist!
            I love them tysm for the recipe… I shared this link with two other friends I’m sure they’ll love it as much as I do

  10. Hi Allie,

    Thanks for posting this! It looks delish & I can’t wait to try it out 🙂

    I just have a few questions.. In most cupcake recipes I’ve come across, they call for softened butter. Is there a reason why you used cold butter instead? Will it be difficult to incorporate the mixture? Are you using a stand mixer for this, or a food processor? Also, would you need to beat the mixture thoroughly after each egg addition?

    Sorry for the many questions and thanks sooo much in advance for your time! 🙂

    1. Hi Ida! Please, do not be sorry! I love comments and you’ve raised some really excellent questions. I’ll do my best to answer them all!

      You are right, most cake recipes call for creaming the butter and sugar first, and then adding dry and wet ingredients alternately. This is a completely different method. It’s called the reverse creaming method, and I personally love it because I find it quicker (don’t have to wait for the butter soften) and easier (less bowls to wash). If you google “reverse creaming method,” I’m sure you’ll see that it’s a thing 😉 I first became aware of it through Rose Levy Berenbaum, author of the Cake Bible, and I’ve also seen it done on Brown Eyed Baker, Cookies and Cups, and Sweetapolita blogs.

      I use a stand mixer, but I’m thinking a food processor might work well too. I don’t think it’s difficult, you just want to be sure that the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. If you overdo it, you’ll have cookie dough, if you underdo it, your batter will look lumpy. That being said, I’ve done both, and the cupcakes still taste pretty darn good to me. 😉 I do add the eggs one at a time, beat just until incorporated, and scrape the bottom/sides of the bowl after each addition, to make sure everything’s well-incorporated.

      Good luck and thanks for the great questions! And thanks so much for reading my blog! I hope you’re happy with the result! 😀

  11. Loving your cupcakes! I’m planing on making these Vanila cupcakes, but needed to know if the cake flour your using has any rising agents in it? Or is it an all purpose one? We have 2 different types in Australia…an All purpose and a Self Raising flour one. Don’t know which one to use. Thanx in advance 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah! I usually use either Swan’s Down or Softasilk. If you click the link within the recipe card, it’ll take you to a mail-order source. I don’t believe it contains any leavening agents. It’s just a very finely milled flour from hard winter wheat, that’s naturally lower in glutens. There’s baking powder in the recipe, as I’m sure you already noted. I’m so happy you’re going to try my favorite recipe! I think you are really going to love it! I’ve made it so many times now, and it’s always a big hit. Good luck, dear!

      1. Thanks Allie 🙂

        Btw I’m from Malaysia and I can’t find vanilla paste anywhere. The best is vanilla extract, can I just replace with 1tsp vanilla extract? This buttercream recipe is enough to pipe all 24 cupcakes? Thanks 🙂

        1. Vanilla extract will work, but you just won’t get those little black specks and the flavor will be a bit milder. It will still be delicious though! Did you try clicking the link within the recipe? I usually purchase it through that mail-order source. Maybe they don’t deliver outside of North America, I’m not sure, but it’s worth a try! I love the stuff. And yes, the recipe should cover all your cupcakes. Good luck!

  12. Hello,
    Thank you for the recipe. I just tried it. The taste is awesome but it seems the flour did not rise so the consistency was very heavy and like it wasn’t done in the middle. What do you think I did wrong??? Did I mix it too long??? Thank you in advance for your advice!!!

    1. Hi there! Thank you so much for reading my blog and trying one of my recipes! I’m so sorry you didn’t quite get the result you were after. But I am glad that you took the time to reach out to me because I think I may know what the problem was.

      No, I don’t think mixing too long would cause this problem. I actually believe the problem may have been with your baking powder not being fresh. Baking powder does have a shelf life, and after a while, it is no longer effective, so your baked goods will not rise properly.

      One other possibility may have to do with your oven. If it wasn’t properly preheated (I’d give it 15-20 minutes), or if it’s not well calibrated, you could end up with a less than perfect result. It’s important to always check your cakes with a toothpick or skewer. If it’s gooey, it needs more time in the oven. If it comes out with moist crumbs, it’s perfect.

      Good luck and I hope this helps! And thank you again 🙂

      1. Hi, just have to say OMG these cupcakes are amazing!!! I’ve made 4 batches so far on different days. First time I had the same problem, with the cupcakes being heavy and looked like it hadn’t cooked through the centre..but the outside was perfect. I tried on another day, but kept them in the oven for 4-5 mins longer or until they had a golden colour on the top, and not so much white. They were perfect!! Fluffy and taste amazing. Thank you so much!!! Never thought I’d come across a percent vanilla cupcake, that taste way better than the ones from the shops!

        1. I’m so happy you like them so much, Sarah! And thanks for bringing up an excellent point- not all ovens are exactly the same, so you really do have to test, and see, before taking them out of the oven. Thanks so much for sticking with it! And for the awesome feedback. I love these cupcakes too and I’m so happy they’re working out for you!

      2. Thank you Allie for your advices. My mom and a friend said it might also be the flour!!!! At any rates, I have tried again tonight and am anxiously waiting to see how these come out. I took the “ugly” ones to the office and everyone loved them… So I can only imagine what it would be like when they are done perfectly!! I will let you know for sure. Thank you also for responding so quickly!

  13. Hi im in the UK and trying to adapt the recipe. It says granulated sugar in your recipe but over here we generally use caster sugar for baking which is finer than granulated. Granulated is used to sweeten tea usually so can you just confirm which is which for me? Also for the frosting which butter did you use? Was it Trex? Thanks so much in advance

    1. Hi Rachel! I have a feeling either sugar would probably work well, although I’m leaning towards caster sugar since you said that is typically for baking. I’m not familiar with Trex; I just use regular unsalted butter. The brand I generally buy is Keller’s. Good luck with the cupcakes and thanks so much for reading my blog!

  14. Hi ive since tried the recipe using granulated as called for and I found on sweetapolitas site her recommendation for making cake flour(since we only have self raising/plain here) and the cakes have turned out almost omelette like on top(all bubbly and eggy smelling) and inside it looks dense and partially cooked 🙁 any ideas??

    1. How long did you bake for, Rachel? I’m really not sure since there are so many factors involved… but it sounds like they’re underbaked for one thing. Did you use all cake flour or the combo of all-purpose and cake flour that is called for in the recipe? And was your baking powder fresh? The addition of all-purpose flour gives structure to the cake, and if the baking powder is not fresh, that could prevent it from rising properly…

  15. Hi I used the combo and baked for stated time. baking powder is fresh still 🙁 the taste ive gotten used to but I was sooo desperate to have the close crumb/soft spongy texture 🙁 I don’t know what went wrong either.

    1. I’m so sorry you didn’t get the result you were after. The only thing I can think of is maybe your oven temp might be a little off. Every oven’s a little different, I’m sure you know, and that is why I always give a rough baking time and then also a description of how it should look before taking it out of the oven. I check my cupcakes after about 18 minutes with a long skewer, and if it comes out wet, they go back in for 2 more minutes or so. I don’t take them out until there’s nothing but a few moist crumbs on the skewer. Averie Sunshine, a very talented baker and popular blogger, always says “watch the cake, not the clock.” I actually just made a batch of these this afternoon, I wish I could share them with you!

  16. Looking forward to trying this recipe for my son’s 3rd birthday this weekend! One question: I don’t have vanilla bean paste, but I have a vanilla bean. Could I use the vanilla bean instead and, if so, how would I do so? Steep the bean in the milk, strain, and continue with the recipe? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Amy! That is a great way to infuse the vanilla flavor. I would even go so far as to split the bean and scrape all the seeds into the batter as well. I hope you enjoy the cupcakes, and happy birthday to your son! 🙂

  17. I used this recipe to make red, white, and blue cupcakes for the forth of July last year. They were PERFECT. This is definitely my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe. Thank you soo much for posting it!

  18. I really dislike that you have video ads on your blog. I understand this is a form of income for you, but it comes across as very crass and desperate. Very nice recipe. I wrote it down so I no longer have to deal with the annoying video ads.

    1. Thanks for your input, Sarah. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. I devoted many hours to developing it, photographing it, and writing about it. I’m so happy that I can offer it to you free of charge. Please feel free to use the printable recipe card I have provided to you, also free of charge.

      You are welcome to comment on my blog at any time, but I do ask that you refrain from insults.

      Along with the considerable amount of time I invest in my website, there are many expenses as well. Running an ad or two helps to offset those a little bit. I do my best to keep them as inconspicuous as possible, and yours is the first complaint I’ve ever received. Most of my readers are grateful for the content I am providing them with, and they understand that ads are common practice among blogs and websites in general.

      1. Allie,
        I am sorry for my post but I could not but react to that post.

        Thank you for your videos and pictures… they help me and guide me in my process of learning the art of cupcakes.
        You are doing an awesome job!!!

        1. Faaterehau, I thank you so much for jumping to my defense. Most of my readers are so wonderful, but every now and then I get a discouraging comment. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you’ve replied on my behalf. I regret that this reader finds the ads to be distracting, but really, I don’t think I’ve ever visited any kind of website where there haven’t been ads of some kind. Unfortunately, blogging can be a expensive hobby, and while the ads don’t generate income, really, they do help to offset some of the cost of web hosting, camera equipment, and ingredients for my recipes. I love blogging and sharing my recipes with my readers, though, especially the ones that are so appreciative and grateful! Thank you again for the encouragement, you are the kind of reader that keeps my chin up when the going gets tough! <3

    2. Hello Sarah,
      I could not help but react to your post.
      If you dislike the way Allie shares her beautiful recipes but are soooo willing to use HER recipes, at least have the decency to be polite on her blog.
      If you were honest and true to yourself, you would not even use any of her recipes…
      I find your post very rude and offensive… but obviously, you have no manners.

  19. Made this for my friends birthday (I halved the recipe) but it came out really dense and not fluffy at all 🙁 any idea what could’ve gone wrong?

    1. Hi Sumaiya! First I just want to say I’m so sorry that you did not get the result you were hoping for 🙁

      There are so many different factors that go into the success or failure of a cake. It’s hard for me to say exactly what went wrong without being beside you in your kitchen, but some of the most common issues are: the oven could be out of calibration, the baking powder may not be fresh, they may be slightly underbaked… I think if you take a moment to read through some of the other comments on this post, you will find some more helpful info on this topic.

      Thanks so much for reading my blog and reaching out! 🙂

  20. Hey Allie,

    Great recipe! I tried these and they turned out great with the frosting. One issue i had, and not sure if you’ve ever had it or can help diagnose, is that without the frosting they tasted very eggy. If you can understand what I mean by that. Not sure if my eggs were too large – i bought large eggs, but not larger than normal – or if something in my technique caused it. Any help is appreciated!

    1. Hi Maggie! I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe! I’m not sure about the eggy thing… I haven’t had any other readers mention anything like that. I think you did the right thing- I always use large eggs for baking. So, I’m sorry but I’m really not sure!

  21. I’m so excited to try this recipe after your trial to find out which recipe seems best!

    My brother is having a wedding on short notice this Friday, and I really want to bring vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream for the dinner after the ceremony. After all, how can it be a wedding with no cake?! 🙂

    I know many people think vanilla is boring, but I don’t think it is when it’s done right, and hopefully it’s a safe choice for a variety of preference since I don’t know the bride’s family at all.

    Fingers crossed I can find the vanilla bean paste today because I’m dying to try that instead of regular vanilla extract. Even if I can’t find it locally I’m definitely buying some later to have on hand.

    I’ll definitely report back to let you know how the cupcakes turn out!

    1. Congrats to your brother, Diana Lee! That’s so exciting. I think vanilla/vanilla is a perfect way to celebrate a wedding, especially when you go the extra mile to do everything from scratch. I think your friends and family will really enjoy this. I’m told that the vanilla bean paste is sold at Williams Sonoma and Sur la Table, but if you can’t get it at either of those places, there is a link within the post to an online mail order source. It’s a great ingredient to keep on hand for all sorts of uses; I just love it! Good luck and thanks for reading!

  22. Hi – so I made these today bc I fell in love with yours, however they were a tad doughy … I wonder if i use 100% cake flour if that will lighten it up? Or sift both flours before adding? And perhaps bake longer?

    1. Hi Sweet tooth! I’d definitely bake a bit longer- if they’re doughy they probably need more time in the oven. If you stick in a skewer or toothpick and it comes out gooey then bake for a few extra minutes and then check again. Every oven is a little different, y’know? They aren’t done until the toothpick comes out clean. Thanks, and good luck!

  23. Hi~ I made these cupcakes today and the cake was delicious, perfectly moist and crumby. I need help with the buttercream frosting though. It turned out very heavy and thick, not silky at all. They still tasted amazing, but I wasn’t able to pipe them. Suggestions?

    Thanks for the recipe once again! The photography was equally well done 🙂

    1. Thank you Melissa! I’m so happy you liked the cupcakes, and appreciative for your readership and that you tried one of my recipes 🙂 I am so, so sorry about the buttercream though! I cannot imagine what went wrong?!? Swiss Meringue Buttercream is my favorite, for sure, but some people don’t like it because it’s less sweet or just a little different and unfamiliar. But I have never heard of it coming out so thick that it can’t be piped. I really wish I could offer some solution but I really am stumped! I’m so sorry dear!

  24. hi allie..

    i really love your website . I have tried your chocolate cupcakes and they were so delicious. TQ for all the recipes. I wanna ask u about this vanilla cupcake recipe..can i use the recipe for my rainbow cake or ombre cake?previously i used the doris green white party cake.


    1. Hey Rafidah! Thanks so much for reading my blog and trying my recipes! The chocolate cupcake recipe is one of my absolute favorites, if not my very favorite, recipe. I really like the vanilla cupcake recipe too, but I will admit that I’ve had some readers who had trouble with it. I would urge you to read through the comments on the post, and judge for yourself. I don’t really now enough about your rainbow ombre cake to tell you for certain, but I will say that I found the vanilla cupcakes to be really tasty and easy to make!

      1. hi allie.

        tq so much for the reply. appreciate it much. ombre cake is just the same as rainbow heheh…its just that it use the same color but different tone so white party cake recipe is normally used here. i will give ur recipe a try and update u on the result. As for the chocolate cupcake…pls pls share me your favourite recipe hehehhe…wanna give it a try….muahhhhhhhh

  25. Hi! I am really excited to try this recipe but can you do it without the vanilla paste? I do have the liquid extract. Would a scraped vanillabean do? Also I often find that after my cupcakes are done in the oven the wrapper tends to go loose sometimes or that the dome that they had has sunken in. Anything I missed? When my oven beeps as its finished I turn it off and leave them in there untill they are completely cool, so the door hasnt been opened at all since they went in. Would be great if I can finally perfect my cupcakes! 🙂

    1. Hi Romina! You can certainly substitute vanilla extract for the paste. The paste just gives a more intense vanilla flavor. Scraped vanilla beans would be great too! Sometimes my wrapper comes loose too and I think it’s often the wrapper that’s the problem, not the cake. Grease-proof cupcake liners are great if you can get your hands on them. As for your dome, is this a problem you’ve experienced with this particular recipe here? If so I’m really not sure- I’ve had a lot of success with this recipe and one of the things I love about it is how it always gives me such a pretty dome…

  26. Hi Allie,
    I’ve finally found a go to vanilla cupcake recipe and frosting – thank you! One question though, why do you add your butter in cubes & cold? I do this for my scones and other more dense pastries where I want to make them more airy and ‘fluffy’, but I’ve never heard of doing this with cupcakes, especially ones using cake flour. I must admit, that was my variation from your recipe…I creamed the butter, then added in the sugar until it was light and fluffy, added the eggs one at a time, and then, alternating, added the flour mixture with the milk/vanilla mixture. They came out absolutely divine – very light and just a beautiful flavour. I’m curious to try your method, but I’m so used to creaming the butter and sugar when I bake cupcakes that I’m not terribly interested in changing this either. Will be curious to hear if you’ve made this recipe using both methods and what differences you see between the methods.

    1. Hi Julie! I’m so happy you like these cupcakes as much as I do! And glad to know that it works equally well with the traditional creaming method. I had not tried doing it that way, although I do often use that method for many other recipes. This method has been dubbed the “reverse creaming” method and I really like it, just for its ease. You can read more about it here: I’ve actually gone back and forth between using cold butter and softened butter and I truthfully can’t decide which offers better results. But I really do love the reverse creaming method because it’s so foolproof and just one bowl to wash! Lol… Thanks for the great question, Julie!

  27. Hi!!! I just discovered your blog and I loved it … I will try more than one of your recipes. Thanks for publishing.
    I have a question, I live in Madrid, Spain and I don´t know this kind of cake flour. Can I use any other brand of cake flour?

    1. Hi Auxai! And thank you so much for your kind words! Absolutely you can use any kind of cake flour you like. I often use the Softasilk brand, or Swan’s Down, whatever I can find on my supermarket shelf. Thanks so much for the excellent question and for stopping by! 😀

  28. Hi! I made this recipe this morning, but I used frozen sliced peaches that I had leftover from peach season here in Michigan. I thawed the peaches and put them in a strainer while I was preparing the other ingredients. Then I roughly chopped up the peaches (actually it was more like crushing them because they were so soft) and then I added them to the batter. They turned out great! Very peachy! It was nice to bring back a little bit of summer considering we have been stuck in a never-ending winter.

    1. Oh! That sounds wooooonderful!!! I could use some sunny peachy cupcakes in my life! I’m so happy to hear that the recipe adapted so well. Thanks so much for sharing, Hilary, and hang in there! I’m hoping this March will go out like a lamb…

  29. Hi! I’m from Singapore and I just tried this recipe today. The cupcakes fluffed up after about 25 mins but when it cooled, it sank and was quite dense even though the flavour was really good. I’m unsure if I had underbeaten it as it was quite runny when I scooped the batter into the cupcake holders, or was it underbaked? And did you use a paddle attachment to beat the batter? Thanks!

    1. Hi Grace! Thanks so much for reading my blog and trying one of my recipes. I did use the paddle attachment. I think perhaps your cupcakes may have been underbaked. Every oven can be slightly different, and different altitudes can play a part in baking as well. Don’t pull the cupcakes from the oven until the tops spring back when pressed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Thanks again and good luck!

  30. Hi Allie, your chocolate cupcake is now my go-to recipe, now I’m off to try this vanilla cupcake recipe. I checked out Shelley’s site too and noticed the modifications you’ve done to the recipe, i.e, cold butter vs. room temp, equal amount of cake flour and APF vs. 1 3/4 cup cake flour and 1 1/4 cup APF, and lastly 1 1/2 cup milk vs. 1 cup. If you don’t mind, I just want to know the reason behind these modifications and what would be the difference in the outcome between the two. Also, if I use vanilla bean instead, do I still need to add some extract?

    1. Hey Grace! Thanks for the great questions. Actually, you’ve reminded me that I need to go back and re-edit the recipe a little bit. I think you’d be better off listening to Shelley about the butter- I’ve tried it a few times since publishing this post, both ways, and I do think that softened butter works better. The reason I changed the ratio of cake flour/ap flour is because the cake flour results in a softer, fluffier cake, and in this case I thought it needed a little more sturdiness. The extra milk seemed to give a little added moisture. But honestly, all that said, I think I actually have an even better vanilla cupcake recipe now. I’ve yet to post it as such, but if you have a look at this post:, I think you will really like this recipe. (Just leave out the lemon.) That little bit of acidity from the yogurt, along with the baking soda, really yields a nice texture. And I think it would work equally well with buttermilk, sour cream, or regular plain yogurt, if you have difficulty finding Greek yogurt. As for your question about vanilla, it’s totally up to you, how vanilla-y you like your cupcakes to be. I personally would probably double up with bean + extract, just because I love the flavor so much 😉

      1. That’s perfect, I still have some leftover greek yogurt from when I made your chocolate cupcake! I knew there was a reason why I was not able to bake these vanilla cupcakes today. Off to try that other recipe later! Will let you know how it goes! 🙂

        1. Hi Allie, I followed your advise and adapted the Lemon Greek Yogurt Cupcake recipe (sans the lemon juice and zest) and they were indeed delicious! It is now my go-to vanilla cupcake recipe! I halved the recipe as I wanted to see first if I can make it by hand (can’t use the mixer as the baby was napping). I just used a wooden spoon and spatula. I was actually surprised that I was able to achieve the coarse crumb consistency with just a wooden spoon! And no, I don’t have strong biceps. I just mixed it slowly, gently mashing the butter with the wooden spoon so it incorporates with the flour. Quite cathartic actually. I think mixing it by hand also helped as I tend to over mix when I use a stand mixer. The cupcakes turned out moist, light, fine crumbed yet sturdy. So yes, you can do the reverse creaming method by hand, just make sure all ingredients are room temp. Can’t thank you enough for ending my quest for the perfect chocolate and vanilla cupcakes!

          1. That’s so great, Grace! I’m so happy you had such a great experience, and thank you so much for sharing it! So good to know it can be made easily without a mixer. Thanks for the great feedback, dear!

  31. Hi I’ve made these cupcakes before with great results. Lately, they bake up fine with great domes on them while they are in the oven, and once they cool they sink down into the wrappers. They are nothing at all like the pictures. Any ideas as to why this is happening?

    1. Tee, I’m going to edit the recipe a bit. I’ve gotten similar comments from other readers, and I think it might help if the milk is decreased a bit. Also, I think if you allow the butter to soften before adding it to the dry ingredients, you might have better luck. I’m sorry for the trouble! I will actually be posting a new (and I think better) recipe for vanilla cupcakes in the coming weeks. It’s basically this: but without the lemon. It’s really reliable!

  32. Hi Allie!

    I too had the problem of them puffing up too much and then collapsing. The still tasted wonderful, jsut didn’t look good. I’m sure I didn’t underbake them, ad I actually had them in about 7 minutes longer than was suggested. And they were browning on the top. The toothpick came out totally clean. I don’t know what I did wrong! they don’t have cake flour here in the UK so I was making it myself – for every cup of cake flour, do 1 cup of all purpose and replace 2 tablespoons with corn flour. Not sure if I didn’t measure properly. I also didn’t do totally exactly measurements for the baking powder. Would a little tiny bit extra make that difference? The were still yummy and once frosting was on them, they were great, but would just like to improve them for next time. Thanks!!

    1. Hey Danielle! Thanks for reading my blog and trying one of my recipes. This one is really good but did you happen to notice the link at the top of the post? I actually reworked the recipe and reposted, here it is again in case you missed it: I think this newer recipe is a lot better and the picture tutorial will hopefully answer lots of questions. Good luck sweetie and thanks again! <3

  33. Hi! I wanted to use this recipe to make a 2 layer 9-inch cake. Will this recipe make that? Or do I need to double the recipe? Thanks!

      1. Thanks for your reply! I finally followed the recipe from your Even Simpler Cupcakes and tripled the recipe… which I think was a mistake as my layers ended up being too tall….. I think I would have preferred this as a cupcake – everyone loved the taste – so that was great!. Thanks!

  34. hi love your recipes…just wanted to know can i use buttermilk instead of milk to make my cupcakes moist and last a little longer….will it work?

  35. Hi there! I just made these today and while I thought they were tasty, the kids did not like them! Much to my dismay, of course. I came here because of the simply perfect chocolate cupcakes, which everyone gobbled up like they were going out of style! I was hoping the vanilla (as one of the little ones doesn’t really like chocolate) would go over just as well. I think the problem was the “buttery flavor”, perhaps they turned out a little too rich for the young paletes. The texture, as deservingly celebrated in previous posts, was fantastic, but I found the cupcakes to be more rich than sweet.

    Thanks for the recipe anyhow, the adults seemed to like the cupcakes a little more than the kids, so that’s something to keep in mind for those of you making these! (Unless of course, I messed up along the way! I still advise you to give them a try but if you want typical white vanilla cake, I’d try something else!)

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