Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes topped with a lush vanilla buttercream and sprinkles! The perfect bake for any occasion and a great recipe for anyone new to baking!


It’s about time to share my favourite and fail-proof vanilla cupcake recipe on the blog! And when I say perfect I mean these are the BEST vanilla cupcakes I have ever made!

I baked some delicious vanilla cupcakes to ready celebrate my birthday later this weekend! I turn 19 this Sunday and it wouldn’t be a celebration without cake or sprinkles involved, right?! Vanilla cupcakes have always been one of my favourite bakes and this is a recipe adapted from childhood and it’s one I have been making with my mum since I first stepped into the kitchen.


These are seriously fluffy and with a beautiful vanilla flavour. They’re not sickly sweet and have just the right balance of flavour, sweetness and deliciousness. If you’re a regular reader, then you will know how popular the simple and easy recipes are on this blog! I love my no-bake recipes or no-churn ice creams and now quick and easy cupcake recipes too!


When you’re baking cakes or cupcakes you need to remember some important points for a successful bake. Below I’ve put together my top tips.

1. Always cream the butter and sugar for at least 5 minutes. You want the mixture to be really pale and airy with no big lumps of hard butter. I usually leave the butter out at room temperature overnight to soften. But I am also guilty of softening it in the microwave too!
2. Always bake with room temperature eggs. I experienced many baking fails before finally perfecting these cupcakes. Room temperature eggs will give your cupcakes a finer crumb and they will bake more evenly and quickly. To warm your eggs before baking, place the eggs in a bowl or glass of warm tap water for 5-10 minutes. This is a life-saving baking tip and it’ll save you a lot of frustration!
3. Remember to sift your flour – to avoid lumps of flour in your cupcake batter.
4. Always fold your dry ingredients into the batter. I love to use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour into this cupcake batter, this will stop you knocking any air out of the batter.
5. Test the doneness with a cake tester, this is the most precise way to check the cupcakes are completely cooked through. When the cake tester is inserted into the centre of the cupcake it should come out with no uncooked batter. This way you can guarantee they’re cooked fully!

(Makes 12)


Vanilla Cupcakes:

150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar or superfine sugar

3 large free range eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

150g (1 and 1/4 cup) self-raising flour, sifted –

150g self-raising flour – you can sub with 150g plain flour + 2 teaspoons baking powder

2-3 tablespoons cold water or milk

Vanilla Buttercream:

150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

300g (3 cups) icing sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod

2-3 tablespoons double cream or milk


1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Fan / 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas Mark 4. Line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake cases and set aside.

2. To make the cupcakes: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light in colour and very fluffy – this will take 5 minutes. Make sure you stop the mixer halfway through creaming and using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

3. Add eggs, one by one and mix to combine. Now fold in the flour – mix until just combined and no lumps of flour remain. Now add the milk or water to loosen the mixture slightly.

4. Take an ice cream scoop and evenly distribute the cupcake batter between the cupcake liners. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out completely clean of any uncooked batter. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then when cool enough to touch remove from the tin and transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

5. To make the buttercream: Once the cupcakes are fully cooled make the buttercream. Add the softened butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on a medium speed for about a minute just to soften. Add the sifted icing sugar and the vanilla extract and mix together on a low speed (this is to avoid a sugar cloud!) until the butter and sugar has combined. Now turn up the speed to medium and cream for another 5 minutes – remember to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Once the buttercream is fluffy add the double cream and mix on low speed for another minute to combine.

6. To decorate: Fit a large disposable piping bag with your favourite nozzle – I love the large star tip for cupcakes. Fill the piping bag with the frosting. Pipe even swirls on the top of each cupcake, then finish with sprinkles.

Recipe Notes:

  • Baking time will depend on your oven. This recipe recommends 18-20 minutes, but  different ovens may cause the baking time to differ slightly.
  • This cupcake recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to make more.
  • For the frosting I like to add a few tablespoons of double (heavy) cream. The cream makes the frosting lighter and it will have a creamier texture. If preferred, you can substitute with milk, but please note that frosting will not have a such a creamy texture.
  • The frosted cupcakes will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • With the frosting you can add a few drops of your favourite food colouring. Add a touch of red for a pink colour or blue!

perfect vanilla cupcakes


Give these cupcakes an Easter decoration by topping with chocolate flakes/shavings and mini sugar-coated chocolate eggs!



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134 thoughts on “Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. YUM! I just love classic vanilla cupcakes, but I’ve never made them at home. Now I have the perfect recipe for the perfect vanilla cupcake! These are gorgeous. And you went to Cyprus?? WOW! I can’t wait to hear more about that!

  2. Those cupcakes look ace!

    Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to try it

    I really like and usually eat Red Velvet Cupcakes but I’m going to give these a go!

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  10. Hi Jessica,

    As always, these look fantastic! I’ve tried your perfect buttermilk vanilla cupcakes before and those were amazing. I was just wondering if there’s a difference between this recipe and that one?

    • Hi Beverley! I’ve just changed the recipe and updated it slightly – because the cupcakes work well with or without the buttermilk, too. There really is no difference, where I say to add milk to the batter you can add the buttermilk in place of that. Hope that helps!

      Glad you like the cupcakes. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Hi i was just wondering how thick should the batter be? After adding milk or water should it still be very thick or a bit on the softer side? Sorry its a weird question lol thanks

      • Hi Jess 🙂

        Thanks for ur reply,i got the consistency right (made those strawberry frosted and maltesers ones i tagged u with on instagram) but i realized after they were done that i had used an equivalent of about 112 grams instead of 150 grams of butter, (with all my obsessive baking cant believe i made a mistake like that) but i was using cups so miscalculated! So that’s why my texture was off, not because of the milk/water.

        Anyway i adored these so def making them all the time, my new go to vanilla cupcake recipe 🙂

        Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  12. I’ve made these today but my mixture split when I add the first egg and even adding the flour didn’t bring it back together- is it supposed to do this? They still tasted yummy!

  13. Hi Jess this is urgent can I substitute caster sugar for normal granulated sugar. And what difference does the salted butter give?

    • Hi Chi – sorry for the late reply. I have away on holiday this past weekend and not active on my blog. You can substitute the caster sugar for regular granulated sugar. Caster sugar is finer than granulated sugar and it dissolves better and mixes into ingredients easier. I generally use unsalted butter into cakes and cupcakes but salted butter is fine to use too. Hope you enjoyed the cupcakes!

  14. Hi Jess,

    I’ve been looking for the perfect buttercream icing recipe as mine never looks anywhere near as good as yours so I’m going to give this one a good! Especially as I had never thought of using cream before.

    Would you be able to tell me the exact nozzle (brand, size etc) you used as these are the exact cupcakes I’m hoping to replicate!

    Thank you.

    Beth x

    • Hi Beth – thanks so much for stopping by my blog. 🙂

      The cream makes the buttercream extra light and I find it adds a creamier texture than milk does.

      I generally use a large open star tip nozzle. I got mine from a pack in Lakeland, but you can easily order the exact one you want over the internet.

      I hope you enjoy the recipe, let me know how you get on.


      • Hi Jess,

        That’s great. Thank you so much for your help. I’ll be posting it on Instagram, so I’ll be sure to tag you in it!


    • Hi AJ – I have a print button located at the bottom of the post in the “share this” section. However, unfortunately it’s not set up to print just the recipe and method so you will need to select page 5-6 on your printer options to avoid printing all the blog post and wasting too much paper! Hope that helps. Enjoy the cupcakes!

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