Baking · Cakes

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!

I recently baked this vanilla cupcake recipe again and decorated the cupcakes with Cake Angels Blush sprinkles and individually hand-crafted Pastel Hydrangea – Flower Power royal icing sugar decorations. Both the sprinkles and royal icing sugar decorations make these cupcakes extra special!

(Makes 12)


Vanilla Cupcakes:

150g unsalted butter, softened
150g caster or granulated sugar
3 medium or large free-range eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g self-raising flour, sifted (this can substituted with 150g of plain flour + 2 teaspoons baking powder)

Vanilla Buttercream:

150g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons double cream or milk


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

2. To make the cupcakes: Beat the softened butter with the sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add the eggs one by one along with the vanilla and mix until incorporated – at this point the batter will look like it’s curdled, however once you’ve added the flour it will come together.

3. Now fold through the flour and mix until no lumps of flour remain. Add enough milk to loosen the mixture slightly – approx. 3-4 tablespoons of milk will do.

4. Evenly divide the cupcake batter between the cupcake cases. Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean without any uncooked batter remaining. Leave the baked cupcakes to cool in the tin for a 5-10 minutes, then carefully remove the cupcakes from the tin and transport to a wire rack and allow the cupcakes to cool completely to room temperature.

5. To make the buttercream: Once the cupcakes are fully cooled make the buttercream. Cream the softened butter for a minute or two to soften. Add the sifted icing sugar and the vanilla extract and beat gently together until the butter and sugar has combined. Now continuing creaming for another 2-3 minutes until the buttercream is a light pale colour. Now add the double cream or milk and beat until combined fully.

6. To decorate the cupcakes: Fit a large disposable piping bag with your favourite nozzle. Fill the piping bag with the frosting, pipe even swirls on the top of each cupcake, then finish decorating with sprinkles. If you don’t want to pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, you can spread the buttercream onto each cupcake using a small palette knife.

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

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133 thoughts on “Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. Jess, welcome back and congrats on all the success from your Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake in a Jar!!! hooray!!! LOVE these cupcakes. . I love the basic cupcake recipes .. I’m still trying to find the “perfect” recipe so will have to try this one!! love!

  2. These definitely look perfect, from the cakes, to the frosting, to the photos! Love!

  3. Congrats on all the exciting new things and so glad you had an awesome vacation!! These cupcakes look amazing and now I’m wishing I had some right now with my morning coffee. PS how fun that we have the same birthdays!! Happy birthday! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Cyndi! We had a brilliant time on holiday, it was great fun! Glad you like the cupcakes, they really do make a delicious treat with coffee! 😀

      It’s really cool that we share the same birthday’s! Enjoy your birthday weekend! x

    1. Thanks Katalina! I’m so pleased my piping skills impressed you – it’s definitely taken me a lot of practice to get good at it! I’m looking into filming some short YouTube baking videos – so watch this space! 😀

  4. These look soooooo perfect Jessica! Everything from the cupcakes, to the frosting to the sprinkles – just pure perfection! I love it. Vanilla cupcakes are the best. I’m so glad you had such a great holiday, and I can’t wait to see your pictures from the trip!

  5. I am constantly on the hunt for perfect vanilla cupcakes. This is very similar to my go to recipe – and you tip about using water is fabulous!

    And congratulations! So fantastic – and well deserved! N x

  6. You have a lovely blog Jess and thanks for stopping by my fancifulcupcakes site. I’m so happy you enjoy baking at your young age, I started young myself.(I’m 78 now) I love to bake but enjoy the decorating more. Please visit again.

    1. Thanks Betty – that’s so kind of you to say. I really love baking – wow your bakes all look amazing – your decorating skills are amazing, I could learn a few tips from you! I hope I am still baking when I’m your age! 😀 Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  7. These cupcakes look so beautiful and delicious! I’ve yet to find the perfect vanilla cupcake and yours might just be the one that I’m looking for. And a very happy birthday to you!

  8. Sometimes ya just need a classic vanilla cupcake! They are my husband’s favorite so I’m always searching for a new recipe to try out. Can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  9. I’m always willing to go back to basics when it includes cake and buttercream. Looks like a perfect version of a classic.

  10. Happy (almost) birthday Jess! Everyone really needs a go-to cupcake/cake recipe. This is perfect to keep in the recipe box!

  11. Happy Birthday Jess! Your cupcakes look dreamy! What a fantastic way to celebrate and you have quite a few things to celebrate such as your Buzz feed feature, etc..

  12. WOW!! These look so amazingly delicious! What a lovely recipe! Thanks so much for sharing! Gotta love classic cupcakes like this! SO beautiful!

  13. Jess! I can’t believe you’re only 19! You’re such a talented baker and photographer already! Vanilla cupcakes are just perfect for a birthday party – especially your own. These are just beautiful – the frosting looks perfect. Happy birthday for the weekend!

  14. Vanilla-vanilla cupcakes are absolutely my all-time favorite! I think if I had a choice, I would pick vanilla cupcakes (or cake) over any other cake ever. These look perfect, too! And I can’t wait to see your Cyprus photos. Happy birthday! (My birthday was just a few days ago, too…yay for July birthdays!)

    1. Thanks David – happy birthday for the other day, hope you had a great one! 😀 So pleased you like the cupcakes, I was really happy how they turned out!
      Glad you’re excited for my Cyprus pics – hopefully you will all enjoy them! 😀

  15. First of all, welcome back!! I can’t wait to see all your photos from your vacay!
    Second, Happy HAPPY Birthday! Hope it’s a great one! But really, how can it not be spectacular when you have these delicious, fluffy vanilla cupcakes to devour? WITH sprinkles – because it can’t be a celebration without some sprinkles!!! Love the tips you provided for perfect cupcakes and these sure do look perfect!! Congrats on all your blog accolades as well! Totally deserved!!! <3 Cheers, birthday girl! Oh, and cupcakes pinned!!

  16. Oh anything vanilla is right up my alley! The cupcakes look so incredibly fluffy and moist! I am such a sucker for a good dessert, and I certainly need to make these soon! Thanks for sharing, Jessica! 😀

  17. Welcome back Jess! I am loving your Instagram pics and can’t wait to see more gorgeous pictures! I am still searching for my perfect yellow cupcakes so I’m definitely going to try this out. Gorgeous pictures!

  18. Glad you had a nice holiday away, Jess, and these cupcakes do look perfect! I’m a chocolate lover at heart, but I’ve always got a big place for pure vanilla! 🙂

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