Very Vanilla Cupcakes.

My favorite homemade very vanilla cupcake recipe. Ditch that boxed mix, these are 1000% better!

The BEST homemade vanilla cupcakes. Easy to make and full of rich, buttery vanilla flavor. Recipe by @sallybakeblog

What a week it has been!

Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me – my last day at my office job. My job in the corporate financial world has been a part of my life for 4 years. Without the experience learned in my career, I would not be where I am today with my website. I am so thankful for my time there!

A new chapter is about to unfold and you may be seeing a lot more of me. I am a full time website publisher, cookbook author, photographer, and sprinkle lover.

Best-Ever Vanilla Cupcakes. Homemade, fluffy, moist, soft, easy.

Today I’m bringing you something simple. No frills, nothing fancy, just pure tasting goodness. Don’t get me wrong, I love an overloaded cookie more than anything. But sometimes you just need to keep things simple.

After I shared my Easy Homemade Funfetti Cupcake recipe with you, I had many readers write to me and ask for a plain vanilla cupcake recipe.  How do I not have one of those on my website? Challenge accepted!

I took the funfetti cupcake recipe, tossed the egg yolk, added in an extra egg white, used vanilla yogurt, and loaded the batter with fresh vanilla bean.  I topped the pretty white cupcakes with extreme vanilla frosting, which is also loaded with fresh vanilla bean.

Look at all the pretty vanilla bean specks!

My favorite recipe for Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes. Ditch that boxed mix, these are much better!

I bought a jar of vanilla beans at Whole Foods for only $6. The are sold in the spice aisle of most major grocery stores.  3 large vanilla beans came in the bottle and today’s recipe will only use one.  Their fragrance is unparalleled by anything (pure or imitation) vanilla extract will give you.

Wait until you smell these cupcakes baking in your kitchen…

Very Vanilla Cupcakes - an easy homemade vanilla cupcake recipe. My favorite! by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Like my Homemade Funfetti Cupcake recipe, today’s cupcakes come from a very simple batter that can be mixed by hand.  Yes, there is no mixer required for the cupcakes!  There are 4 ways I included vanilla flavor today: vanilla beans, vanilla extract, vanilla yogurt, and vanilla almond milk.  Don’t worry, the only two very important ones are the vanilla extract and vanilla beans.  Feel free to use regular yogurt and milk if you need to.

Today’s easy cupcakes are sweetened with sugar, left moist and soft from butter and yogurt, and their color remains impeccably white from using 2 egg whites.  The presence of an egg yolk made these cupcakes a bit too yellow, so I subbed an egg white the second time I made these today. Yes, I have a lot of cupcakes laying around the apartment right now…

The yogurt I used is fat free vanilla flavored greek yogurt. Even though there is only 1/4 cup of yogurt in the batter, I still feel good knowing I’m getting a teeny tiny protein punch from its addition. That makes these “healthy”… right?  Of course.

Very Vanilla Cupcakes by sallysbakingaddiction.com - triple the vanilla in this simple homemade cupcake recipe!

Like I mentioned above, I added vanilla extract to the batter as well as pure vanilla bean.  I simply scraped the seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean into the batter. In order to scrape the seeds of a vanilla bean, simply cut it down the middle length wise and use a knife to scrape out all of the black seeds, aka the intense vanilla flavor specks.

Very Vanilla Cupcakes by sallysbakingaddiction.com

The cupcakes only take about 20 minutes in the oven.  The baking time didn’t really change between my oven switch.  I recently moved and have had trouble adjusting to a new oven.  Fortunately, these cupcakes bake up no differently here.  Quite the solid recipe!

After the cupcakes cool, make your frosting.  The frosting I used is my very favorite fluffy vanilla frosting.  I recently swirled this frosting on top of homemade lemon cupcakes.  If you are a fan of lemon, you don’t want to miss those!  I made the fluffy vanilla frosting again today and added fresh vanilla bean as I mixed the frosting ingredients together.  Yes, I am now in love with vanilla bean seeds. 😀

All it takes is some softened butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean.  I piped my frosting on top with a Wilton 1M piping tip. Feel free to just swirl the frosting on with a knife or use another piping tip.  I love the 1M; it creates pretty swirls like a soft serve ice cream cone!

Very Vanilla Cupcakes by sallysbakingaddiction.com - triple the vanilla in this simple homemade cupcake recipe!

Pure, unadulterated very vanilla flavor. Nothing more, nothing less.  If you are a vanilla fan, you are going to love these.  If you are a chocolate fan, you are still going to love these. If you have any sort of tastebuds whatsoever, you are going to love these.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Very Vanilla Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Print Recipe

My basic vanilla cupcake recipe. Ditch that boxed mix! These taste better any way.

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 and 2/3 cup (210g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup (60g) vanilla greek yogurt (or plain; or regular yogurt; or even sour cream)
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) vanilla almond milk (or cow's milk; or soy milk; or plain almond milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean

Vanilla Bean Frosting

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4-5 cups (480-600g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in sugar - mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg whites, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Split 1 vanilla bean down the middle lengthwise. Scrape seeds from half of the vanilla bean into batter. Reserve other half.
  3. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
  4. Divide batter among 12 cupcake liners (or 24 mini) and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake for 8-9 minutes if making mini cupcakes. Allow to cool.
  5. To make the frosting, beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners' sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add salt if frosting is too sweet (1/4 teaspoon). Frost cooled cupcakes (I used Wilton 1M piping tip). There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake.
  6. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 7.

Additional Notes:

*Strongly urged to use heavy cream.  You may use milk or half-and-half, but heavy cream will give the frosting a thicker texture.  I recommend it.

Do you want to make a vanilla cake out of this? You can! Simply bake in a 9-inch cake pan (I urge you to use a springform pan because this will be a taller cake) and bake for 30-34 minutes. 

Do you want to make a double layer vanilla cake out of this? You can! Double this cupcake recipe and bake it in two separate 9-inch cake pans. Fill the pans only 1/2 way full and use any extra batter to make cupcakes (because there is a little *too much* batter). The bake time is around 22-24 minutes, give or take. Use a toothpick to determine doneness.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

Do you like cupcakes? Here are a few of my favorites.

Easy Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

You will never make boxed Funfetti Cupcakes again after you try this homemade recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

Homemade Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

 

Apple Spice Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

apple spice cupcakes with salted caramel frosting

 

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting

Simple Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Nutella Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

 

Q: What are you up to all weekend?  We are (still) unpacking and getting settled in the new apartment!  Getting used to my new camera and new lighting and a new oven? It’s been a challenge! Nothing a cupcake can’t remedy.

 

 

   

522 Responses to “Very Vanilla Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    281
    Brianaposted January 21, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Hey Sally, a few questions… Can you store the frosting separately? if so how long, where and how do I do it. Thank you =)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on January 21st, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Yep! Cover tightly in the refrigerator for up to a week.

      Reply

  2. #
    282
    Dianeposted January 24, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    Oh my god!!!! My husband is beyond picky and he can never know whats in these, but he loved them Box mixes be gone!!!
    I cut the butter in half and frosting was delish also i split frosting up and added cardamon and cinnamon thank you

    Reply

  3. #
    283
    Saraposted February 24, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Hello, I just found out about your blog a couple of months ago and I just wanted to say that your recipes and tips are simply amazing! I am somehow new to baking and everything I made following your recipes turned out to be a huge hit, especially the caramel apple upside down cake and the apple bundt cake (everybody wanted the recipe to that 🙂 )
    I made the very vanilla cupcakes recipe using an 9 inch pan like you suggest in the notes and it is so light and fluffy and cute! Next time I will use more vanilla though (I had only vanilla powder at home, I live in Greece and vanilla extract is not so easy to come by and it ‘s also quite expensive..)
    Also, the triple chocolate layer cake??? I had been looking for this exact recipe for years, a friend of mine grew up in the States and always made it for birthdays etc and she would never ever give the recipe away :p . I was so glad to find yours 🙂 
    Anyway, sorry for the long post! Thanks again 🙂 

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 24th, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Sara, it sounds like you love apple cakes as much as I do! So happy you’re loving all my recipes. Thank you for reporting back!

      Reply

  4. #
    284
    Beebsposted February 28, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Just wondering if I can use egg whites that have been frozen?
    I had some egg whites leftover from making lemon curd, couldn’t use them at the time so froze them (as many sites indicated that you can).
    Would it be ok to use these in your recipe?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 1st, 2016 at 9:24 am

      I don’t see why not!

      Reply

      • Beebsreplied on March 22nd, 2016 at 6:31 am

        I used the frozen egg whites. Totally fine.  The cupcakes had great flavour and texture.  Definitely a go-to vanilla cupcake recipe, especially when I have egg whites to use up!

  5. #
    285
    Avaposted February 29, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Can I substitute the butter in the cupcake batter for canola oil? I’m making cupcakes for someone who is lactose-intolerant. Also, would coconut or almond milk work instead of whole milk? Thank you!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 1st, 2016 at 9:21 am

      I don’t recommend either, especially not the oil for butter.

      Reply

  6. #
    286
    Vicky Hollandposted March 18, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    I have been searching for a good vanilla cupcake. I have tried several that claimed to be the best. I was having an issue with the liner coming loose after taking them out of the oven. I had no problem with this cupcake. Made them and sent them to work with my Husband for his co workers. He said the comments about how great they were went on and on. My family calls me the Martha Stewart of the family, so i have a lot of experience in baking. This cupcake was fabulous! Those that might have trouble with this recipe either did not follow the measuring directions precisely or their oven doesn’t cook evenly. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 19th, 2016 at 9:19 am

      Glad everyone LOVED them, Vicky! Thanks so much for reporting back.

      Reply

  7. #
    287
    Ananyaposted March 23, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Hey Sally!
    Love your recipes!!
    Quick doubt : can I substitute the butter with anything else? Or is butter the best option??
    Thank a ton!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 23rd, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      No sub for butter. It’s KEY!

      Reply

  8. #
    288
    Laura S.posted March 24, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Not sure if someone has already asked this or not. If I wanted to make 2 or 3 4-inch round cakes, how full would I fill the pans and how long should I bake?

    Reply

  9. #
    289
    Theresaposted March 25, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Hi Sally!
    Can cake flour be used instead? If so, would it be the same amount?
    Thank you and have a blessed Easter!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 26th, 2016 at 9:46 am

      For these, I would use the same amount of cake flour.

      Reply

  10. #
    290
    Kadyposted March 26, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Sally. I just had to comment and let you know that I baked these cupcakes today with my four year old daughter. We added pink, blue, purple and yellow food colouring for a fun Easter theme. My daughter usually asks me to bake cupcakes to distribute to friends and family but she adamantly states that she does not like cake. However, she ate an entire cupcake tonight without frosting! She has never had more than a bite of any cake before and she usually announces her dislike but she absolutely LOVED these and told me to make these “forever”! Thank you Sally for converting my daughter to the fun side!!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 27th, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      WOW! Now that’s a compliment. 😉 So sweet.

      Reply

  11. #
    291
    Ling Weiposted April 7, 2016 at 5:59 am

    HI sally, may i know if i can substitute the butter with veg oil instead? 

    Reply

  12. #
    292
    Dimitraposted April 13, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Sally,
    Could I use lactaid skim milk For this recipe? Or would it affect the cake? Could I use 2 eight inch cake pans instead of 9 inch? 
    Thank you, 
    Love your blog! 
    Dimitra 

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 13th, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      Yep, that should be just fine.

      Reply

      • Dimitrareplied on April 14th, 2016 at 10:54 pm

        Thanks Sally! Do I bake the cakes in the 8 inch pans for 30-34 minutes? 

  13. #
    293
    Melissaposted April 18, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Hi Sally,
    Can I make this without vanilla beans? Vanilla beans are Awfully expensive in my supermarkets. Could I use more vanilla or something?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 19th, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Yep, you can leave them out. Just add more vanilla extract.

      Reply

  14. #
    294
    Claire Chaoposted April 23, 2016 at 5:01 am

    Hello Sally,
    First of all thank you for sharing your amazing recipes.
    I just tried this recipe but it failed 🙁
    Liner sticks to the cupcake and it tastes chewy.
    Also its not as high as in your pictures. 
    Im not sure why..
    Is it because of I whisked egg white for too long?
    Which step should I be careful of not over mixing?
    Or perhaps expired baking soda?
    Appreciate your help, really wanna work out this amazing recipe. 
    Thank you!

    Claire

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 25th, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      Hi Claire! So sorry about that. You’ll want to be careful to NOT overmix the wet & dry ingredients. Baking powder and soda- did you accidentally mix the amounts of the two up? Are they fresh as well? I like to replace mine every 3 months because I find they each lose potency not much longer after that. The cupcakes could have also been underbaked.

      Reply

  15. #
    295
    Hollyposted April 23, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Hi Sally!
    Any thoughts on using buttermilk rather than the almond milk? Love your blog!!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 24th, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Buttermilk easily works as the milk here- no problem there!

      Reply

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