Very Vanilla Cupcakes.

My favorite homemade vanilla cupcake recipe. Ditch that boxed mix!

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. :D

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.

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Very Vanilla Cupcakes

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

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt (or plain; or regular yogurt; or even sour cream)
  • 3/4 cup 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 (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4-5 cups powdered (confectioners') sugar
  • 1/4 cup 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 powdered 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.

*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.

 

 

   

377 Responses to “Very Vanilla Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    181
    Alyssaposted June 28, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Sally! Let me just say before I get to the point that I have found dozens of recipes to try on your site. However, this will be the first one I am actually attempting. I have been baking since I was 6 and have yet to find a pure, simple, delicious vanilla cupcake. No frills. I think I may have found it. I do have one question: I am making this for a 4th of July party and was wondering if it could be doubled or if I would have to make two separate batches. Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 29th, 2014 at 7:39 am

      Hey Alyssa! Thank you so much for following my blog! I’m happy you’ll be trying these cupcakes. I usually just make two batches instead of doubling. Doubling makes a lot of batter and it’s sometimes hard to handle it all at once.

      Reply

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    Marisaposted July 10, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Can I use vanilla bean paste instead of the vanilla beans and how much?
    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 10th, 2014 at 10:03 am

      I would do about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon.

      Reply

  3. #
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    Saraposted July 12, 2014 at 2:44 am

    They look delicious! Have you used this recipe as a cake before? I need a good white cake recipe for my daughter’s birthday this week. I always see a lot of cupcake recipes but I’m never sure about using them for cake. Thanks!

    Reply

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    Noorposted July 12, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Sally, love your blog. Tried your lemon blueberry cake and it’s now my favorite cake.
    Anyway, would it be possible to bake these in advance? How far in advance to prevent dryness? Shd I freeze it? Thanks.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 13th, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Hi Noor – you may freeze these baked cupcakes for a few days and thaw overnight in the refrigerator but they taste much better fresh.

      Reply

  5. #
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    Jennifer D.posted July 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Went to get some vanilla beans and ONE was $10!!! Is that right?! I had no idea they were that expensive. Mind you, this wasn’t some fancy store just our local grocery. Needless to say, we are using extract this time. Anywhere to find them cheaper?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 24th, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      I got 3 for $6 at Whole Foods earlier this year. If you can’t find them cheaper, I would just use vanilla extract like you mentioned.

      Reply

      • Kristenreplied on November 3rd, 2014 at 5:54 pm

        If you plan ahead Amazon.com has them for pretty good prices. I got 36 for $17 as opposed to the 2 for $6 at my local grocer.

  6. #
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    Mariaposted August 4, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Hello from Europe :)
    I have two questions: 1. Is it ok if I use both the yolk and the white? Will it affect color only? 2. Do you think it’s possible to put some nutella or jam (e.g. raspberry) inside? I think it would taste divine :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 4th, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Hi Maria. You may use 1 whole egg instead of 2 egg whites, yes. It won’t really affect the flavor at all; just the color. You may stuff them with nutella or raspberry jam, yes!

      Reply

      • Amyreplied on October 24th, 2014 at 9:21 am

        By affecting the color, will it make the cupcakes look more yellow? I’m asking because though they taste great, i would prefer their color a bit more rich, you know, for looks ;)

      • Amyreplied on October 25th, 2014 at 11:53 am

        Excuse me, i was wondering what color the cupcakes would change when adding a yolk?

        • Sallyreplied on October 26th, 2014 at 2:10 pm

          they will be a little more yellow

  7. #
    187
    Jen Littleposted August 17, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Can these cupcakes be made ahead and stored in the freezer?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 17th, 2014 at 10:18 am

      you may freeze these baked cupcakes for a few days and thaw overnight in the refrigerator but they taste much better fresh.

      Reply

  8. #
    188
    Elizabethposted August 17, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Sally,

    I am obsessed with your recipes! You do an amazing job. Everything I have tried is DIVINE!! From your sprinkled cookie bars to the most amazing chocolate chunk cookies, I am never disappointed! My friends and family are in awe of all the deliciousness I have made from yourblog, in fact my 16 year old son asked for your cookie bars for his birthday party. Big hit! I’m excited to try these vanilla cupcakes today for sisters birthday. Thank you for sharing the love!

    Reply

  9. #
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    Keshaposted August 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Hi there, I have made these several times, always a big hit! I want to make them this weekend, however I’m wondering if I can use cake flour instead of all purpose???

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 22nd, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Cake flour would be just fine! I typically use the same amount.

      Reply

  10. #
    190
    Amyposted August 25, 2014 at 9:47 am

    As with every recipe I have made from your website – the Very Vanilla Cupcakes was absolutely delicious. I always appreciate your step-by-step directions – I don’t second-guess myself because you leave that out of the equation. Your knowledge of the science of baking is always evident and I learn a great deal from your suggestions! Therefore, I never make any substitutions and use every ingredient exactly as you recommend.

    I made these yesterday for a Baby Girl’s Shower and as my husband was helping me pipe the frosting he said, “So, is one of Sally’s”? I was proud of him! It was a hit at the Baby Shower and despite my amateur piping abilities – several people asked me for the recipe. Oh, I did sprinkle White Sugar Pearls on top to go with the theme. (http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-Sugar-Pearls-White-Oz/dp/B002N7ST6U)

    I do have one question – where do you get the beautiful cupcake liners? The cupcake liners I have (and I have tried several brands) have stained my muffin tins or not retained their color/vibrancy as yours show through in the post. If you wouldn’t mind sharing where you get the liners – I’d be grateful!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 25th, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Thanks so much for reporting back Amy! I am so glad thee cupcakes were such a huge hit. Those sugar pearls are perfect. What a great addition to the baby shower dessert. I purchase my grease-free cupcake liners here: http://shopsweetsandtreats.com

      Reply

  11. #
    191
    Kristyposted September 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Hello! I am so excited to try these cupcakes. I have unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Is that ok or does sweetened work better?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 3rd, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      I usually use unsweetened vanilla almond, so yes.

      Reply

  12. #
    192
    ericposted September 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Fantastic recipe! Customized mine with a diced version of Alton Browns Banana Foster as a topping. A superb combination.

    Reply

  13. #
    193
    jenniferposted September 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I’ve never tried a white cake recipe just yellow. I have eaten white cake and yellow and there is a difference in the taste. Is this one the true white cake flavor or will it be the yellow cake flavor? I’ve always liked the white cakes.

    Reply

  14. #
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    Nikeivaposted September 23, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I made these last night and brought them into work today. Oh my GOODNESS these are by far the best vanilla cupcakes I have ever made. I tweaked the recipe just a tad using coconut milk and a little coconut oil. My my my. . . Superb. Everyone loves them, thank you.

    Reply

  15. #
    195
    Ashposted September 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

    good god, I can’t wait to make these! I’m drooling :)

    Reply

  16. #
    196
    Christinaposted September 27, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Hi Sally,
    I used regular 2% cow milk and vanilla yogurt as opposed to what you indicated in your ingredients. The cupcakes have a very good taste, however, they get stuck to the paper liner. What do you recommend I do? Thanks!

    Reply

  17. #
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    Meeraposted October 6, 2014 at 4:42 am

    Four words Sally- I AM A FAN!

    Reply

  18. #
    198
    Bonnieposted October 9, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Hi Sally! I’ve made these cupcakes several times and they are a huge hit! I usually double the batter to make 24 cupcakes. I need to make this as a cake tonight for my brothers rehearsal dinner (!) and was wondering if doubling the batter (24 cupcakes) is equivalent to the amount of batter for a cake? I’m using two 9″ rounds. Also how long should I bake for? Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 12th, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Hi Bonnie. I apologize for the delay. I was on our honeymoon. You may certainly 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).

      Reply

  19. #
    199
    Dimitraposted October 13, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Hi Sally,
    I made these vanilla cupcakes last night and they were a hit with my family especially my husband. He thought they were the best cupcakes he has ever had. I plan to make these again for a halloween party but i want to decorate them with halloween themed sprinkles and decorations. Thanks so much for your amazing website! I plan to try your apple pie recipe next and i’m so excited!

    Reply

  20. #
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    Danaposted October 20, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Hi Sally, I am fairly new here as I only recently discovered your blog and love it so far!!! I really love your photos, they are absolutely beautiful! Great job on the blog, I’m so happy to have found it.

    I am on a quest for a perfect vanilla cupcake and I think this is the one. However, I do have a question for you: I have made them twice this week and LOVE the flavour, however they came out of the oven sorta chewy and uncooked (i left them in 25 min) and wondering if its because I used 1 cup buttermilk instead of the yogurt and milk combo (I can’t have yogurt as it bothers my system). I think I saw on your comments that you suggested buttermilk can be susbstited (I used the real thick stuff, not milk w’ lemon juice) and I’m wondering if that’s why they seem too chewy, moist and seemed a bit uncooked. Perhaps I’ll try them again with maybe 1/4 cup buttermilk and 3/4 almond milk…..that may be a bit better perhaps.
    I have bookmarked your page and I’m look forward to trying out more great recipes! :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 20th, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Dana. Chewy cupcakes usually means too much mixing. So, to start, try to avoid overmixing the wet and dry ingredients together. I would definitely try 1/4 cup buttermilk and 3/4 almond milk next time. Also, perhaps your cupcakes were a little underbaked. All ovens are different and even though mine only take 20 minutes, yours could take a little longer than 25. That’s ok. Also, check your oven temperature accuracy with an oven thermometer. My oven is always off and the thermometer helps control it.

      Reply

  21. #
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    Shaliniposted October 22, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Hi sally – I’m looking to make a vanilla birthday cake for my niece. Can I use this same recipe to make two 8-in round layers for a birthday cake? Any suggestions on baking time or another recipe you may have? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 23rd, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Hi Shalini. You may certainly 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). I think the bake time is around 22-24 minutes, give or take. Use a toothpick to determine doneness.

      Reply

  22. #
    202
    Amyposted October 24, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Hey Sally, i was wondering, how much vanilla extract should be used in place of the vanilla beans?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 24th, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      1 teaspoon is good

      Reply

  23. #
    203
    Sarahposted October 29, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Hi, I have baked these minus the vanilla bean, but with French Vanilla yoghurt and Vanilla soy milk, plus I added rainbow jimmies, the last time to create a cross between your Very Vanilla and Funfetti Cupcakes, as I wanted more of the vanilla flavor, and they were very yummy.

    I’m baking them again this Saturday for my daughter’s 2nd birthday, and I’ll be splurging on the vanilla bean and extract. Only thing is, our family doesn’t really like buttercream, as it tastes much like eating sugar-added butter. Is there any other vanilla frosting, perhaps with fresh whipped cream, you can recommend, for these lovely cupcakes?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 29th, 2014 at 8:29 am

      Hi Sarah – how about a simple, light whipped cream topping? I like to flavor mine with a little strawberry jam. However, you can leave the jam out and perhaps add 1/2 teaspoon extra of vanilla extract in its place. http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/01/26/fresh-strawberry-cupcakes/

      Reply

      • Sarahreplied on October 29th, 2014 at 9:10 pm

        Thanks for your reply and suggestion. I don’t suppose the whipped cream version will pipe or hold up very well? As I would still like to achieve that swirled top effect, even if it’s not as sharp as with buttercream. Have you ever tried a compromise between fresh whipped cream and a little butter? Does it become lumpy?

  24. #
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    Lauraposted November 4, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Hi! I absolutely love your recipes! After years of searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, I found it on your blog! I have a couple questions about this vanilla cupcake recipe – Would it still be good with cream cheese frosting? I want to make a mini cake for my son’s birthday and I have a 4×2 cake pan – any thoughts on how long I should bake for? Lastly, if I make the cupcakes the day before his party, what is the best way to store them overnight? Thank you so so much!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 4th, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      Hi Laura! Cream cheese frosting will be tasty. I’m unsure of the bake time for your size cake pan. Store at room temperature covered tightly.

      Reply

  25. #
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    Carrieposted November 4, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Love these! Made them for my sister’s baby shower and got lots of comments about them. I used a different frosting, but everyone loved the cakey cupcake, and many people asked me about the little black flecks :). i loved telling them that there was vanilla bean in the cupcakes. :)

    Reply

  26. #
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    ireneposted November 8, 2014 at 12:08 am

    this cupcake is the best!!!! So moist n yummy i ate the whole batch alone..lol..anyway i just have one question..the 2nd time i baked the cupcakes didnt rise evenly..do hv any idea why this happened? Tq sally :)

    Reply

  27. #
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    Kimposted November 22, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Is your frosting considered gluten free? It looks delicious!

    Reply

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