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A staple for any household – delicious, moist & light vanilla cupcakes with a creamy vanilla buttercream frosting!
Easy vanilla cupcakes
I love cupcakes and I love all different sorts of flavours and decorations, but I realised that I had never posted my easy vanilla cupcake recipe with pictures and method! Shock and horror!! This obviously had to change very rapidly, so here it is!
A sponge like this is super basic, but it’s classic. It’s meant to have few ingredients, yet work together to create a beautifully light sponge that can be used for so many other cupcakes. The basic ingredient rules of a vanilla cupcake are:
- Butter – For a cupcake sponge, you can use either a baking spread, or unsalted butter. People have different preferences, but for a simple sponge like this I tend to use a baking spread
- Sugar – For a vanilla cupcake, I would always use caster sugar. You want a white sugar so it doesn’t impact the colour, fluffiness or flavour of the sponge.
- Flour – I always use self raising flour, but you can make your own by adding 2 level tsps of baking powder to 150g of plain flour, and whisking in before using in the recipe
- Eggs – when making a simple sponge like this the amount of eggs can vary. I tend to stick to 3 medium eggs for 150g of other ingredients, but its best to weigh the eggs in shells before using, and then match the weights of the butter, sugar and flour to that weight.
- Flavour – obviously, vanilla. I use pods, paste or extract – I will never touch essence.
When it comes to the frosting on a cupcake like this, I often go for the American buttercream style frosting as it really is so easy to make.
- Butter – In my opinion, you must ALWAYS use block butter when making buttercream. A spread is not butter, and often results in an unpleasant frosting. Let it come to room temperature and then beat like crazy
- Sugar – icing sugar is always what you need in a buttercream, beat it into the butter like crazy again and you will have a basic buttercream
- Vanilla – obviously, as these are vanilla flavoured, I added some vanilla to the buttercream as well.
If you want a frosting that is slightly different however, you can do cream cheese frosting, or a Swiss meringue buttercream – both work well when vanilla flavoured, and they all bring different elements.
These cupcakes are always a hit with anybody who eats them, doesn’t matter what age or gender, normal vanilla cupcakes absolutely rule all! You can keep them as simple as you like or you can jazz them up with pretty colourful sprinkles or some beautiful baking cups like my photos!
Along with my chocolate cupcakes recipe, I have used these for years and have never changed them – they’re absolutely failproof in my eyes! (And they’re super addictive – I always want vanilla cupcakes when im hungry). I even have a vegan version, and a gluten free version of these too!
Other cupcake recipes
I love basic baking, and these are definitely perfect for that. Delicious moist cupcakes with a hint of vanilla, dolloped and piped with a tonne of delicious creamy vanilla frosting… heaven.
I have tonnes of cupcake recipes on my blog, some of my favourites being my red velvet cupcakes, Biscoff cupcakes, lemon drizzle cupcakes, and my Oreo cupcakes… so I hope these make a great addition! Enjoy!
Easy Vanilla Cupcakes!
- 150 g unsalted butter (or baking spread)
- 150 g caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 150 g self raising flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp whole milk (optional)
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 150 g unsalted butter (room temp)
- 350 g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-4 tbsp whole milk (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 170ºC/160ºC fan and line a 12 hole muffin tray with large cupcake cases/muffin cases.
- Cream together the unsalted butter and caster sugar with an electric beater until smooth.
- Add in the eggs, self raising flour and vanilla extract and beat again for about about 20-30 seconds on a medium speed - it really doesn't take too long, you don't want to over beat it!
- Scoop the mixture evenly into your cases and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until cooked through! Leave to cool fully on a wire rack.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- Beat the softened unsalted butter until smooth - this can take a couple of minutes.
- Add in the icing sugar 1/3 at a time, making sure the sugar is fully incorporated until moving on!
- Once all of the icing sugar is in the frosting mix, keep on beating the frosting and add the vanilla extract whilst doing so.
- Once combined, add your frosting to a large piping bag with a piping tip of your choice.
- Decorate your cupcakes however you like (I use lots and lots of sprinkles!) and enjoy!
- These cupcakes are delicious as they are but you can jazz them up a bit with some chocolate chips - adding 100g to your mix will do nicely!
- These cupcakes will last in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or you can freeze them for up to 3 months!
- I used this Muffin Tin
- I use this 5cm scoop to portion into my baking cups
- I get my baking cups from here - Iced Jems
- I get my sprinkles from here - Iced Jems
Find my other Recipes on my Recipes Page!
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