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Vanilla cupcakes with colored frosting on a cooling rack.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

These easy vanilla cupcakes are moist and fluffy with a delicious buttery, vanilla flavor. Topped with creamy vanilla buttercream - they're perfect for birthdays and celebrations.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Vanilla Cupcakes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 557kcal


Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 and ⅓ cups cake flour* spooned and leveled
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter* softened to room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites* discard the yolks
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream*
  • ¼ cup buttermilk* or 2% or whole milk

Vanilla Buttercream

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 3 - 3 ½ cups powdered sugar sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (omit if you want pure white frosting)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • food coloring if desired
  • sprinkles for decorating


Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a regular sized muffin tin with muffin/cupcake papers. 
  • In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking soda & salt. Give them a whisk & set aside.
  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  
  • Beat in the egg whites and vanilla extract.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the sour cream and buttermilk.
  • Beat about ½ of the sour cream mixture into the butter mixture.
  • Beat about ½ of the flour mixture into the batter.
  • Beat in the rest of the sour cream mixture, followed by the rest of the flour mixture. Only beat the batter until combined. Do not overmix.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each about ⅔ full.
  • Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 16-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the cupcakes feel slightly firm to the touch.

Vanilla Buttercream

  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft.
  • Add in the 2 cups powdered sugar, the vanilla extract and salt and beat on low speed until combined.
  • Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon whipping cream until the desired sweetness and thickness is reached.
  • Optionally, beat in a few drops of food coloring.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes with a knife, or spoon the frosting into a piping bag to decorate. (I used a piping bag with a Wilton 1M tip). Decorate with sprinkles.


  1. To make your own cake flour, measure 1 and ⅓ cups all-purpose flour. Remove 3 tablespoons of the all-purpose flour. Then add in 3 tablespoons cornstarch. Sift together 3 times. 
  2. Sour cream can be substituted with plain Greek yogurt if you're in a pinch.
  3. If you don't have buttermilk, whole milk or 2% milk can be substituted. I don't recommend skim milk however, as it doesn't have as much flavor. 
  4. Butter, eggs, sour cream and buttermilk should be room temperature before getting started. Take them all out of the fridge about 30 minutes prior to getting started.
  5. Nutrition information is based on 1 cupcake with frosting.
  6. I do not recommend doubling this recipe, as it can lead to overmixing and the cupcakes not rising properly.
  7. For mini cupcakes, use this recipe. Or line mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners (not candy papers). Fill about ½ (you'll get about 24 cupcakes total) and bake for 10-13 minutes, or until an inserted tootphick comes out clean. 
Make-Ahead & Storage: Cupcakes are best the same day that they'er baked.
  • Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 2 months. Then thaw in the fridge overnight before frosting.
  • To make cupcakes in advanced, bake the cupcakes the day before and cool fully. Then store in an airtight container at room temperature. Make the frosting, and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring the frosting to room temperature by letting it sit on the counter and beat again to soften, then frost the cupcakes. 


Calories: 557kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 77g | Vitamin A: 696IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg