Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes

vanilla cupcakeDon’t get me wrong-cupcakes made from store-bought cake mix are pretty darn delicious! But almost every boxed cake mix has hydrogenated oils and other unhealthy ingredients to help shelf life, etc. I never thought baking a cupcakes from scratch was possible, until I tried this recipe. I looked through so many recipes online, only to find 4 star or less quality recipes. I truly think this one deserves 5 stars, and I am so excited to share it with you all! I must warn you that if you are looking for store-bought sickeningly sweet cupcakes, this recipe probably won’t please you. I think they have just the right amount of sweetness to go with any frosting recipe without making the whole cupcake itself TOO SWEET. The cupcakes also come out really moist (don’t you HATE dry cupcakes?!). I am excited to hear what you think ๐Ÿ™‚ Try these with my better than store-bought vanilla frosting!

4.5 from 15 reviews
Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Type: Dessert
Serves: 24
  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1⅓ cups cold milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together in a standalone mixer with paddle attachment (or electric hand mixer).
  4. Add eggs, one at a time until blended.
  5. Add vanilla and beat on medium just until blended, then turn to low speed.
  6. Add flour mixture a little at a time until all of it is blended in. Mixture will be very thick.
  7. Add cold milk and set mixer to "stir" setting, or the very lowest setting possible.
  8. Once you have a homogenous mixture, use a large spoon to scoop batter into a prelined cupcake pan, filling each cup ⅔ full.
  9. Bake about 25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Remove immediately and place onto a cooling rack to cool before frosting.
Makes 24 cupcakes

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  1. Gloria says:

    Greetings! I saw this on Pinterest. They look delicious! I am going to try them one day. Thank you for sharing!! I have never made cupcakes from scratch, I’ve always bought the store bought cake mix to make them. Would this recipe also be good to use for making a cake? I wonder…

    • mysanfranciscokitchen says:

      Hi Gloria! Wow your “little red house” looks so peaceful with all of the trees surrounding it! Hmm I personally think these cupcakes are soo good, I would love to try the recipe and make a cake with it. If & when I do I will let you know how it turns out, please do the same if you ever try it out ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been searching for a YELLOW CAKE recipe forever, and still haven’t found THE ONE… maybe this will be it!

  2. Deneve Marie says:

    Excellent cupcakes! I paired them with your frosting recipe and they were perfect! I don’t normally leave reviews, but this one is a keeper. Thanks!

  3. April says:

    I’m in the process of waiting for the cupcakes to be done right now and the dough tastes really good and it looks good but the recipe is making about 6 more cupcakes than expected!

  4. Kim says:

    This recipe is absolutely amazing! I paired it with your “better than store-bought vanilla frosting” and they were delicious ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  5. Erica says:

    Hi, I just found this recipe it based on the reviews I would love to try it. I have used others that were good but I always like to try new ones. the only question I have is, what do I do if I only have salted butter? do I just decrease the salt the recipe calls for? if so, by how much?

    • Kristianne says:

      Hi Erica!
      1 stick of butter has about 650mg sodium, which is just a bit more than 1/4 tsp…Therefore, if you use salted butter, just do not add ANY additional salt. Hope this helps!

  6. Laura says:

    I just put these in the oven, and the batter tasted absolutely amazing, so I’m having positive thoughts for the outcome of these cupcakes!

  7. Deborah Johnson says:

    I Googled ‘Vanilla Cupcakes from scratch” and your recipe popped up. I just finished making them for my daughter’s birthday and she along with everyone else loves them!! I frosted them with my mother’s Butter Cream icing and they turned out fabulous. Thanks so much for the great recipe.
    Based on how these cupcakes turned out I am going to try your Baked Light White Cheddar Pasta next. Can’t wait.
    And thanks again for the wonderful recipe!

  8. Shazza says:

    Hi Kristianne, I followed your recipe to a T. These cupcakes were simply amazing. I’m going to make a cake with fondant and wondering if I can use this recipe and if it will be firm enough to hold the fondant. Please let me know. Cheers

  9. Jessica says:

    I just made the first batch of your cupcakes, the batter tastes amazing so I was hoping for a great outcome….I did them for exactly mins on 350 an there a bit dried up. im so sad about it. So my next batch im going to try for 20 mins hopefully this will resolve the issue bc they smell amazinf look amazing an the batter tastes yum! Wish me luck

  10. Jeanesha says:

    I am in a Culinary 2 class and I was looking for recipes for cupcakes and your website popped up. I am really excited because of the reviews and I hope that it works well because I am going to put chips ahoy at the bottom of them.

  11. Yad says:

    I tried this recipe and I must have done something wrong (I only cut back on the sugar since I felt 2c was too much). The cupcakes were very tasty, but not exactly what I expected. When I pulled them out of the oven they shrank on the bottom and the top went down.

    Was cutting sugar wrong? Should I have reduced the amount of liquid as well? I had never had this issue before.

  12. Nelly says:

    hi ๐Ÿ™‚ im thinking about making these cupcakes but i dont have enough butter to make 24 cupcakes and for the frosting… can i just cut the ingredients in half and make 12 cupcakes instead?

  13. Erika says:

    I just took my cupcakes out the oven, and they only baked for 20 minutes, the toothpick came out clean, so I took them out then. They didn’t rise too much, their about the same level of the liner, they smell good. I can’t wait too see how they turn out.

  14. Erika says:

    I was expecting a light and fluffy cupcake when I took a bite, instead it was doughy and dense. I don’t know what went wrong, I followed all directions carefully. I’m sorry but these were not good at all. The only things I did differently was that I sifted the flour, and instead of putting all the flour in at once, I alternated it with the milk.

    • Kristianne says:

      Hi Erika! Thanks for your comment, I’m sorry you didn’t like the way they turned out! It may be because cake flour is better to use than all-purpose flour (you will end up with a “lighter” cake)

      • Erika says:

        Hi again, thank you for responding, I checked my ingredients and turns out my baking powder was expired. And guess how old it was? It expired in December 2007!! Lol, I guess I never really used it much in my other recipes because it never made a difference before, but anyways I’m glad I found the problem and I’m sure these cupcakes are wonderful! Will have to try them again another time.

  15. Rebekah says:

    If I wanted to make this recipe as a cake using a 9×13 pan how long I would need to bake the cake for?

  16. Stephanie says:

    I made these tonight. I followed the recipe exactly, icing and all. They turned out amazing! I’ll be making these again for my son’s birthday!(:

  17. Stephanie says:

    These cupcakes are really good. They aren’t too sweet, they aren’t too dry and tough, they are absolutely PERFECT.

  18. Jamie says:

    In your recipe it calls for AP flour but in one of your comments you said cake flour is better to use. So which should be used? Also, what if I only have an electric hand mixer with regular attachments? Is the paddle needed?


    • Kristianne says:

      Hi Jamie! You can use either, but cake flour will make it lighter… AP flour makes the cupcakes a bit more dense, but still yummy (I use AP flour). Paddle not needed ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Sunny Marie says:

    WOW just wow! I scoped around for a good plain recipe that was more than 4 stars and yours popped up! I haven’t made cake from scratch in so long so I was nervous. (plus mine always taste “eggy!” which is not what I wanted!) I added a touch of butter rum flavor with the vanilla, and they came out perfect and moist. I was so excited I frightened my husband! haha!

  20. Sloan says:

    Hi! I’m a 16 year old and I came across these today and I love it! It made more than 24 (I filled up each cup a little past half way) and they did end up underneath the liner but I don’t mind that at all, that’s my own error. I did notice they shrank on the bottom and I used AP flour so they do feel dense but they smell amazing and I kept eating the left over batter ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I could make 6 or so more with the left over. There’s a little more than 2 cups and I might bake those tomorrow. I didn’t use your frosting recipe though and I regret it because I used crisco in the one I made and it’s sweet and insanely heavy and thick and I hope that’s ok (it does go through a piping tip and holds its shape really well. Thank you so much and I will undoubtedly come back to these cupcakes ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Michelle Alexandre says:

    Is it possible to use half ap flour half cake flour? I’m going to make these for a first communion.

    • Kristianne says:

      I haven’t tried that…I know there is a conversion you would usually do for ap flour & cake flour, (1 cup ap flour = 1 cup + 2 tbsp cake flour) so maybe give that a try!!

  22. Lacy says:

    Hi there! I made this recipe the other day and they were amazing!!! I’ve been searching for a vanilla cupcake recipe forever and none came up to par UNTIL this one! Thank you so much!!

    I do have one question though… While the cupcakes were cooling, the top and edges became a little hard. Would it be better to cool them in the fridge until ready for frosting?

  23. Lisa says:

    I just wanted to thank you for posting this recipe! I made this morning for my grand-daughter’s birthday and they are YUMMY! Two thumbs up from my grandkids! The recipe was easy to follow and easy to make. Thank you again! I will be making these a lot!

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