Simple Vanilla Cupcakes

vanilla cupcake

Need a really simple and beautiful cupcake? Here you go. I love to lay in bed at night and leaf through cookbooks. It calms me. One of my favorites is Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess. I was intrigued by the idea of icing the cupcake with royal icing. It kept me up that night. I woke up the next morning and made these immediately. And then we ate them all. They were delicious.

When I made these cupcakes for the first time I was convinced that there would not be enough batter to fill all 12 liners. But there was, you just need to have a little faith and you need to completely scrape the bowl. The cupcakes only need a few tablespoons of batter because you really do not want them to bake up higher than the cupcake liners. You need room for the icing to cover the top and leave of blanket of sweet goodness. This icing is perfect for travel because it dries hard. It is like the frosting that you get on a Christmas cookie. These are a wonderful little treat. I like to put sugared flowers on mine that you can find in a bakery supply store or even at a craft store. But they are just as beautiful plain.

vanilla cupcakeFor the cupcakes:

1 stick plus 1 Tablespoon butter room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
2 eggs room temperature
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 Tablespoons milk temperature

vanilla cupcake recipeFor the Royal Icing:

2 egg whites (or powdered egg whites)
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
food coloring (optional)
sugared flowers (optional)

* adapted from Nigella Lawson *

vanilla cupcake recipePut all of the ingredients in a food processor except for the milk.

vanilla cupcake recipePour the milk through the tunnel and process until smooth.

vanilla cupcake recipePut the batter in the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until brown in a 350 degree oven. Cool completely and then ice.

vanilla cupcake recipeCombine the egg whites and confectioners sugar in a mixing bowl and whip with a mixer until opaque and shiny, about 5 minutes.

vanilla cupcake recipeWhisk in the lemon juice to thin out the icing.

vanilla cupcake recipeMix for a few more minutes until you reach the consistency for spreading on cupcakes.

vanilla cupcake recipeSpread the icing on the top of the cooled cupcakes.

vanilla cupcake recipeHow cute are these sugar flowers?

vanilla cupcake recipeTop with a sugar flower and let harden.

vanilla cupcake recipeMy new favorite cupcake.

Yield: makes 12

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes
Simple Vanilla Cupcakes - Put all of the cake batter ingredients in the bowl of the food processor and let the machine do all the work. The easiest cupcake ever.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick plus 1 Tablespoon butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons milk temperature

For the Royal Icing:

  • 2 egg whites (or powdered egg whites)
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • food coloring (optional)
  • sugared flowers (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a food processor except for the milk.
  2. Pour the milk through the tunnel and process until smooth.
  3. Put the batter in the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until brown in a 350 degree oven. Cool completely and then ice.
  4. Combine the egg whites and confectioners sugar in a mixing bowl and whip with a mixer until opaque and shiny, about 5 minutes.
  5. Whisk in the lemon juice to thin out the icing.
  6. Mix for a few more minutes until you reach the consistency for spreading on cupcakes.
  7. Spread the icing on the top of the cooled cupcakes.
  8. How cute are these sugar flowers?
  9. Top with a sugar flower and let harden.

Nutrition Information:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0 Total Fat: 0g

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116 Comments

    • Aren’t they pretty? They really surprised me by being as good as they are. I find that a lot of her recipes are very eggy tasting and this one is not. Plus the icing is really good.

      Reply
    • Thanks Marla! Will at I see you at the Camp Blogaway Event in September?

      Reply
  • my cupcakes are cooling as I type. so easy in the food processor and so darn cute! I wish I has some sugar flowers to top mine with but white sprinkles will have to do.

    Reply
  • These cupcakes look gorgeous. I love the concept of a cupcake that just rises to the top of the cup and gets a hard icing. I’ve never made any like this and know I will soon. And the way you decorate them with the suagr flowers is just so simple and perfect.

    Reply
    • These are so pretty that you almost don’t want to eat them, and then you get over it and eat a few because they are so good!

      Reply
    • so easy. I like easy too. I really have to be in the mood to make something hard these days.

      Reply
  • hi there – i see from your photo that there is meringue powder…where do you use that? they look fabulous by the way.

    Reply
    • I used meringue powder instead of the egg whites. Thanks for reminding me. You can use either… if you use the meringue powder I would use 3 Tablespoons of the meringue powder.

      Reply
      • thank you for the update so would you only use 3 tablespoons of meringue powder, to the 3 cups of sugar and only 1 teaspoon of lemon juice? no more liquid is needed? sorry for all the questions and thank you in advance.

        Reply
        • If you need more liquid, add it about a half teaspoon at a time. You can always add, but not take away. You are looking for a good thick spreading consistency. How much liquid will depend on a lot of factors, the weather, the consistency you are looking for. Please ask away, that is what I am here for!

          Reply
  • Thanks for the easy recipe, but I had to guess how hot to make the oven… I used 325 but then lowered the heat as I was making mini cupcakes so I didn’t leave them in as long.

    Reply
  • Wonderful recipe! I baked these for my friends and they were asking for seconds! =] I was wondering though, how did you manage to bake them with flat tops? Mine always came out domed at the top and it is hard to ice over them.

    Reply
  • Hi!… wanted to know do you still bake for the same amount of time and 400 degrees for mini cupcakes?

    Reply
    • I am not sure, I have never made them into mini cupcakes, but I would think that they would take less time.

      Reply
      • Oh okay…because I burnt them….lol! I’m going to try another batch and see how they come out.

        Reply
  • I really love how my cupcakes turned out! This is one of the best cupcake recipes I have tried.

    Reply
    • I don’t see why not, but you will probably have to cream the butter with the sugar first.

      Reply
  • Mine didn’t come out very well they tasted bad. I don’t know what I did wrong!

    Reply
    • I am really sorry Sally. I have never had that problem before. Maybe you got a bad egg or something?

      Reply
  • Awesome recipe! I Just made these and they came out ssssssso delicious. I almost didn’t even leave any for my husband lol. I used lemon extract instread of the vanilla extract for the batter. And they were perfect. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • I am glad that you liked these, the lemon extract must have been delicious in these.

      Reply
  • Hi
    I was wondering that for the cupcakes, is it possible for me to use a cake flour instead of regular flour?

    Reply
    • I am not sure, I have never tried to use cake flour in this recipe.

      Reply
  • These cupcakes look so simple and cute! Have you ever tried doing mini cupcakes with this recipe?

    Reply
    • No, I haven’t, but I bet that they would be great. Just reduce the cooking time.

      Reply
  • I tried this recipe last night to take to my running group. I think next time I might not add the extra butter, but they came out really good. I used a hand mixer and it seemed to work just fine. I did take them out after 12 minutes and they were done.

    My 7 yr old nephew rated them a 7 out of 10. Not bad! He loves chocolate so next time I’ll make chocolate frosting and I’m sure he will rate them 10 for sure. 🙂

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • I just tried making these cupcakes with my nanny girls and we looked in the oven with about 4 minutes left to cook and they were spilling over the top mushy watery fried on the top looking disasters. Not sure what we did wrong but we followed the recipe to the exact. Can you explain?

    Reply
  • Im thinking of making these….But i was just wondering why on the pictures the cupcakes look so dark, do they always turn out like that, or is that just another picture just to show the icing???

    Reply
  • i looooove these cupcakes! i made the for my sisters birthday and they were a big hit! and the best part is, they were sooo simple and easy to make!!!

    Reply
  • I loved these! I made these for my friend’s birthday. They were sweet, cute, and delicious. (:

    Reply
  • Approximately, how many grams is 1 stick of butter? I want to try this recipe. Looks delicious. 🙂

    Reply
  • I made these but tasted overpowering baking soda…? This may be why others had trouble with the taste.

    Reply
    • I need to make these again, I get so many questions about this recipe. It is a British recipe and sometime the measurements can be off.

      Reply
  • Mine came out very greasy (the baking cups are now wet with grease, and I didn’t grease the cups or anything) and have a very mealy consistency. I did not have baking powder so I used a substitute, could this have affected them? Also, in the pictures above, the cupcakes are brown in color, while mine were yellow.

    Reply
    • Yes, it could have. When you are baking you really cannot substitute, especially a leavener. I am sorry that these did not work out how you wanted them to.

      Reply
  • If I’m using a stand mixer, would I just cream the butter and sugar first? I’m a total bonehead and like to attempt recipes when I know the step by step process, so I’m scared to attempt this without knowing how to. Lol.

    Also, when I finally get around to getting this food processor, when you say to pour the milk through the tunnel…what tunnel do you speak of? The food chute? (Again, I’m a total bonehead so I’m pretending I understand.) Thanks~!

    Reply
  • So I did have the same problem as one of the ladies before me. I tried the mini cupcake idea, and they tasted great. The problem is that the very bottom of the cupcake liner is just greasy! Did we ever find a solution for this? (And thanks so much for posting this recipe, it’s AWESOME!)

    Sincerely,

    Nyki

    Reply
    • Let me know if you figure it out. Maybe they are being overbaked.

      Reply
  • Beautiful easy muffins! I did mine in my bullet with the blender attachment. Thank you so much

    Reply
  • Baking these cupcakes right now. I’m going to try to use them as a base cupcake for a cookie dough cupcake creation I’m making. Thank you.

    Reply
  • You are my inspiration in making my ever first cupcakes to be bake right now. and I thank you for that 🙂 but i am bit concerned or nervous in using our oven, its in celsius right? and our oven only reaches at 280degrees, so i’ll just put it on 280 degrees? or another oven? First-timer 😀

    Reply
  • Hey there! My name is Maggie and I am 12. I just started my own cupcake business and your cupcakes have helped me get started! Thanks! 🙂

    Reply
  • hey Bree,
    i love your blog. i just tried this recipe and
    wooow it turn out to be amazing.
    i tagged you in my last post where i sheared my result of your recipe and i sheared also the recipe if u don’t mind.
    Fatma, xo

    Reply
  • Was just wondering if you knew of any way to make these less greasy? How would cutting down the butter affect the recipe? I’m new with baking so I don’t really know how to tweak recipes to make them perfect for me haha. These were divine, just a bit too buttery- my hands were slippery after I ate one and the liners are pretty greasy too and I followed the measurements to a T

    Reply
    • I have never had this problem, and I have made them many times. 9 Tablespoons is not a lot of butter, so I am not sure what the problem is.

      Reply
  • Hey,
    I recently discovered your blog. It’s so nice. my questions is may i use self rising flour for your cake recipe?

    Reply
    • I have no idea, I have never used self-rising flour before.

      Reply
  • can i use a blender instead of a electric mixer or food procceser?

    Reply
    • You are probably better off doing it by hand. I think that a cake batter would be too thick for it.

      Reply
  • I have tried countless cupcake recipes, and they have all been disappointments until today! I just baked them for my sister’s birthday and they turned out amazing. They rose really nicely in the oven. Unlike the other recipes, they came out fluffy, not dense at all. Thank you, you’re a life saver! 🙂

    Reply
    • this makes me so happy! This recipe is so hot or miss for people. I make it all the time and have never had an issue, I am so glad that it worked so well for you.

      Reply
  • Hello these cupcakes look so good! I am going to bake them this afternoon just because they look so good and thanks to you I know how. Oh yes and where did you get the blue sugar ( Pretty ) flowers I wonder?

    Reply
  • there was a few typos involving this recipe the temperature of the milk was unclear and the suger and flour were not the right portions for baking.. all my cupcakes did was sink.

    Reply
  • I have a lot of leftover frosting. Can I put it in the fridge to use in two weeks time, or will it not keep?

    Reply
    • I don’t think so, royal frosting can be kept in an airtight container for a few days at room temp, but not weeks.

      Reply
  • Your recipes are outstanding!! Truly superior. I have tried the chocolate cake w/ chocolate butter cream as well as some others. Thank you for your wonderful blog. I am thrilled to try out these cupcakes.

    Reply
  • Wow this is an awesome cupcake recipe! It was just sweet enough and the the texture was great. I didnt have a food processor so I did it by hand and it was just fine. Also at the end I added a mashed banana and some chocolate and it was very yummy. Thanks for the simple and delicious recipe!!!

    Reply
  • Hi 🙂 I am 14 years old haha but I was wondering how do you start a blog for recipes? Does it cost money for a website? Sounds so fun! Thanks 😛

    Reply
  • I just made these this afternoon. They are delicious. I love that they were fluffy and not dense like so many of the countless recipes I have made. These are my new go to when my children want vanilla cupcakes. I topped them with a cinnamon crumb and they were perfect! Thank you!

    Reply

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