Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream recipe

So, my oldest turned 10 recently. I was surprisingly and uncharacteristically mushy about the whole thing. He is a joy, and I cannot believe that I have been his mom for 10 years. Birthdays are about celebration and celebrations would be not a party without cupcakes. Or cinnamon rolls, or red velvet cake. My son has high baking demands when it comes to his week-long birthday extravaganza. He requested cinnamon rolls for his class treat, red velvet cake for his actual birthday dinner, and cupcakes for his friend party. The rest of my family is completely unaffected by my baking abilities, but William really appreciates a homemade baked good. He has learned to capitalize on it (flattery and his big blue puppy dog eyes work like a charm) and uses his birthday to see what I am really made of. He tests my baking chops.

This year he wanted to have a few of the boys from his class over to make homemade pizza. They were pros. They didn’t even make a mess of the kitchen, it was great. They played Madden until their thumbs were weak, we didn’t hear a peep other than the occasional touchdown noise, and it was one of the most enjoyable parties we have ever had. When it came to his kid party cake, he told me to surprise him. I know what you might be wondering, why did you pick a boring vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream? Well, because I heard that these were the best. Alison from The Alison Show talked about them on Instagram, and I figured that if she said that this was the best vanilla cupcake recipe, it was worth a go. Guess what? She was right. These cupcakes are divine. The thing about the batter and the buttercream is that both recipes  have some specific steps – and that is what sets them apart from all others. The batter needs to rest. Makes perfect sense, so does pancake batter, why didn’t I think to rest my cupcake batter? The buttercream is the best I have ever had. Light, not too sweet, and the perfect texture. These cupcakes are from the Trophy Cupcakes & Parties book. I buy a lot of cookbooks, it is sort of my thing. A lot of books I skim through once or twice and shelve. This book I go to all the time. I love this book and it is a great one to add to your collection.

P.S. Alison has no idea who I am, but I love her. Any girl that appreciates a fountain soda and loves to dance in the kitchen as much as I do is okay in my book.

P.P.S My recipe below for buttercream is the full size original recipe. For the pictures, I made a half batch. I had just enough frosting for 24 cupcakes. Nobody wants a chintzy amount of frosting on their cupcake.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream recipe

Vanilla Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons half-and-half
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs

vanilla cupcake recipe

In a large bowl sift together flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

vanilla cupcake recipe

In a pitcher, whisk together milk, half-and-half, and vanilla. Set aside.

vanilla cupcake recipe

Cream together butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

vanilla cupcake recipe

Add eggs one at time, mixing well and scraping the bowl after you add each egg.

vanilla cupcake recipe

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture.

vanilla cupcake recipe

Add 1/2 of the milk. You add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, and the liquid in 2.

vanilla cupcake recipe

When everything has been added scrape the bowl one more time. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with paper liners.

vanilla cupcake recipe

Fill the paper liners three quarters of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

vanilla cupcake recipe

The cupcakes will be pale in color. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

vanilla buttercream recipe

Vanilla Buttercream (FULL SIZE RECIPE)

3 cups (6 sticks) butter, room temperature
6 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

best vanilla buttercream recipe

Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until the butter is pale, very smooth, and makes a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. This takes about 30 seconds if you butter is really soft, a bit longer if the butter is cooler.

best vanilla buttercream recipe

Add the sugar one cup at a time. Mix until it is incorporated before you add the next cup.

best vanilla buttercream recipe

When all of the sugar has been added, scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt, beat on low speed for 15 seconds.

best vanilla buttercream recipe

Increase the speed to high (or just high enough so that it doesn’t make a mess). Beat until whipped, light, and perfectly smooth, about 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl once or twice. The frosting will look like it is getting really soft, but it will stiffen and increase in volume.

best vanilla cupcakes recipe

Add the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

best vanilla cupcake recipe

Add sprinkles. It’s a birthday after all.

Travel Framed Photos Photo Collage

Oh hey there!

BakedBree was originally created by Boston-based blogger Bree Hester but is now run by a team of food bloggers with a passion for all things food. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next adventure.

raspberry orange pistachio ricotta cake slices on a wire rack

Don’t Miss a Thing!

The newsletter you can’t wait to read. Best enjoyed with a beverage and a snack.Β 

Enter your email address below to join my list and receive my weekly Friday newsletter and new blog posts.

New York Crumb Cake

This Post Has 70 Comments

  1. Lynda @Me and My Pink Mixer

    Hi fountain Diet Coke drinking friend! Your cupcakes look fabulous and I can’t wait to try this recipe! I have been looking for a go-to vanilla cupcake. Pinned and printed the recipe – now I’ve got to run to Sheetz for a Diet Coke πŸ™‚ Happy Thursday!

    1. bakedbree

      A girl after my own heart, but I am a Wawa girl! I LOVED these cupcakes. I hope you do too.

  2. Jeena


    Cupcakes looks so yummy. Can you pelase tell me whats this half and half?

    1. bakedbree

      Half cream and half milk. You buy it in the dairy aisle.

  3. Omotayo

    Love this! Which baking cup did you use and what size is it? I only have one 12 hole muffin tin. Can I bake it in 2 batches or they all have to go in the oven at the same time?

    1. bakedbree

      You can do it in two batches. Just refrigerate the batter in between.

  4. Carrie

    Just made this vanilla buttercream. It is amazing! Great flavor and texture! I had plenty to frost a 2 layer 9in round cake with this plus many “taste test bites”. Thanks for sharing, Bree!

    1. bakedbree

      Isn’t it? I love this frosting, it is my new favorite. The book is great and has lots of great frostings. πŸ™‚

  5. Kadee

    I’m excited to try this recipe! I have my all-time favorite chocolate cake recipe but I have tried DOZENS of vanilla and just can’t find one that takes the cake! πŸ˜‰ Perhaps this resting trick will do the job! Thanks for posting!

    1. bakedbree

      You are welcome! Hope you like this one as much as I do.

  6. What Jessica Baked Next...

    A good vanilla cupcake recipe never goes out of date! Your photos are beautiful πŸ™‚

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Jessica!

  7. Memoria

    Happy birthday to your son! The cupcakes look delightful and yummy!

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you stranger! It is nice to “see” you! Hope that you are doing well.

  8. Tina Johnson

    Is the cake flour necessary? Will it drastically affect the outcome of the cake? If you say it will then I will definitely get some cake flour πŸ˜‰

  9. Susan

    You and Alison are right – these are the best vanilla cupcakes I have ever made. I made half a batch, just to try them out, and they are moist, light, and delicious. I also made the buttercream and used it on my favorite chocolate cake – also the best I have ever made. So hard to find “the” recipes for such staples but, for me, these are IT.

    1. bakedbree

      Yeah! I am so glad. And I so agree with you. Once you find it, stick to it. And then play with that one. This is a great base recipe to play with flavors.

  10. yola

    I tried your recipe twice, and it was magic.. my son loves it, everybody loves it too…
    Your vanilla is my saviour for my son’s snack time..

    1. bakedbree

      I am so glad! I love this recipe too. Such a good cookbook, you should pick it up.

  11. Catrina

    The flour listed 2.5 cups is it Self rising or all purpose flour?

    1. bakedbree

      all-purpose. It is always all-purpose unless otherwise stated.

  12. Ann

    I made these yesterday but used my own cream cheese frosting (I prefer the buttercream but I was making them for my son who likes the other). He declared them better than Georgetown Cupcake (which to him is the highest of compliments!) Great job.

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you! That is a compliment!

  13. Clementine

    Awww this is soooo amazing!! I’ve been thinking about getting this book for so long and today I’m gonna give these vanilla ones a try and then I can decide if I’m finally buying it!! πŸ™‚ I simply love the “Trophy” cupcake stores and I hope that the cupcakes will turn out just the way I remember them!! I’m thinking about making a coconut frosting on top tho, since those are my total faves πŸ™‚

    1. bakedbree

      Buy it, it is such a good book. I use it a lot.

  14. Alejandra Azua

    About how many cupcakes is this buttercream enough for?

    1. bakedbree

      I would say 12-18 with lots of frosting. If you pipe like I did, you will not get as many cupcakes out of it.

  15. ashy

    I need to make 3 dozen of cupcake tomoro, and need to make grass like icing…
    how much of icings do I need to make to cover all 3 dozens.

    1. bakedbree

      I’d triple it at the very least. And I would make it in batches.

  16. Jess

    I hadn’t ever made cupcakes or frosting in my life until I tried these recipes this morning. Everything came out perfect. Thanks so much!!!!

    1. bakedbree

      That’s great Jess!

  17. Marie

    I need enough frosting for 5 cupcakes.

    What would the measurements be?

    1. bakedbree

      You will have to do the math, I’m not really sure.

  18. Laura

    I’m making my son’s birthday cake on Friday. Will the cupcake recipe work well as layered rounds? If so, any idea on amounts or cooking times? I’m thinking of doubling the cupcake recipe as shown and at LEAST doubling the frosting recipe as I LOVE frosting and could end up eating some before the cake is ready πŸ˜‰


    1. bakedbree

      I’ve never made it into rounds. Cake times are usually 18-22 minutes. And I would double the frosting, but the batter should make a 2 layer cake.

  19. Cassie

    By vanilla, you mean vanilla extract? Just to clarify because I don’t want to add actual vanilla bean just in case.

    1. bakedbree


      1. ST

        Do you use clear vanilla to get the frosting so white? Whenever I use pure vanilla extract my frosting is not that white

        1. bakedbree

          No, you probably did not beat your butter enough.

  20. Laylah

    I wanna make half a dozen cupcakes and frosting enough for that, what do I do?

  21. Laylah

    What’s the original yield for the cupcakes ? Also, what do you mean when you say “You add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, and the liquid in 2”. Thanks for this recipe, it looks delicious!!!

  22. Laylah

    What do you mean when you say “You add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, and the liquid in 2”, I’d really appreciate it if you answered!!! Thankyou.

  23. Sarah

    Hello Bree , What do you mean by “You add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, and the liquid in 2.”? Thank you for your time.

    1. bakedbree

      It means you add a third of the dry, half of the wet, then another third of the dry, the rest of the wet, and end with the last third of the dry.

      1. Megan

        The recipe doesn’t specify what type of milk or butter. Based on the photos, it looks like whole milk and unsalted butter in the batter and frosting. Is that correct?

        1. Bree Hester


  24. Shelley

    I tried making the buttercream icing and found it to be hugely over buttered. I talked to friend who has made it before but makes it with 1 stick of butter and 3-4 cups of sugar. Is this one suppose to have a heavy butter flavor? Next time I think I’ll go with less butter. However, next time I make cupcakes I will definitely be making the Christmas lights decoration. It’s so cute. Too bad I couldn’t do it this time around.

    1. bakedbree

      Buttercream has a heavy butter flavor. It’s supposed to. Add more sugar if you want less.

  25. Vicky

    Hi, I am really excited to make these but I have a quick question, I don’t have a stand mixer, will I be able to use an electric hand mixer?

    1. bakedbree

      Yes, it just take longer.

  26. Scotty

    Do you think this recipe would work well as funfetti cupcakes if i just mix in some jimmies at the end?

    1. bakedbree

      Sure. They might bleed a little in the batter, but it should work just fine.

  27. Laurie Quackenbush

    My favorite cake everyone who has tried this loves it. One question though it seems to make a lot more than 24 cupcakes .I’ve made two cakes and ten cupcakes with this recipe.I want to halve this would that work?

    1. bakedbree

      I’ve never halved it. I would bake it all off and freeze cupcakes or an extra layer for another day.

  28. Laurie Quackenbush

    Love this recipe though it makes a lot more than 24 cupcakes. I have made this 3 times and want to halve this recipe to make a pokeball cake in a pyrex bowl I really hope it works.

    1. bakedbree

      Let me know if it does!

  29. Karen

    Looking at the recipe for Butter Cream Frosting. The first list of ingredients says 3 sticks of butter, but in the second list (for printing & shopping) only 2 sticks are listed. Both call for 3 cups xxx sugar. Which is correct?

    1. bakedbree

      3. I’l change it. Thanks for the heads up.

  30. Courtney

    So would have the cutting the buttercream recipe in half be enough for 24 cupcakes?

    1. Courtney

      ***would cutting*** didn’t mean to put have.

    2. bakedbree

      I don’t think so. I always err on the side of too much frosting instead of not enough.

  31. Pingback: Swiss Meringue Buttercream - Baked Bree

  32. Pingback: How to Make Flower Cupcakes [Roses, Zinnias, and Hydrangeas] |

  33. Pingback: Diplomat Cream - Custard and Whipped Cream Heaven

  34. Pingback: Christmas Light Cupcakes | Baked Bree

  35. Maddie

    How many cupcakes does this recipe make?
    Thank you.

    1. Bree Hester


Leave a Reply