Soft Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

This vanilla cupcakes recipe is absolutely foolproof. They’re soft, fluffy and as light as a cloud! It’s made with simple ingredients and comes together in just 30 minutes!

vanilla cupcakes recipe

About The Recipe

This recipe was requested by one of my subscribers on YouTube. They said they’ve tried many recipes but the vanilla cupcakes always turn out bland or just not fluffy enough, but this vanilla cupcakes recipe is different. I can guarantee that you’ll get perfect, soft, fluffy and flavorful cupcakes every time!

The secret to fluffy vanilla cupcakes is the use of both butter and vegetable oil instead of just one. The vegetable oil helps keep the cupcakes moist for days, while the butter gives tenderness and richness to the cupcakes. And when butter, oil and sugar are beaten together, the air incorporated gives the vanilla cupcakes a beautiful rise making them light as air.

When it comes to the blandness, the solution is vanilla extract. Although it’s kind of obvious that a vanilla cupcake should have vanilla extract in it. and all the recipes will call for it, it’s the amount that matters. I added a lot more vanilla extract than I usually would for any other cake recipe, a tablespoon to be exact.

This recipe make 24 cupcakes which means it’s perfect for parties, kid’s lunch boxes, or to freeze for later. You’ll need two 12 hole cupcake tins or you could also bake them in 2 batches.

What You Need To Make This Recipe

Butter: use room temperature unsalted butter, so the amount of salt in the cupcakes can be controlled.

Oil: use a neutral oil like sunflower or canola.

Eggs: use room temperature eggs. Eggs create structure and stability in cakes and cupcakes.

Buttermilk: use at room temperature, the acidity in buttermilk activates the baking soda which produces gas causing the cupcakes to rise.

Flour: use regular all purpose flour.

Sugar: do not use any other type of sugar.

Corn Starch: gives the cupcakes a crumbly and tender texture.

Baking Soda and Powder: these are leavening agents, make sure they’re not expired or the cupcakes might fail to rise.

Salt: helps balance the sweetness of the vanilla cupcakes.

Vanilla Extract: the better the quality of your vanilla extract the stronger the flavor of the vanilla cupcakes.

How To Make Soft Vanilla Cupcakes

Let’s go through the step by step process of how to make soft vanilla cupcakes from scratch.

Step 1: In a bowl sift in and combine all the dry ingredients.

Step 2: Beat together the softened butter, vegetable oil and granulated sugar until white and creamy. This takes about 2-3 minutes if you’re using a hand or stand mixer. By hand (whisk) it will take 4-5 minutes.

Step 3: Add in the vanilla extract and eggs one at a time mix well between each addition.

Step 4: From this step onwards switch to a spatula if you are using a stand or hand mixture. Add in half of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and fold together until combined.

Step 5: Now add half of the buttermilk into the batter as well. Fold using a spatula until it’s fully combined. Then add in rest of the dry mixture and fold until combined. Add the remaining buttermilk and fold one last time until everything is fully incorporated.

Step 6: Pour the batter into a cupcake tin lined with cupcake liners. Bake in an oven preheated at  180 °C / 350 °F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Leave the cupcakes in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting

You can frost these vanilla cupcakes with any type of frosting or eat them plain. I frosted some with my 2 minute chocolate frosting(1 batch of this frosting is not enough to frost all of the cupcakes!) and left the rest just plain. Some other great options are whipped white chocolate ganache frosting, vanilla buttercream(<- I don’t have a recipe for this one but here’s a great recipe), salted caramel frosting, or just whipped cream.

Storing/Freezing Vanilla Cupcakes

Store any leftovers in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. To freeze the cupcakes, transfer them(without any frosting) to a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 2 month. You could also wrap them in a layer of aluminum foil for extra protection. Thaw at room temperature.

Pro Tips

  • Measure your ingredients properly, for the flour spoon it into a measuring cup and level it using the back of a spoon.
  • If you have a convection oven (oven with a fan setting) I recommend reducing the temperature by 20 degrees.
  • If you forgot to take the butter out of the refrigerator ahead of time, microwave it in 5 sec increments until it’s softened. Make sure it doesn’t melt though!
  • Easily bring eggs to room temperature by placing them in a bowl of warm water for 4-5 minutes.
  • Easily make buttermilk at home: for every one cup of milk add one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice, let it sit for 3-5 minutes and it’s ready to use!
  • Don’t over mix the vanilla cupcake batter, mix until just combined.

FAQ’s

Can I halve the recipe to make 12 cupcakes?

Yes this recipe can easily be halved to make 12 cupcakes, wherever you see 1/4 cup just measure half of 1/4 cup, in other words 1/8 cup. And use 1 large egg instead of 3.

What can I substitute for buttermilk?

Buttermilk can easily be made at home with just milk and vinegar, check the tip above. If you can’t make it at home either you could also just add whole milk.

I don’t have a stand or hand mixer, can I still make this recipe?

Of course, all you really need is a whisk, spatula and two bowls. It will take a bit longer to beat the oil, butter and sugar, but after that all the step can easily be done by hand.

Can I make vanilla cake with this recipe?

Yes! Pour the batter into two 6 inch cake pans or one 8 or 9 inch cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out.

soft vanilla cupcakes

Recipe Card

Soft Vanilla Cupcakes

This vanilla cupcakes recipe is absolutely fool proof. They’re soft, fluffy and as light as a cloud! It’s made with simple ingredients and comes together in just 30 minutes!

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Total Time: 30 min

Course: Dessert

Servings: 24 cupcakes

Calories: 192kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (270g)
  • 1/4 cup corn starch (30g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter (113g)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (118ml)
  • 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar (330g)
  • 3 large eggs, room temp.
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temp. (290ml)

Instructions

  1. Line your cupcake tins with cupcake liners and set aside. Preheat the oven to  180 °C / 350 °F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl sift in the all purpose flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Give it a mix and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl add in the softened butter, vegetable oil and granulated sugar. Beat until white and creamy. See pic above.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract and mix. Next add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  5. Remaining batter will be made by hand. Add in half of the dry mixture into the wet and fold together using a spatula.
  6. Add in half on the buttermilk and fold until combined. Add in the remaining dry mixture and gently combine.
  7. Lastly add in the rest of the buttermilk and fold together until fully incorporated.
  8. Fill up the cupcake tin- with batter about 3/4’s of the way up.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting or serving. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 192.34kcal

Total Fat: 9.6g

Carbs: 24.26g

Sugars: 14.47g

Protein: 2.8g

Sodium: 108.75mg

Fiber: 0.32g

** Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more. **

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