Vanilla Cupcakes

This is the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe! Delicate and moist, enriched with pure vanilla flavor, and compatible with ANY icing, these cupcakes will delight any occasion. It can be difficult finding a moist, buttery vanilla cake recipe that isn’t dense or bland. What makes this one different? It’s a butter-based cake that uses egg whites and cake flour, a low gluten and low protein flour that promises light, fluffy, and delicate cake.


  • Easy to bake and decorate
  • 10 ingredients or less
  • Super delicate white cake
  • Super moist texture
  • Goes well with ANY icing

Moist Vanilla Cupcakes

If there is one ingredient you cannot substitute, it’s cake flour. If you can’t find cake flour, you could use all-purpose flour or pastry flour, but the texture won’t be nearly as soft and may result in a dense, bread-like cake.

Vanilla cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles

These cupcakes taste best when paired with Swiss Meringue Buttercream or Vanilla Buttercream. Swiss meringue buttercream is a little more work, but this icing is super airy, silky, not too sweet, and reminiscent of vanilla ice cream. Yum!

If time is of short supply, there’s no shame in using store bought buttercream! Some grocery stores such as Whole Foods and Publix sell their store-brand buttercream to customers. Otherwise, you can go with the household name brands such as Duncan Hines, Wilton, or Satin Ice. Organic brands include Miss Jones and Simple Mills.

As for what sprinkles to use, I personally love sprinkles from Sprinkle Pop or India Tree. For these cupcakes, I used India Tree Nature’s Colors Carnival.


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Vanilla cupcakes with Swiss meringue buttercream


Cupcake baking pan

Cupcake liners

Silicone spatula

Hand mixer or stand mixer

Large, medium, and small mixing bowls

Assorted piping tips and piping bags

Vanilla Cupcakes

Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 Cupcakes


  • 2 (90g) eggs
  • 2/3 cup (162ml) whole milk
  • 2 tsp (8ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (200g) cake flour
  • 1 cup (200g) cane sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp (13g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
  • 24 oz vanilla buttercream, homemade or store bought
  • simple syrup, for brushing
  • optional: sprinkles


Make the cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk, and the vanilla extract.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. While the mixer is still running, add the egg and milk mixture to the dry ingredients and butter a third at a time, 20 seconds at a time.
  6. When fully incorporated, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, and mix again on high speed for 40 seconds to aerate the batter.
  7. Line a 12-count cupcake tray with 12 jumbo cupcake liners. Fill each line 2/3 high with cake batter.

  8. Bake the cupcakes in the middle of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden brown and a toothpick runs clean when probed into the middle of the cupcakes.

  9. Brush a thin layer of simple syrup over the cake and allow the cake to cool completely before serving or frosting.

Decorate the cupcakes

  1. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely. You can place them in the freezer for 20 minutes if you're short on time.

  2. Using a spatula or a piping bag with an open or star tip, ice each cupcake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, or your choice of buttercream

  3. Top your cupcakes with your favorite sprinkles.

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