The BEST Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

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If you are looking for the best vanilla cupcake recipe your search is over because you have found it! These vanilla cupcakes are easy to make, thanks to the all-in-one method that is whipped up in just 3 minutes!

The best vanilla cupcakes recipe - a picture of a freshly baked vanilla cupcake

Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

I have been baking these vanilla cupcakes for about a decade now, and they are my tried and trusted go-to recipe when I need to make a batch of simple cupcakes to decorate for a party, event, or celebration.

They have been the base of pretty much all of the cupcakes for parties that I have made and shared on The Purple Pumpkin Blog, and unless another awesome vanilla cupcake recipe comes along… which I doubt…! I will continue to use this recipe!

This recipe can easily be turned into the best chocolate cupcake recipe by adding cocoa powder, which I have done on so many occasions. And that also means they are easy to turn into cute marbled cupcakes too, but splitting the cupcake batter before adding the cocoa.

Marble Cupcakes
Marbled Cupcakes

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And you can easily turn them into simple red velvet cupcakes by adding cocoa powder and red food coloring. I say simple because proper red velvet cake recipes seem to use distilled white vinegar (to enhance the red color) as well as other ingredients like buttermilk and oil. To me, a red velvet cupcake is a vanilla-y, chocolatey flavored cupcake that happens to be red. And I like to keep my cupcake recipes as simple as I possibly can! The decoration is a different story mind you!

Similarly, you turn these vanilla cupcakes into any colour you like with food coloring. I prefer to use the food coloring paste as a little goes a long way, and the color is often more vibrant. Why not divide the mixture up into 7 bowls, and dye each one Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet and make rainbow-colored cupcakes, or even unicorn cupcakes (just add some sprinkles to the mix!)

A vanilla cupcake with white frosting and multicolored sprinkles - the best vanilla cupcakes easy recipe!

Why is this the best vanilla cupcake recipe?

Why do I love this easy vanilla cupcake recipe so much? Let me give you the reasons!

  • They are really quick and easy to make. They literally take 3 minutes in a food mixer. My trusty Kenwood mixer has made more cupcakes than I can count!
  • I say that this recipe takes 10 minutes in the official recipe card because those 7 extra minutes are gathering and measuring the ingredients into the bowl.
  • Since I’m from the UK, where we weigh everything in grams, this recipe is listed as such, but I have provided ounces too. This means you will need a food scale to weigh the ingredients.*
  • The recipe is simple to remember and simple to scale up and down in batches of a dozen! I made 120 of these bad boys for my sister’s wedding!
  • It’s an all-in-one cupcake mix – all the ingredients are mixed at the same time – no worrying about creaming butter and sugar, or hoping that curdled egg mixture comes back together!
  • Additionally, you only need to get one bowl dirty! I measure everything directly into my mixing bowl and place it onto my mixer stand. I call it the dump and whizz method!
  • The cupcake batter is thick and scoopable, so I use an ice-cream scoop to evenly distribute the mix into the cupcake liners.
  • They are light and fluffy, and taste amazing – as all good cupcakes should!
  • They’re the perfect base cupcake to add different flavours and colours.
  • They are also the perfect vanilla cupcake to decorate with my tried and trusted, go-to buttercream recipe! coming soon!
  • But other decorations work perfectly well too!

*Baking is pretty much the only time I weigh ingredients since there is a science behind baking. I only list weights in my blog’s recipes so that it is easy for readers to make them too! And while I’m rambling, I’ve looked up the cup measurements for the ingredients too, just in case you don’t have a scale (but really, you should get one, they’re so handy in the kitchen!). But I will state quite clearly I’ve not made them that way, so I can’t confirm if they will work as well as if they had been measured. I’m sure they’ll be fine, and I know I’m rambling now, but have to get the caveat out there! Next time I make cupcakes, I’ll cup measure them and report back!

Cupcake liners and sprinkles

I think I’ve waxed lyrical about these cupcakes for long enough now – so get baking! You can print the recipe off too, and keep it on the fridge!

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The BEST Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

The BEST Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This is my tried and trusted, go-to, simply the best vanilla cupcakes recipe!


For the cupcakes

  • 335g/12oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 335g/12oz caster sugar
  • 335g/12oz self-raising flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 175C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Place 24 cupcake cases into tins.
  3. Put all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 3 minutes until smooth, pale and fluffy.
  4. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases. (see notes above)
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and risen.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.


Makes 24 cupcakes. I use an ice cream scoop to get equal quantities of cake mixture per case. Add 3tbsps of cocoa powder to the cake batter to make chocolate cupcakes

Estimated cup measurements:

  • 1½ cups or 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 1½ cups self-raising flour

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 216mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 3g

This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.

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A tray of baked vanilla cupcakes

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