Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Posted by Cornel Schalkwyk on


Personally, I’m a chocolate kind of girl, but this vanilla cupcake recipe is an absolute winner!  Soft, fluffy, and delicious, which explains why this is my most popular flavour request for cupcakes.  In fact, I have customers who don’t normally eat cake, who have been converted to regulars, with repeat vanilla cupcake orders! 

Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream

So, if you are looking for a fail-safe cupcake recipe, look no further, since I am sharing the secrets with you right here.  It’s also an amazingly versatile recipe which I use as the base for many other flavours of cupcakes.

This recipe uses the standard method of equal amounts of flour, butter and sugar (by weight), but in the demonstration video I share a few of my top tips for getting the perfect bake, which is all about cupcake sizes, butter, oven temperature, and kitchen scales.

Although you can theoretically mix the batter for this recipe by hand, I would highly recommend using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment so that your batter mixes together well and evenly.  The blending of your ingredients plays a big role in how your cupcakes will bake.  You want to have a smooth and evenly mixed batter, which is not over or under mixed.  So, keep a close eye on your mixer whilst you are preparing your batter, as it can make or break the success of your cupcakes.

Vanilla cupcake batter


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 22 minutes

Servings: 12 cupcakes

Author: Cornel Schalkwyk



  • 150g room temperature butter
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean extract
  • 1.8 tbsp of full fat milk

Watch the video here for a demonstration on how to make these cupcakes.


  • Vanilla buttercream. You can add 1 – 2 tsp of water to this recipe if you are not planning on piping flowers, and simply want to do a normal cupcake swirl.
  • Sprinkles (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C fan assisted (302°F), or 160 – 170°C (320 – 338°F) for a conventional oven. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin-sized cupcake cases and set aside.
  2. Weigh your flour, sugar and butter and add to your mixing bowl.
  3. Add your eggs, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and mix on medium speed for roughly 20 – 30 seconds using a whisk attachment on your stand mixer.
  4. Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl and mix on medium speed for another 20 – 30 second until the batter is smooth and pale. There should be no clumps of butter left in your batter at this stage. 

Vanilla cupcake batter

  1. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and add the vanilla extract and milk. Mix on medium speed for another 10 – 15 seconds until the liquid is well incorporated.

Vanilla cupcake batter

  1. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases to about ¾ full. You don’t have to smooth the batter out, since this will happen automatically in the oven.

Vanilla cupcake batter

  1. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the baked cupcake.

Cupcakes in oven

  1. Let them cool for a few minutes in the pan before taking them out on a cooling rack.

Cupcakes on cooling rack

  1. Once completely cooled, you can frost & decorate your cupcakes. I recommend using a Wilton 2D or Wilton 1M nozzle for a nice buttercream swirl.



  • There is no need to sift your flour for this recipe. However, if you find that your brand of flour is particularly lumpy, then you should sift the flour before adding to the mix.
  • If you don’t have self-raising flour, you can make your own by adding 2 tsp of baking powder for each 1 cup / 150g / 6oz of plain flour.
  • You can use any type of butter for this recipe, whether it’s a dairy-free alternative or not. I often use Stork for my cupcakes which is dairy-free, and it still tastes divine!
  • I always recommend making your cupcakes fresh on the day of serving. They cool quickly, so it’s easy to bake and decorate on the same day.  Fresh cupcakes are just so much nicer!  However, you can prepare your cupcakes 1 day in advance and keep them unfrosted in an airtight container in room temperature to decorate the next day.
  • The cupcakes will keep well in cool room temperature for up to 4 days. If you want to keep them for a week or longer, you should keep them in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • You can freeze your cupcakes in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bring back to room temperature before frosting and consuming the cupcakes.


Have you used this recipe?  Tag me and hashtag your creations on social media:

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