Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

My oldest boy turns 5 today. I really am not sure where the time is flying off to! It seems like just yesterday I was a mom-to-be. Having emotional breakdowns because I didn’t know what a crib bumper was on the registry checklist, and trembling at the thought of still baking from a boxed cake mix. Ahh, where 5 years can take you!

This has been my go-to cake for birthday parties for quite some time. It really is the perfect vanilla cake. It comes together quickly, creates a gorgeous thick batter, and bakes up beautifully. With not that much more effort than a box of Betty Crocker – I promise! I think the buttermilk is key. I’ve found it adds so much moistness to baked goods. Always on my grocery list these days!

If you’ve never baked a cake from scratch, or are simply on the lookout for the perfect vanilla cake recipe – give this recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed. I like to top them with a simple vanilla buttercream – but they’re a great base for anything, really.

Happy 5th Birthday, Andrew! Every moment (heh, well – most of them anyways) of these 5 years have been such a blessing. We love you so much!

100 Days Project


  1. Posted May 8, 2013 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    Awww happy birthday to your little guy. So cute! These do look like the perfect cupcakes – perfect for a celebration 🙂

  2. Posted May 8, 2013 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    Just Brilliant !

  3. Posted May 8, 2013 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    Happy Birthday to your little man! Love plain vanilla cupcakes!

  4. Posted May 8, 2013 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    Happy birthday Andrew!! These cupcakes are beautiful. I’m sure he loved them!

  5. Posted May 8, 2013 at 10:28 PM | Permalink

    These look so perfect and delicious! Vanilla is definitely the classiest flavor of all (:

  6. Posted May 9, 2013 at 1:26 AM | Permalink

    These cupcakes look so pretty. Happy birthday to your boy!

  7. Posted May 14, 2013 at 7:51 AM | Permalink

    Those look delicious! Happy 5th birthday to your little one! What frosting recipe did you use? Looks great!

  8. Heather
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

    What is the icing recipe for the icing you used? It looks perfect with those cupcakes and looks yummy!

  9. Posted August 26, 2013 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    Such pretty cupcakes. Just PERFECT!!! Thanks for sharing.x

  10. Hong Park
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    Hi, thank you for sharing this amazing recipe, I’ve just made it and tasted it, actually it’s is the best cupcake recipe I’ve made in my life, the cupcakes turn out moist, delicate and taste super yummy. But my problem is I just had enough batter to fill each well 1/2 full and make 25 cupcakes, instead of filling each well 2/3 full and making 30 cupcakes that the recipe calls. So after baking, my cupcakes is just about 3/4 full, not as totally full as yours. I think maybe because I use a hand mixer (means that it’s not as powerful as a stand mixer) ) and I just beat butter and sugar for 5-6′ minutes, so there isn’t enough air to my batter, right? Do you have any ideas?

    • Posted May 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

      I’m not sure why, it could be the hand mixer vs. stand mixer. Maybe increase the recipe by a half next time? I always get at least 25, and closer to 30 each time I make this – which is once a month at least. Glad they turned out delicious though! That’s really what matters. Gives you an excuse to eat 2 since they were a little smaller!

  11. Katie
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    Has anyone ever used this recipe to make cake instead of cupcakes? I’m wondering how much it would make?

    • Posted May 17, 2014 at 8:25 PM | Permalink

      I’ve used it to make cake before, and it turns out great. I makes two 8 or 9 inch cakes.

      • Mary K
        Posted October 9, 2015 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

        Can you make it into a 9×13 cake? If s would you bake it at 350° for 20-30 minutes?

        • Posted October 12, 2015 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

          Yes, I’d probably say for 30-40 minutes. Start checking it at 25 minutes!

  12. Louise
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    What tip did you use to frost?

  13. Sara
    Posted October 8, 2014 at 10:25 PM | Permalink

    These cupcakes taste amazing! Thank you so much for the recipe.

  14. Kristina
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    These cupcakes were a huge huge success for my daughters birthday party! Thank you so much for sharing. This will be my go to recipe now as well! Awesome!

  15. Talha Bhana
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

    I’ve just bake up a small batch of these cupcakes an they were outstanding.. soo soft like a cloud n delicious.. my only issue was it stuck to my liners.. otherswise its a keeper..

  16. Sarah
    Posted February 5, 2016 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

    If I used regular milk instead of buttermilk would it do the same thing?

    • Posted February 8, 2016 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

      Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the milk, stir, and let sit 5 minutes to thicken. Works great as a buttermilk substitute. Regular milk would probably be okay too, though – I’ve never tried!

  17. Deirdre
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    Could you make these as chocolate.

  18. Sally
    Posted September 10, 2016 at 12:22 AM | Permalink

    I cant do buttermilk… Please tell me I can sub milk?(: looking for a recipe I can count on. Just made some I had to toss and start over. This is for my 4 yr old(:

    • Posted September 10, 2016 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

      You could try milk. I’d use whole milk though, the fat content adds more moisture.

    • Rachel
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

      I made my own buttermilk with white distilled vinegar and whole milk and it worked great with this recipe.

  19. Rachel
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    OMIGOSH! I love this recipe! I wanted to try it so bad I ate a plain cupcake while it was still hot! ?

  20. Komal
    Posted March 16, 2017 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Can I half this recipe?

  21. Lyn
    Posted March 26, 2017 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    This recipe is great! I did not have buttermilk, so just used normal full cream milk, worked perfectly. Thank you for the recipe, will definitely make again!

    • Posted March 27, 2017 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

      Yay! Glad you enjoyed them, Lyn. Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave the sweet comment! <3

  22. Catherine smith
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

    Hi, I’m looking forward to making these. It’s Tuesday today! Could I make them today for Saturday’s birthday party? I would ice them on Friday,

    • Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

      Catherine – bake them today, let cool – then freeze. Take out Friday morning, let thaw for about 30 minutes – then frost. They’ll be perfectly fresh!

  23. Posted September 8, 2017 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

    Hi. Can I use the recipe for 2 6×3 inches round cake pan? And what would be the right temperature and time? Please….

    • Posted September 20, 2017 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

      Yep, I’d bake at 350 for 25 minutes – and start checking after that.

  24. Amitha
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

    Can we use this recipe to make red velvet cupcakes. How much red color we need to add

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