Vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting are a classic treat that never gets old, but once you’ve tried soft and fluffy, moist vanilla cupcakes, you really can’t go back. These decadent treats are simple, sweet, and delicious. The easy batter takes just 10 minutes to whip up and has a secret ingredient (yogurt!) to keep them super fluffy and moist for days! Perfect for holidays, birthday celebrations, or just whenever you are craving something sweet.
Why You’ll Love Moist Vanilla Cupcakes
- Moist, cakey texture. With a carefully balanced texture, these moist vanilla cupcakes will melt in your mouth. They are the perfect combination of fluffy, soft, and moist. They are filling but not too dense—which is exactly how you want your cupcakes.
- Simple ingredients. This recipe requires a few basic pantry and refrigerator staples. We are talking flour, baking powder, butter, and eggs, just to name a few. So if you like to bake, you will likely already have most (if not all) of these ingredients at home.
- Easy Buttercream. The delicious icing on the cake (vanilla buttercream) takes literally 5 minutes to whip up. You could also frost these with Chocolate Buttercream or Nutella Buttercream instead, or leave them unfrosted.
- Easy cleanup, now and later. Cupcakes are the perfect celebratory treat because they make for easy cleanup. There are only so many dishes required when prepping and baking, and once it’s time to eat, you don’t need to cut a thing. How convenient!
To make these delicious moist vanilla cupcakes, you will need the following ingredients:
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- vanilla extract - Be sure to use high-quality vanilla extract since that’s the star of the show.
- plain yogurt - this is secret ingredient that makes these vanilla cupcakes moist and soft. I used whole fat plain yogurt but Greek yogurt or sour cream also works well as a substitute.
- whole milk
How to Make the Best Moist Vanilla Cupcakes
- Combine dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Combine wet ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla and yogurt, beating until combined.
- Incorporate ingredients together. Add one-third of the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Then, add half of the milk, and beat until just combined. Repeat, until you end with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl as needed and beat until just combined and smooth. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick.
- Divide the batter. Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop up the batter and divide in into a 12-tin muffin pan lined with cupcake liners, filling the liners ⅔ full with batter.
- Bake. Bake in a 350 F preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes, then transfer into a wire cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
How to Make Vanilla Buttercream and Decorate
Homemade vanilla buttercream is so quick and easy to make, taking just 5 minutes. First, in a large mixing bowl, beat the butter in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Then, add vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Add in confectioners' sugar (one cup at a time), and beat until incorporated. Add milk and beat until light and fluffy. Add more milk if the buttercream is too thick, add more confectioners' sugar if the buttercream is too thin. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth until you are ready to use the icing to prevent it from drying out.
To frost the cupcakes, use a couplers to secure a no. 2D decorating tip onto a piping bag. Fill the bag with icing and pipe the icing onto each cupcake starting at the edges and move in an overlapping circular motion until you reach the center and gently lift up. You could also add some sprinkles on top, if desired.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Use Room Temperature Ingredients: Room temperature ingredients will result in a room temperature batter and ensure even baking. If your batter is too cold, the cupcakes may not bake evenly.
- Substitutions: Missing something? Get creative—but not too creative. When baking, the ingredients work together. Some things you can substitute and adjust for are:
- using salted butter and reducing the amount of salt slightly,
- using flavored or sweetened yogurt and reducing the amount of sugar.
- How to store: Allow the vanilla cupcakes to cool completely, then store them at room temperature inside an airtight container unfrosted. This will give the best results with the best texture because because cooler temperatures will dry out your cupcakes. If you've already frosted them, they'll need to go in the fridge. Eat them up within four days.
- How to freeze. You can freeze these cupcakes either before or after icing.
- Before frosting: You can freeze unfrosted chocolate cupcakes by wrapping them tightly with plastic cling wrap, and then placing them in an airtight container and freezing for up to 3 months.
- After frosting: Place frosted cupcakes on a baking tray and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. Then wrap them tightly in plastic cling wrap, and then place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To serve: Allow them to completely thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or for a few hours at room temperature, before icing or serving.
More Cupcake Recipes
- Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Blueberry Yogurt Muffins
- Spiced Carrot Muffins
- Spiced Apple Oatmeal Muffins
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.