Say goodbye to dry and boring vanilla cupcakes, and HELLO to these supremely moist and flavorful vanilla cupcakes of your dreams! The cupcakes take only 10 minutes to make and they are topped with a heavenly whipped vanilla bean frosting.

Moist vanilla cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream and pastel sprinkles.

A good vanilla cupcake is just one of those things that suits all and any occasion. It’s like the little black dress. You can dress it up or dress it down. You can accessorize it with colored paper liners and/or sprinkles to match any event.

Overhead view of moist vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream.

Why these vanilla cupcakes are the best:

  • Extremely moist and flavorful – This recipe has a higher ratio of wet ingredients than most other vanilla cupcakes out there which makes it more moist. I used butter instead of oil because it’s more flavorful and provides a lovely buttery taste that pairs really well with the vanilla. I also incorporated Greek yogurt AND buttermilk for tender moist crumbs. So with the high ratio of liquids, Greek yogurt, and buttermilk, it’s like a trifecta method for making sure these cupcakes are ultra moist.
  • Easy to make – There is no creaming of the butter, and no alternating between wet and dry ingredients. You simply mix everything with a whisk, stir the wet and dry ingredients together, and you’re done!
  • Here is what some of my readers have to say:

“These are seriously the best vanilla cupcakes ever! And I am not one to like vanilla cupcakes! Every time I make these people rave over them! Thank you! Very easy recipe to follow too!” – Candice

“They are like little pillows of heaven! OMG! So good. I’m never using another cupcake recipe again! Baking is my therapy when I’m having a rough day and I must say these cupcakes put a smile on my face. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.” – April

“I just finished frosting these for Easter and they are by far the BEST homemade cupcakes I’ve ever tried! I made mini cupcakes, which took about 12 minutes at 350 and kept them barely done (how my family likes them). They came out perfect, taste fantastic and they popped right of the paper liners. Thank you SO much for this! I’ll never make another vanilla cupcake or buy a packaged mix!” – Katie

How to make moist vanilla cupcakes:

how to make moist vanilla cupcakes steps 1-4

  1. You start by tossing the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar.
  3. Then whisk in the egg, buttermilk, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Divide the batter into 12 cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes.

I topped the cupcakes with a fluffy whipped vanilla bean buttercream. I just love the speckled look of the vanilla bean seeds and it gives the buttercream a very natural vanilla flavor. I used Native Vanilla’s organic premium vanilla beans. They have the most amazing sweet-floral aroma and come vacuum-sealed in plastic so they are super fresh and easy to work with. You can buy them from Amazon or directly from their website, NativeVanilla.com.

How to frost these cupcakes:

how to frost cupcakes steps 1-4

You can frost these cupcakes any way you want. The frosting is firm enough that it holds really well if you pipe rosettes or tall swirls. I like to decorate these cupcakes as follows:

  1. Use a medium cookie scoop as pictured above.
  2. Using the scoop, apply a dollop of buttercream on top of the cupcake.
  3. Spread out the buttercream using the back of a spoon.
  4. Finish with a sprinkle of colorful nonpareils in the center.

You can also use a large cookie scoop to apply the buttercream if you want a more generous amount of frosting on the cupcakes. That’s what I used in the original photos with the pink liners and pastel nonpareils. Using a large Wilton 1A tip works too.

Expert tips:

  • Use good quality vanilla – Since vanilla is the main flavor profile in this recipe, it’s best to use pure vanilla extract for the best taste.
  • Use cold milk, yogurt, and egg – I know this is a bit unusual for a recipe that uses melted butter, but I find it works much better because it thickens the batter and gives the cupcakes a better rise. So no need to bring these ingredients to room temperature, just use straight from the fridge.

Substitutions:

  • Greek yogurt – You can substitute with regular yogurt, sour cream or mayonnaise.
  • Buttermilk – You can use any kind of milk you have on hand even though buttermilk is best or you can make your own buttermilk. To make your own buttermilk: add 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup, fill to 3/4 cup with milk, stir and let stand for 5 minutes.

FAQ:

  • Can you freeze these cupcakes? Yes, these cupcakes freeze very well. I like to place them frosted in a freezer-safe plastic container and freeze for 2-3 hours until the frosting is completely frozen. Then individually wrap them in saran wrap, place back in the plastic container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, remove saran wrap and thaw at room temperature for about 2-3 hours.
  • How to store cupcakes – Cupcakes are best stored in an airtight container at room temperature. However, if you don’t plan on consuming them within 2-3 days, then it’s best to store them in the fridge to maintain freshness.
  • How long do cupcakes last? Cupcakes will stay fresh 2-3 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.

You might also like:

A moist vanilla cupcake topped with vanilla buttercream cut in half.

These cupcakes are rich and buttery with a lovely vanilla taste. They are super moist and soft. The frosting is fluffy, creamy and dotted with gorgeous little vanilla bean seeds.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE KINDLY LEAVE A COMMENT AND STAR RATING BELOW.

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Moist Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting (video)


  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12

Description

Say goodbye to dry and boring vanilla cupcakes, and HELLO to these supremely moist and flavorful vanilla cupcakes of your dreams!


Ingredients

Cupcake ingredients

  • 1 & ⅓ (165g) cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 & ½ tsp (6g) baking powder
  • ¼ tsp (1g) salt
  • ½ cup (114g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup (60g) Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • ¾ cup (188ml) cold milk (buttermilk is best, but any kind works)
  • 2 tsp (10ml) vanilla extract

Buttercream ingredients

  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp (1g) salt
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 3 cups (375g) powdered sugar
  • 23 tbsp (30-45ml) cream or milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar. Then mix in the egg, yogurt, cold milk, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredient to the dry ingredients. Whisk until just smooth and combined.
  5. Divide the batter into the 12 cupcake liners.
  6. Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

To make the buttercream:

  1. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or handheld mixer, beat the butter, salt, and vanilla bean seeds until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well in between. Add in the cream or milk, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed.
  3. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute after the last addition of powdered sugar for a fluffy and airy texture. Frost the cupcakes as desired.

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze these cupcakes for up to 3 months. See FAQ above for instructions.

Expert tips:

  • Use good quality vanilla – Since vanilla is the main flavor profile in this recipe, it’s best to use pure vanilla extract for the best taste.
  • Use cold milk, yogurt, and egg – I know this is a bit unusual for a recipe that uses melted butter, but I find it works much better because it thickens the batter and gives the cupcakes a better rise. So no need to bring these ingredients to room temperature, just use straight from the fridge.

Substitions:

  • Greek yogurt – You can substitute with regular yogurt, sour cream or mayonnaise.
  • Buttermilk – You can use any kind of milk you have on hand even though buttermilk is best or you can make your own buttermilk. To make your own buttermilk: add 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup, fill to 3/4 cup with milk, stir and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vanilla cupcake recipe, best vanilla cupcakes, moist vanilla cupcakes, whipped vanilla buttercream

This post was originally published on Mar 31st, 2017 and has been recently updated with more information and step-by-step photo instructions.

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