Moist Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

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


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


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


  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.


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.


  • 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