Perfect Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

You have to try this vanilla cupcake recipe! This is the first cupcake recipe I’ve posted. Ever! I’ve posted muffins but not a true cupcake. I guess I’ve been waiting to discover this. My sister Alla introduced me to this recipe. She’s made it several times and each time it was perfect (naturally, if I eat at least 3 cupcakes, I request the recipe).

The original dough recipe is from Glorious Treats who tested scores of cupcakes before arriving at this fantastic and truly perfect cupcake recipe. She has also recommended cake flour for best results.

I decorated these beauties with raspberries or halved strawberries and basil leaves and the colors were so striking and lovely. They went fast at the baby shower. I suspect people ate more than one because not everyone had a chance to try them (and there were 45 since I tripled the recipe!). I don’t blame you for sneaking multiples ;).

These vanilla cupcakes are the perfect soft and fluffy vanilla cupcake! I have done a lot of testing and am proud to say that I finally have my favorite version to share with you!

I’m quite picky about vanilla cupcakes. You can’t get by with a mediocre one, you know? They might be one of the most important flavors to get right. Next to chocolate, that is. If you don’t have a good vanilla cupcake, you’ve got a problem.

I have tried numerous vanilla recipes over the past few years and this one was a fave. Problem was, it was a cake recipe. And while many cake and cupcake recipes are interchangeable, this one was not.

P.S. F.Y.I. Readers who live in high altitude areas have reported that the cupcakes don’t rise as well in high altitudes.

PPS. According to the original recipe author, you can create a 9″ cake out of this recipe. I have not tested this but several readers have reported good results turning it into a cake. You would need to double the recipe for two 9-inch cake layers.


  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) water


  • 1/2 cup (112g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (95g) shortening
  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2–3 tbsp (30-45ml) water or milk


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
5. Slowly add the water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined. Please note that the batter will be very thin.
6. Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
7. Remove the cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
8. To make the frosting, combine the butter and shortening in a large mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
9. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
10. Add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of water or milk and mix until smooth.
11. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
12. Add remaining water or milk as needed and mix until smooth.
13. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I used Ateco tip 844.

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