Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

I can’t remember if I mentioned to you our little jaunt to Georgetown over the summer. I don’t think I did, did I? In any case, we descended on Georgetown with the sole purpose of taste testing cupcakes. Our first stop was naturally Georgetown Cupcake, which is featured on the TLC series “DC Cupcakes”. After struggling to find a parking spot and then standing in a 30-minute line on the hottest day of summer (I think the temp topped 110 that day), we finally got to place our order. We decided to get a 1/2 dozen of assorted cupcakes – vanilla/vanilla, chocolate/chocolate, chocolate/ganache, salted caramel, vanilla/chocolate, and chocolate/peanut butter. From there, we headed to a different area of Georgetown to check out Baked and Wired. They are a small, hip little establishment that sells not only cupcakes but also slices of pie, quiche, and some other baked goods. We got a strawberry and red velvet there. Our verdict? The red velvet and strawberry at Baked and Wired were phenomenal and better than any of the ones we got at Georgetown Cupcake, but the best one there was definitely the vanilla/vanilla. Inspired by the trip, I’m sharing these cupcakes because I think everyone needs a classic yellow cupcake recipe and fabulous vanilla frosting stashed away in their recipe binder. Don’t ya think?

This is a great combo of cupcake and frosting, and both are super duper easy. The cupcakes are buttery, melt-in-your-mouth delicious and the frosting definitely gives the cupcakes a run for their money. Not surprising that I think that since I AM a frosting girl at heart. This is my absolute favorite frosting recipe, one that I concocted a few months ago and that I used as a basis for such things as my Espresso Buttercream Frosting (which made an appearance on top of the Mocha Cupcakes), Maple-Bacon Buttercream Frosting (which topped the Pancake Cupcakes), and The Best Chocolate Buttercream for Cupcakes. Needless to say, it is my go-to frosting recipe, and I hope it will become yours too!

Stay tuned… the next cupcake posted will be red velvet!

Vanilla Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 to 24 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg , room temperature
2 large egg yolks , room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.

2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.

3. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

4. Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.

5. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.

You can store any unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container; let it come to room temperature and then give it a quick whip in the mixer before using.

(Cupcake recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated; Frosting recipe is a Brown Eyed Baker original)

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591 Responses to “Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting”

  1. Sasha on April 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    I just tried this recipe… Everything was perfect.. I’m so glad I took a chance on this after trying out so many others that failed me before.

    As for the frosting
    … One word: Perfection!!!

    Reply

  2. Kitten on April 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I made these. I measured very carefully. Delicious frosting. The cupcakes were crumbly. Weird texture. I was thinking I over mixed. But it came together slowly. I’m not brand new to baking but I’m new to taking it seriously. Should all batter look the same? This seemed thick, Again tasted fine. Please help.

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 22nd, 2013 at 11:23 am

      All batters will definitely NOT look the same. Some batters for chocolate cake are almost the consistency of liquid, while come cupcakes will look like muffin batter; it just all depends.

      Reply

  3. Beverly Osgood on April 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    I have extra-fine granulated sugar. Can I use that instead? If so, how would the amount of sugar change? Thanks.

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 22nd, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Hi Beverly, If you have regular granulated sugar, I would suggest using that. Otherwise, I think you could substitute the superfine, but know that you may need to use a little less and because is dissolves at a faster rate than regular sugar, the texture may be compromised.

      Reply

  4. Jen on April 21, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I used this as a base recipe for a recipe that called for a yellow cake mix. The recipe I made involved making oreo truffles out of crushed oreos and cream cheese and dropping tablespoon-sized balls into the muffin tin, then covering with yellow cake mix. Unfortunately, the cupcakes did not turn out at all like I hoped. Like other commenters, they were dense, dry, crumbling, and had a cornbread-like texture. I do not think I overbeat the batter (I used a stand mixer but used a spatula to fold the last few streaks of flour in) and I do not think I overbaked (I checked them at 20 minutes and a bamboo skewer came out gooey so I baked them 3 minutes more and the skewer came out clean; I have a hard time believing they overbaked in 3 minutes.) The batter was very thick like a sugar cookie dough and I thought for sure I had missed an ingredient, but I triple-checked the recipe and don’t seem to have missed anything. I barely had enough batter for 12 cupcakes, despite the oreo filling; I figured I’d get at least a few more with the oreo truffle taking up 1/3 of each tin. They also stuck to my pan like crazy. I don’t like using muffin liners so I use a greased, non-stick pan (never had problems making other muffins or cupcakes like this.) All of the cupcakes stuck and started to crumbled apart when I tried to remove them. The taste was good and my guests still liked them but did comment that the texture was like a dry poundcake. The frosting was also good but I made a half batch and still ended up with twice as much as I needed for 12 cupcakes; I did not pipe it on, just spread it with a knife, and I guess I just don’t like a lot of frosting on my cupcakes. Not sure what I did wrong with the cupcakes; I am not trying to complain, just offer feedback as to the problems I encountered. Regardless, thanks for all the great recipes.

    Reply

  5. Shannon on April 25, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    This frosting is just delightful! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Reply

  6. lynne on April 26, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Hi. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I live at an altitude of 5,300 ft. I have to make adjustments to every cake/cupcake recipe. I am assuming you live at sea level? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 27th, 2013 at 10:22 am

      Hi Lynne, Yes, I live very close to sea level.

      Reply

  7. Eva on April 27, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I would recommend checking the cupcakes at 17 minutes. I cooked mine for 20 minutes and the cupcakes were overdone. Tasted great but just a bit dry.

    Reply

  8. Sarah on May 5, 2013 at 9:42 am

    These cupcakes are in the oven, so we’ll see how they turn out, but I also experienced really thick batter. I looked up the Cook’s Illustrated recipe and the reviews for that are the same – great flavor but texture is dense, almost muffin or cornbread like. Maybe it’s because this recipe calls for sour cream as opposed to milk? I hope they turn out! PS – I love your blog, especially your cho chip cookies!

    Reply

  9. Kerry on May 8, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I made these over the weekend, along with the salted caramel, and they are the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. So moist! They completely outshined the chocolate ones. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    Reply

  10. Anonymous on May 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Made these cupcakes and followed the recipe exactly – very disappointing outcome. Just like many of the other reviewers, the texture was very much like cornbread.

    Reply

  11. Jamie on May 13, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Can I make this icing using a hand mixer

    Reply

  12. Max on May 15, 2013 at 5:14 am

    Hii!
    what is the amount of butter in grams? I ask because I’m in Australia and I use blocks of butter but I think they are generally larger than those in the US

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 15th, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Hi Max, For the cupcakes, the amount of butter would be 113 grams, for the frosting, 226 grams.

      Reply

  13. Anonymous on May 15, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    These cupcakes sound amazing! I’m planning to try out this recipe, and I have one quick question. How long/at what temperature would you bake these cupcakes if they were made in a large 6 cup muffin tin?
    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 16th, 2013 at 11:38 pm

      I have not scaled this for jumbo size pans, but you would keep the temperature the same, increase the baking time.

      Reply

  14. sen on May 17, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    why u dont used milk??..

    Reply

  15. Lesley on May 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Julie, I just made these, yesterday, with a substitution of buttermilk (and about 3T extra butter). As so often happens with me, I discovered that I was out an ingredient with no time to spare for a run to the store. I had not made these previously, so don’t have a basis for comparison to Michelle’s unadulterated recipe but can describe the cupcake made using buttermilk and butter: very delicious buttery flavor, lovely crunchy top (almost muffin-like), large crumb, dense, oddly a bit dry the flowing day. It was o.k. but not great – almost like a cross between a cupcake and a very short-greasy scone. Have heard that some people use yoghurt as a substitute for sour cream which may achieve a more traditional texture. You were looking for a good substitute for sour cream, so my post may not be helpful in providing that. Just wanted to share the results of replacing sour cream with buttermilk plus butter. Soon, will be making Michelle’s recipe and will follow it “to a letter” for purposes of comparison. Good luck.

    Reply

    • Lesley on May 19th, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Mistyped the word “short bread-y”. Instead, accidentally wrote short-greasy (which sounds oh-so-unappealing)! Hadn’t read through other replies on texture until just a moment ago (Julie’s was the last one I saw), but seems that the buttermilk did not change the texture from the “cornbread” style product that other bakers experienced.

      Reply

  16. Sarah on May 21, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Hello, I have searched the site looking for what type of powered sugar you use for frostings. If I have missed it, I apologize. Would you mind sharing your favorite brands? I will check the ingredients page one more time but I don’t think it is listed there. Thank you :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 22nd, 2013 at 12:32 am

      Hi Sarah, I just use Domino powdered sugar, or sometimes a generic brand.

      Reply

  17. Debbie on May 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Hi I just made these cupcakes in mini and they are delicious. Would a cream cheese buttercream frosting work on cupcakes with a Wilton 1M tip? Would the frosting hold up well? I love cream cheese frosting.

    Thank you

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 23rd, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      Hi Debbie, Definitely. I pipe cream cheese buttercream all the time (with that same tip).

      Reply

  18. Stephanie on May 23, 2013 at 3:08 am

    Tried the buttercream frosting on the chocolate version of this recipe. Turned out delicious!! I rushed ahead of myself & prior to reading the directions I added all the frosting ingredients combining and whisking together at the same time. Fluffiness & taste was that perfect melt in your mouth – there is a heaven result! But to be fair, I will do it according to the directions next time…but I really don’t think it matters a heck of a lot. Thanks for the awesome post and sharing this recipe it’s a keeper :)

    Reply

  19. Nikita on May 27, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Absolutely perfect! The best I’ve baked till yet :)

    Reply

  20. Jamila on May 28, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Omg I loved this recipe it has so much flavor for a vanilla cupcake and is so delish without frosting! Been looking for a cupcake like this thank you for the recipe!!!

    Reply

  21. Jamila on May 28, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    I did have a question this recipe tends to form a crust after it bakes is there something I am doing wrong ???

    Reply

  22. Zan on May 29, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    I made these for my third graders and they raved about them. They said they tasted like vanilla milkshakes! Usually third graders will just lick the frosting off the typical grocery store cupcake, but they devoured these. I did mix them more like a traditional cake, with creaming the butter and sugar and then adding the eggs and the dry ingredients. I just couldn’t do the dump!

    Reply

  23. Nisha on May 29, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    I was so excited to make these cupcakes but was very disappointed with the outcome. When mixing the batter felt like something was left out. The batter was too thick and after baking them the cupcake deflated a bit and it was not soft at all. Overall It was terrible. I really hope you double check your quantities because it didn’t turn out right. Sorry.

    Reply

    • Nicki D on June 7th, 2013 at 11:55 am

      I’m nervous because I just put a pan in the oven, and my batter was pretty thick too.. I’m hoping hoping they come out!

      Reply

    • Nicki D on June 7th, 2013 at 11:56 am

      I’m nervous because I just put a pan in the oven, and my batter was thick as well.. I’m hoping hoping they come out better, because they tasted great going in.

      Reply

  24. Crys on May 31, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I made these cupcakes for my boyfriend one lazy weekend. We both love vanilla, but I was not prepared for how much he LOVED these cupcakes!! At first I was afraid that they were under-baked, but soon realized that they were just gooey and moist thanks to the sour cream. My bf ate them warm in a bowl (with a blob of icing on them like custard) using a spoon. They were gone before Monday – a first! Thanks!

    Reply

    • Laura on June 2nd, 2013 at 2:39 am

      Did you have luck with the frosting? Mine didn’t taste good at all however my fiancé loved the cupcakes by themselves, as do I. Did you refrigerate yours?

      Reply

  25. Laura on June 2, 2013 at 2:37 am

    The cupcakes themselves are delicious. I am not impressed by the icing however. It just tastes like sweetened butter, not like any buttercream frosting I have tasted. I did use great value butter and great value powdered sugar but I have never had this problem before. The icing to me tasted awful by itself and acceptable on the cupcake. Suggestions?

    All in all I will be making the cupcake recipe again but will be substituting the icing with something else.

    Reply

  26. Luundu on June 3, 2013 at 2:57 am

    made these cupcakes without the icing- they were really amazing very easy to make and so scrumptious, couldn’t stop eating them, i am planning to make some more tonight:) …

    Reply

  27. Nicki D on June 7, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Well, I just popped a pan of these tasty babies in the oven, BUT, is this mix supposed to be as thicky-sticky as it is? I twas not at all a runny mix.. I followed directions to a tee, so fingers crossed.

    Reply

    • Nicki D on June 7th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Update:

      While it IS a very heavy cupcake, its a good cake. It would be way too heavy (imo) for a frosted cake. It is heavy like a cornbread-pound cake, but not as dense airy as a pound cake, at the same time. Its strange, but its NOT LIGHT AND FLUFFY. Moist, absolutely. Flavorful, absolutely (but I added a little extra vanilla too). Icing I made a lot of mods to, and turned it into strawberry limeade icing, lol. Ill use it again because I did like the thickness of the cupcake, it didnt crumble or break, but I might add a touch of something to make it a teeny bit fluffier..may sift everything, not sure. Thanks for the recipe!

      Reply

  28. Miya on June 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    yummyyyy!!! i really love cupcakes!!

    Reply

  29. Julia on June 14, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I made these cupcakes and they turned out great the first time :) But when i made them a second time they were puffy and then they fell inward. Also the inside wasnt baked :( i dont understand i followed the recipe and did everything correctly :( I also made sure of my baking temperature. Can you please tell me what happened?

    Reply

  30. Lilli on June 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I have to say I was worried at first. Not your typically soupy cake batter from the box, this was more like cookie dough, even thicker than brownie batter. I’ve only had my own kitchen for a year and have always been a descent cook;) but just recently started to flirt with baking, not out of the Betty Crocker box baking, real baking. After looking through some cupcake recipes for a simple vanilla cake I found this and it is a KEEPER;) my husband even loved it! So this is now my go to cupcake recipes.

    Reply

  31. Deanne on June 26, 2013 at 12:24 am

    I am going to try these tonight. I have never made vanilla with the sour cream in it before.
    I have a random question. What patty pans do you use? I can never find the right size. They are either to deep and wide, or too shallow and wide. I have been on an endless search for the longest time.
    Do you use a special tin perhaps?

    Reply

  32. Vanessa Leona on June 30, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Hai as for the vanilla cupcake recipe, it says sour cream. I can’t really find sour cream. instead of that can i just butter milk or any other options..
    thank you so much.

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 1st, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      Hi Vanessa, You could use buttermilk or plain yogurt.

      Reply

  33. Geòrgia on July 1, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Worst cupcakes ever!!!!!!! Retire from cooking!!!

    Reply

  34. lori townsend on July 2, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    hi, i made these cupcakes and they were so deliscious. the batter was quite thick and cupcakes a little heavy. am i doing something wrong.
    Love your website!!!

    Reply

    • Arielle on August 14th, 2013 at 9:12 am

      Did you add sour cream to the batter? The sour cream makes it moist.

      Reply

  35. Mommy Mandy on July 2, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Michelle,

    I am delighted to tell you that your recipe is the very first “from scratch” recipe I’ve used for cupcakes! My kids and I were inspired by Cupcake Wars and my 9 yo daughter stumbled upon your blog. Tonight we made a batch and enjoyed our creation while watching another episode of Cupcake Wars. It was so much fun! Though the batter turned out a bit dense, the flavor of it and of the frosting was amazing! These were by far the BEST cupcakes we’ve ever had! I wonder if we should have added 1 cup of sour cream instead of 1/2 cup to the batter? We don’t have a standing mixer, only a handheld so we had to improvise a bit. That, and all three children wanted to take turns mixing. Okay, Mommy wanted a turn too! We chose to do half vanilla and half almond flavor for both the batter and the frosting and we added a TB or two of sour cream into the frosting that really made it yummalicious! Thanks for being a part of the fun! Happy Baking!

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 3rd, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      Hi Mandy, Overmixing can definitely cause the cupcakes to turn out a bit dense. If you had multiple kiddos taking turns, I’m sure that could have been the culprit. I’m glad you enjoyed them!

      Reply

  36. Erin on July 4, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Not a typical cupcake at all — good if you’d like to make something resembling a sweet cornbread or a pound cake. While moist, the cake itself is crumbly. I’m not at all new to baking, and I am sorry to say that this recipe is a complete disappointment for what I was trying to accomplish.

    Reply

  37. Juhi on July 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Hey, I was wondering, is it ok to freeze these cupcakes?

    Reply

    • Juhi on July 6th, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      Sorry, I meant, is it ok to freeze the batter for these cupcakes?

      Reply

      • Michelle on July 9th, 2013 at 9:21 am

        No, I would not freeze the batter. You could freeze the baked (cooled, unfrosted) cupcakes, though.

        Reply

  38. Big Fish baker on July 12, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Hello! I just wanted to say I love your blog. I did have a question, for the buttercream it says 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. To me that seemed like too much and I couldn’t find any other comments about the measurement. So I just wanted to double check, it’s obviously delish from the feedback, I’m just extra thorough when it comes to new recipes. Thanks! Keep up the amazing work :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 14th, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      The 1 tablespoon is correct. If you don’t like vanilla flavoring, you could always reduce the amount.

      Reply

  39. Patricia on July 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Where is the liquid in this recipe? Is it missing?

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 14th, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      The moisture in the recipe comes from the sour cream and eggs.

      Reply

      • Patricia on November 3rd, 2013 at 12:24 am

        OMG! What was I thinking. They were amazing

        Reply

  40. Megan on July 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I was wondering if you could adjust this recipe to make chocolate cupcakes as well?

    Reply

  41. Jade Oshi on July 18, 2013 at 1:19 am

    Hi MIchelle,
    I just took to baking recently and I wanted to find out why you decided not to cream the sugar and butter in this particular recipe? Better texture or it doesn’t really make a difference?

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 19th, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Hi Jade, I just followed the recipe as written; I have made quite a few cake recipes that use this method for combining ingredients.

      Reply

  42. Anne Sophie on July 18, 2013 at 4:14 am

    Looks so yummy!! i really want to do this recipe but i don’t understand what “one cup” represents. Is it a yoghurt cup ? i’m sorry, i’m french and i don’t see an equivalent of this! thanks!

    Reply

  43. Maggie on July 21, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    the frosting is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to sweat i did every thing it said they turned out pretty but noone could eat the frosting

    Reply

  44. ashlee on July 27, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I believe you left out the whipping cream in the buttercream frosting…

    Reply

  45. Clare on July 29, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I’ve tried loads of your recipes and they’re always a success. Where I’m living I can’t get sour cream. Do you suggest Creme Fraiche, yogurt or cream treated with lemons as the best substitute? And would the quantity be the same? I also can only get poor quality vanilla essence but would like to use vanilla beans instead. Would 1 vanilla bean blended into the sugar in the cake recipe be appropriate instead of the extract?

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 29th, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      Hi Clare, I would use plain yogurt (full fat) as the substitute, same amount. Enjoy!

      Reply

  46. Brooke T on August 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Thanks Brown Eyed Baker! These cupcakes were delicious! They are my new go-to vanilla cupcake recipe. You are da bomb!

    Reply

  47. Daniela on August 3, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Is the batter for this cupcake ment to be so think?? Should there be liquid in the recipe??

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 5th, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Yes, the batter should be fairly thick.

      Reply

  48. Nichole on August 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Hi Michelle, I made these a few days ago. The flavor was rich and wonderful, and the interior of the cupcake had a great moist crumb. The top of the cake turned out rather crunchy, though. Any idea what I could have done wrong?

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 5th, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Hi Nichole, If you’re using a dark/non-stick pan make sure you reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees. It could have cooked the sugar on the top layer too much.

      Reply

  49. Maddie on August 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    These cupcakes rose up perfectly! My sour cream turned out to be spoiled so I didn’t have any sour cream. Is it ok that I didn’t add any? And if not should I combine Milk, lemon juice and butter for a substitute for sour cream? Btw love your website!!!!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 7th, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Hi Maddie, If you’ve already baked them, then it’s too late to add any other ingredients. The sour cream is important, though, it helps provide moistness. In the future, you can use buttermilk or plain yogurt as a substitute.

      Reply

      • Maddie on August 9th, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        I was able to fix it with putting on lots of frosting and I added a glass of milk.

        Reply

  50. Amelia on August 9, 2013 at 3:46 am

    Hey!
    I’m really looking forward to making the Vanilla Cupcakes with my friend but I was wondering if I could use somthing insead of Sour Cream?
    Also Will it work if I use normal flour?
    Sorry i’m not an very experiance baker! :D
    Anyway please anwer ( making them today ) love you webbsite…

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 9th, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Hi Amelia, You can substitute plain yogurt or buttermilk for the sour cream. I’m not sure what you mean by “normal” flour – all-purpose flour is what most know as “regular” or “plain” flour. Enjoy the cupcakes!

      Reply

  51. Maddie on August 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Julie, I did the recipe without sour cream but they still tasted perfect! The sour cream just makes it less dry but if you put on lots of frosting then it wil taste fine. Hope that helped!

    Reply

  52. KC on August 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Hi There,

    I am wondering if you would be able to advise if the ingredient list for the cupcake is missing any fluid/wet component. The reason I ask is that like another commenter, I notice that the batter is doughy rather than “smooth and satiny”. Also reviewing the wet components, the ratio of sourcream with the dry ingredients don’t seem to be expected to come to a consistency as smooth and satiny. Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks!
    KC

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 19th, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      The ingredient list isn’t missing anything; it only uses the sour cream.

      Reply

  53. court on August 10, 2013 at 8:43 am

    would cake flour make a difference?

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 19th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Hi Court, I would not recommend using cake flour.

      Reply

  54. Emilia on August 13, 2013 at 11:32 am

    My cupcakes were Pefect although it only took around 10minuts to bake! Not sure why but still they were yummy! Thankyou so much for the recipe…can’t wait to make some more!

    Reply

  55. Cass on August 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    This question is a little off topic, but, I was wondering what kind of vanilla extract you use. I have bought a few different kinds and I don’t really like the flavor because I can taste the alcohol more than I can taste the vanilla. Any suggestions? …other than quit being a cheapskate and quit buying your vanilla at Costco? ;) OH! and on that topic, where can you find dutch process cocoa powder? All my local grocery stores don’t carry it.

    Reply

    • JBaker on August 21st, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      I’m so glad to hear you say that! I’ve had the same problem all along. I think my baked stuff tastes way too strong, but no one else does. And I’ve tried good pure vanilla extract all the way to cheap artificial. Maybe we’re just super vanilla tasters :)

      Reply

  56. JBaker on August 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Michelle! I’ve made this recipe 4 times and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the flavour of the cupcake and frosting! My new go-to :)

    Mine came out crumbly too, even though I copied the recipe so very carefully. Almost a cornbread crumble. I kept reading message boards that said cutting out a bit of the baking powder can help with crumbliness in cakes/cupcakes. Do you think it’s worth trying? I’m making them for a work event Friday and I’m hoping there’s something that will make sure they stay together better as it’s a standing event and people might not want crumbs down their dress ;)

    Thanks so much! I love you and all your recipes!

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 23rd, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      I’m sorry you had some trouble with the crumbs! I haven’t attempted adjusting the baking powder, so I can’t say for certain if that would work or not. If you have success, definitely let me know!

      Reply

      • JBaker on August 29th, 2013 at 11:27 pm

        It did work! Was still hefty, but not crumbly at all. I did 1 tsp of baking powder and it made the difference. I wouldn’t go any more because it would probably be too dense.

        I did three batches and then a fourth in a pan for cake pops and it was great. I had to travel a few hours with the cupcakes decorated and I couldn’t believe how well they stood up to the bumpy road. I was terrified I’d get there and the icing would have flattened out, but they were beautifully stiff!

        Reply

  57. Anna on August 25, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    I have had a request for just a cupcake but are these light and fluffy? I’m making them for a friend’s birthday and she wanted that kind of light and fluffy spongey cake texture. I looked at your Perfect Party Cake recipe and wondered if I should make that into cupcakes instead of these vanilla cupcakes. What do you recommend?

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 27th, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Hi Anna, These are a little heftier than a light, fluffy sponge-cake like cupcake. I would recommend a different recipe if that’s the specific texture you’re after.

      Reply

  58. Marlene on August 27, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    I dont have any powder sugar.So, can i use white sugar

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 29th, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Hi Marlene, Unfortunately not – your frosting would be very gritty and not at all the right consistency.

      Reply

  59. Barb on September 2, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    I’m not a frosting person, but this frosting was amazing! Really the best vanilla frosting ever! The cake however seemed spongy and the tops were crisp. I will be trying a different cake recipe to use with the frosting.

    Reply

  60. Jess on September 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    I made these this afternoon. I made the batter exactly as written, but it was way too thick. I ended up adding probably at least 1/2 cup milk to get it to the right consistency. After baking, the cupcakes were spongy and heavy. I have no idea what went wrong; I’ve made cupcakes dozens of times and this has never happened. Any ideas??? Thanks!

    Reply

  61. jennifer thomas on September 7, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Hi,
    Any tips for high altitude? I’m in Utah. I’m a pretty seasoned baker, and was tempted to make my own adjustments, but wanted to follow the recipe as written, first.
    The flavor was good, but the cupcakes had an almost greasy, coarse crumb, rather than soft and velvety. Also, the tops pulled right off and tasted more like a sugar cookie than a cake. I’m sure it’s the altitude, as it messes with a whole lot of my baking. Any advice for this recipe?
    Thanks!

    Reply

  62. Jennifer on September 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    These are the best vanilla cupcaks I’ve ever tried making! I did not have any sour cream on hand, so I subbed for plain Greek Yogurt. And oh, my goodness! It was like eating vanilla ice cream in cake form, if that makes any sense! Delicious!

    Reply

  63. Tamara on September 14, 2013 at 12:22 am

    I made a small batch of these to test them out before my son’t 1st birthday party and I didn’t have sour cream. What I did have was whole plain yogurt. They turned out great and I’m making 36 tonight with the yogurt. The kind I use has the cream on top so, I used up all that from a fresh container first. I’m not a baker so, I don’t know what the difference in substituting these ingredients makes but, these sure are delicious.
    Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

  64. Leslie Pieper-McQueen on September 21, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Hi Michelle!
    I have a cupcake blog called My Year of Cupcakes. I featured you Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream on Day 49. Here’s the link if you wanna take a look:
    http://myyearofcupcakes.com/2013/09/18/day-49-vanilla-cupcakes-with-vanilla-buttercream/
    Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  65. betterwithsugar on October 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I have been looking for a great Vanilla Cupcake recipe for years, and this one rocks! Thank you!! I’ve made your recipe in cupcakes and cakes many times and every time it turns out great. That frosting is delicious too! :)

    Reply

  66. The Cake Lovers (@thecakelovers75) on October 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Very simple looking cupcake.

    Reply

  67. Hira khalid on October 5, 2013 at 3:51 am

    hi .
    can we use yogurt instead of sour cream….???

    Reply

  68. Anaisa on October 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Michelle!!
    Do you think it would be bad if i substitute the sourcream for buttermilk? i’m not from US so i’m not quite sure of what is sourcream here!! Can’t wait to try this <3

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 6th, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      Hi Anaisa, Yes, I think buttermilk would be a suitable substitution.

      Reply

      • Anaisa on October 6th, 2013 at 10:55 pm

        Hi Michelle!!. I love how you’re so kind and reply everything, by far my favorite blogger <3. Besides, we share the same taste so i just know that if i make one of your recipes it would like me!.

        Made the cupcakes today, found a way online to substitute sour cream and they were perfect!!!! So moist <3, the next time i make them i will try with just buttercream.

        Thank u so much!

        Reply

  69. Heraa khalid on October 6, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Hi,
    can we use yogurt instead of sour cream..??

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 6th, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      I have not tried that substitution, so I can’t guarantee the result, but you could surely give it a shot. Let us know how it goes!

      Reply

      • Crystal on October 9th, 2013 at 6:18 pm

        I used homemade plain yogurt and it worked wonderfully!

        Reply

  70. Crystal on October 9, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    These were delicious!! I’ve been searching and searching for a good vanilla cupcake recipe and this one nailed it! It’s light, fluffy, and melts in your mouth. Thanks for the keeper!

    Reply

    • Crystal on October 9th, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      Oh and so moist!!

      Reply

      • karly on October 13th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

        hi

        Reply

  71. Tea on October 16, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Hey,
    I tried this recipe, but I lowered the sugar content in the dough to 3/4 cup and in the buttercream to 1 3/4 cup. For me it was still to sweet, but since it was my first time doing a buttercream I wasn’t sure how important is sugar. It’s possible to make a less sweet buttercream without changing the consistency?

    Thanks!
    Btw, I just love your site, it’s really helpful. :) Keep up with the good job.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 17th, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Hi Tea, Unfortunately, it’s really not possible to eliminate ingredients (i.e. the sugar here) and not alter the consistency of the frosting.

      Reply

  72. Kim on October 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I want to make these but use cake flour for a lighter texture. Do you think that would work? Can I sub it 1-1? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 22nd, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Hi Kim, I tried that substitution, so I’m not sure if any other alterations would need to be made. You could always play around with it, though!

      Reply

  73. Amanda on October 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Hi!!
    These sound amazing…making them as we speak. But the batter is really thick and not liquidy at all….is that the way it’s supposed to be? It almost reminds me of cookie dough…

    Reply

    • Sarah on November 21st, 2013 at 10:46 am

      thats how mine was it didn’t work out at all. did you figure out why?

      Reply

    • UnHappy Baker on January 11th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Mine were the same way; like cookie dough!!! Help please!

      Reply

  74. Tanwan on October 20, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    I am making the cupcakes right now and I was wondering if you have to use sour cream and if it will make a difference without it?

    Reply

    • Tanwan on October 20th, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      never mind I will use it :) it was just cause I did not have any sour cream

      Reply

  75. Marie-France on October 24, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Hello, I tried these vanilla cupcakes and replace the sour cream by some vanilla yogourt that was expired and they were fabulous, the kids ate them all, within a 24 hours all the 12 cupcakes had disappeared into lunch and desserts. I can’t wait to try the tiramisu cupcakes…thank you for sharing these great receipes.

    Reply

  76. Chloe on October 25, 2013 at 2:31 am

    Gorgeous cupcakes,,, Looking through your recipes makes me hungry!

    Reply

  77. Beverley Clearley on October 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    OH , I’ve been looking through your recopies, and you made me in then mood for writting a food novel, :)) Haha

    Reply

  78. Mariclare the cupcake gal on October 27, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I am trying these cupcakes and frosting tonight…. I LOVE vanilla cupcakes and am inspired but watching DC cupcakes……. I hope they turn out delicious and adorable!

    Reply

  79. Alisha on October 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I finally decided on these for my first attempt at baking cupcakes. They seemed the least complicated for a newbie like me. I got everything ready and started, only to realize I had forgotten the sour cream! All I had in my fridge that was comparable were three Stony-Field Farm yogurts. I picked the raspberry, because it was blended and there were no seeds or fruit chunks like the other yogurts. I also had to use an electric mixer instead of a stand mixer. I was scared of over-mixing, based on some other comments, so I made sure to beat no more than 30 seconds and then by hand until I got all the flour pockets. I also followed your instructions on the eggs and butter being at room temperature. (I am learning quickly to pay attention to those notations!) The cake turned out super moist and really just delicious, nicely golden brown on top and great cake texture. I actually like the cake better than the frosting! Thanks Michelle for a great recipe and also for answering any questions I’ve had! :) Next on my list is that heavenly looking Apple-Pecan Spice Cake with the cream cheese filling and praline frosting!

    Reply

  80. Shailah on November 4, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Amaizing.i like it.

    Reply

  81. melissa on November 14, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I made these and they exploded in my oven not sure what I did wrong I followed the recipe to the exact measurements any advise would be help full

    Reply

  82. Sarah on November 21, 2013 at 10:40 am

    HI, I tried these cupcakes but they came out very dense and not very flavourful. I’m not sure what I did wrong :( also the buttercream was very melty and not the greatest. what vanilla did you use? could it be because I don’t have a stand mixer?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 21st, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Hi Sarah, I use Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract. The probably could be if you did it completely by hand and the ingredients didn’t incorporate well enough.

      Reply

      • Sarah on November 22nd, 2013 at 9:42 am

        thank you so much for responding! is there anyway I can avoid that using a hand mixer? unfortunately a stand mixer isn’t in the budget right now….someday!

        Reply

        • Michelle on November 22nd, 2013 at 12:37 pm

          Hi Sarah, I had mixer would definitely be a huge improvement over hand mixing!

          Reply

  83. Jamie on November 21, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    I made these cupcakes today the batter was thick and I was scared it would be dense but that was so not the case. they were light and fluffy and moist so great.

    Reply

  84. Mary on November 23, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I made this cupcakes, and everything was perfect, they puffed up nicely, but then at the middle of the cooking time their center collapsed. Help !!! I love the flavor.
    Any advice will be appreciated .
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 24th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Mary, I’m sorry you had some trouble. Did you happen to open the door to rotate the pan and maybe tapped it against the rack? That could cause them to fall. However, if they weren’t touched, I’m not sure why they would fall halfway through; sometimes cakes and cupcakes will sink in the middle while cooling if they have not cooked the whole way through.

      Reply

  85. Nicole on November 26, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I want to try this recipe but I have to make 60 cupcakes. Can you tell me how to adjust the recipe?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 26th, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Hi Nicole, Since you need 60 cupcakes, it looks like you’ll need to make 5 batches of this particular recipe. I have not tried to scale it up on a large scale, so I’m not sure if you could make all of the batter at once without issue.

      Reply

  86. Anna on November 26, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    hello:)
    i was just wondering if salted butter is okay to use instead of unsalted butter please help! thank you:)
    anna

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 27th, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      Hi Anna, Yes, just omit the salt in the recipe.

      Reply

  87. Malissa Harris on November 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Can this be done with a hand mixer?

    Reply

  88. Anaisa on December 4, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Michelle!!!. I made this cupcakes and LOVE them, specially the cake itself, it was so moisty and good!!!, i want to do some cinnamon-vanilla cake pops and i was wondering if you think this recipe could work in cake form :D xoxo

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 5th, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      Hi Anaisa, I have never used this recipe to make cake, so I couldn’t say definitively. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out!

      Reply

  89. kerri on December 9, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I made these last week, but because I have a serious addiction to your salted caramel, I added some caramel filling and a couple big spoonfuls of caramel to the buttercream. They were incredible, thank you. :)

    Reply

  90. Nicole on December 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Hi I need to make 60 regular size cupcakes and I’m not sure how to measure the ingredients. Can you help?

    Thanks,
    Nicole

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 11th, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      Hi Nicole, Since this recipes makes 12 cupcakes, you would need to make 5 batches of this recipe.

      Reply

  91. sarah on December 14, 2013 at 10:04 am

    hey they look delicious…. im gonna try it frst thing tomorrow…. but I dont have sour cream. can I substitute sour yogurt for this? would that make too much difference?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 14th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      Hi Sarah, I think that plain yogurt would be an okay substitute for the sour cream. Enjoy!

      Reply

  92. Grace on December 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    How long can you leave the buttercream out? Do you have to refrigerate the buttercream when frosted on the cupcake?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 24th, 2013 at 12:28 am

      Hi Grace, You do not need to refrigerate the cupcakes once they are frosted. If you make the frosting and aren’t planning to use it the same day, you should refrigerate it.

      Reply

  93. ARC on January 1, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Can I just say that this is the first time in ever that I made homemade frosting–and it was good. Spoon-outta-the-container-and-straight-into-the-mouth good. Can I know for how long this can stay refrigerated?:) I still have some left over from all that holiday baking, heh!

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 1st, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      I would say about a week. You’ll need to let it come to room temperature and re-whip it before using again.

      Reply

  94. Victoria on January 4, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Amazing cupcakes!! I had to add half and half to the buttercream recipe that I doubled because it was to thick. Still tasted great! But im not sure why it origionally came out too thick.

    Reply

  95. Unhappy Baker on January 11, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    This was AWFUL. They were dry, crumbly, and unevenly baked. I baked them for twenty six minutes. The outside was brown and the inside was goop. I did it right, and my oven is working. Shame on you for posting such a repulsive recipie. >:-(

    Reply

    • Unhappy Baker on January 11th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      But the icing was ok…

      Reply

    • Ellie on January 16th, 2014 at 12:00 am

      You obviously didn’t do it right then..

      Reply

  96. Ellie on January 15, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Can I make the frosting with a hand mixer instead?

    Reply

  97. Annie on January 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Hi,
    Do you think this recipe could also be made into 9 inch rounds? I really love this recipe and would love to turn it into cakes.
    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 19th, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      Hi Annie, I personally have not made these as rounds, but some other folks have. Just be sure to double the recipe, and they may need some extra time in the oven.

      Reply

  98. Ann on January 19, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Just baked these for my daughter. They turned out perfect! Thank you so much. I gave never baked before and so your instructions were right on and easy to follow.

    Reply

  99. Margaret Smith on January 21, 2014 at 7:32 am

    My cupcakes turned out horrible. They were dry and hard as a rock on the top. This was a to much work for bad cupcakes.

    Reply

  100. Blue eyed baker on January 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    The cupcakes tasted very dense and the batter was sticky. I do not recommend this recipe.

    Reply

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