Vanilla Cupcakes:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (preferably King Arthur’s All-Purpose Flour)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt (some folks like to use Kosher salt)

2 large eggs (preferably brown organic eggs)

1 stick (1/2 cup) of softened, salted butter (preferably Land ‘O’ Lakes)

2 tsp vanilla (preferably Watkin’s Pure Baking Vanilla)

½ cup of milk (I use 2% Lactaid milk)


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

1½ sticks of buttered, softened (preferably Land ‘O’ Lakes)

3 cups powdered sugar

2 tbsp milk (preferably 2% or 2% Lactaid milk)

2 tsp vanilla extract (preferably Watkin’s Pure Baking Vanilla)

Pinch of salt



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Spray with cooking spray so that the cupcakes don’t stick to the liners when it’s time to eat one. If you want to make mini cupcakes, just use the 24-cup muffin pan.
  2. For the Vanilla Cupcakes: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Beat the butter in a stand mixer or handheld mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in 1 cup of sugar until creamy, about 4 minutes. Scrape the butter-sugar mixture from the sides of the bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well, and then add in vanilla. Turn the mixer to low speed and then beat in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with ½ cup of milk (starting and ending with flour). Beat on medium-high speed until just combined. If the mix is a little lumpy from the butter, use a whisk to smooth out the batter.
  3. Divide batter among the muffin liners. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a deep golden color brown (for a soft, moist cupcake, bake for 19-20 minutes). Cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack for about 5 minutes and then remove. Let the cupcakes cool completely on the wire racks. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare your frosting.
  4. For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened butter, 3 cups of powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt using an electric mixer (or handheld mixer) on medium speed until just combined. Add in 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in 2 tablespoons of milk until fluffy, about 1 more minute.
  5. Frosting the Cupcakes: Using a piping back or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes. If you want to use a piping bag, we use the 2D piping tip. Add sprinkles to decorate if you wish. We use Bon appetite!


Note: This recipe is a variation of a recipe found in The Cupcake Cookbook by Food Network Magazine.