The Best 12 Vanilla Cupcake Recipe for Beginners

This recipe has to be the best 12 vanilla cupcake recipe I have ever used – the cakes are absolutely delicious and moist and come out perfectly every time!  A super-easy recipe. I say 12 as that fills a standard cupcake tray, but if you wanted to make the mixture go a bit further and have smaller cupcakes, this recipe could stretch to 18. These are vanilla cupcakes – I also have an amazing recipe for chocolate cupcakes too!

Ingredients for 12 Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

205g plain flour
1 pinch of salt
165g caster sugar
2 large eggs
200ml semi-skimmed milk
1.5 tsp baking powder
115g unsalted butter, softened
½ tbsp vanilla extract


Large and small mixing bowl
Medium measuring jug
Electric hand whisk
Bendy silicone spatula
Muffin tin
Cupcake or muffin papers, depending on the size cupcake you want to make
Wire rack for cooling


Preheat your oven to 150 degrees (this temperature is for fan ovens).  Prep your muffin tray by adding the paper cases.

In the small bowl, sieve together the baking powder, flour and salt and put it aside for later.

12 Vanilla Cupcake Recipe Whisk EggsIn the larger mixing bowl, beat/cream the butter on a medium-high speed for about 2 minutes.  Add the sugar slowly and continue to beat until light and fluffy.  A good test to know when the mix is just right is to scoop a large dollop of mixture onto your spoon or spatula and then just bang the arm of the spatula onto the side of the bowl (dollop over the bowl!) and if the mixture comes off in one go then it is ready – if it clings to the spatula you need to keep on mixing J

Set aside the electric whisk now – you need to do the rest by hand (with your spatula of course!)

First of all you now need to beat in the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Now it’s time to add the milk and flour.  Begin and end with the flour, adding it alternately with the milk, in about 4 additions.  The milk is a bit sloshy, so you need to work carefully when blending it in.  Once everything is added give the mixture a hard beat for about 20-30 seconds until everything is thoroughly blended.

Divide your batter evenly between the cupcake papers.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centres shows only a few moist crumbs.  Note, these are pale cupcakes, they don’t take on a lot of colour (I think this must be down to the milk content) and quite often they flatten slightly on top once removed from the oven – there is nothing wrong with that (it makes them easier to decorate!)

Take out of the oven, allow the cakes to cool slightly in the tray and then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While you wait for them to cool, prepare the absolute, hands down, best butter icing recipe ever!

Butter Icing Recipe

Ingredients (the recipe calls for VERY generous proportions of icing – I often make half and it is sufficient)
200g unsalted butter
1kg icing sugar (sieved)
125ml semi skimmed milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract


12 Vanilla Cupcake Recipe ButtercreamCream the butter with an electric hand whisk for 1-2 minutes.

Carefully add the milk, vanilla extract and half of the icing sugar and bet for about 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy

Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat for a further 3 minutes

Pipe or swirl icing onto the cakes and enjoy…you have just completed our delicious 12 vanilla cupcake recipe!

Equipment used in this recipe (available on Amazon):


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