Vanilla Cupcakes

I’ve posted quite a few different cupcake recipes, but I’ve never posted a regular degular vanilla cupcake recipe.

I felt like it was about time to post one so here we are!

I use this recipe all the time, it’s so easy to make and the cupcakes come out so light and fluffy every single time.

The top of the vanilla cupcakes after the buttercream and sprinkles were added to them.

Video Tutorial

Ingredients for these vanilla cupcakes

Here are the ingredients you are going to need to make these cupcakes:

  • Unsalted butter – you want to use unsalted butter for these because we’re going to be using self-raising flour, a lot of self-raising flours have salt already added to it. So if you use salted butter, your cupcakes will end up too salty.
  • Oil – I like to use a mixture of both butter and oil for these. The butter adds flavour, the oil adds a lot of moisture. Any flavourless oil works, I used vegetable oil.
  • Granulated sugar – caster sugar works.
  • Vanilla extract – for flavour. I always use vanilla extract but if you have vanilla bean paste, use this. It will elevate the flavour of the cupcakes.
  • Eggs
  • Self-raising flour – I find it easier to just use self-raising flour because it already has the raising agents added. But I will go into how to substitute this with regular flour later on in this blog post.
  • Milk – whole milk works best.
A side view of 1 of the vanilla cupcakes, whiles in the cupcake tin.

Ingredient substitutes

Whenever I post a cake or cupcake recipe, there are a few ingredients that people usually ask if there are any substitutes for. So I thought I should talk about them.

The butter

You do need butter in these, but I just wanted to mention that I’ve tried these a few times with margarine, and it works great.

So you could use margarine instead!

The oil

Usually cakes needs some kind of fat, this can either be butter or oil.

Butter helps give great flavour to cakes, whereas oil gives a lot of moisture.

I do prefer oil, but when it comes to vanilla flavoured cakes and cupcakes, vanilla is quite a mild flavour compared to others. So I feel like it needs the extra flavour that butter gives.

But I still want the moisture from the oil, so I use a mixture of both.

If you didn’t want to use oil, you could just use only butter. The cupcakes will still be good, just a little less moist….not dry, just a little less moist.

If you are going to just use butter, use 250g, instead of 125g.

The self-raising flour

If you don’t have self-raising flour, or live in a place where self-raising flour is not easy to find, DON’T WORRY you can use plain/all-purpose flour instead.

Use the same amount but mix 2.5 teaspoons of baking powder and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt into it!

How to get your cupcakes to have flat tops

I get asked this a lot.

Basically, I do nothing.

Different recipes just bake differently. This recipe bakes pretty flat, however when I make any kind of chocolate cupcake, they always bake with a dome. 

I don’t really know why my chocolate cupcakes always bake with a dome, I blame the cocoa powder but these cupcakes do bake flat.

However, one thing you can do to make sure you get flat cupcakes, is to not over fill your cupcake cases. You want to fill them until they’re around 3/4 of the way full.

If you fill them more than this, they might bake with a dome.

With that being said though, it’s not a huge deal if they do. I don’t really have an issue with cupcakes that have a dome, they get covered in buttercream anyway!

The vanilla cupcake batter inside of the cupcake cases, before being baked.
The vanilla cupcakes after being baked.

The buttercream

I topped these cupcakes with some Swiss meringue buttercream.

This buttercream goes great with the cupcakes, it’s tastes amazing on them and it also pipes really well.

But you could top them with whatever you wanted.

If you wanted to just make a quick American buttercream and use that, you could. Or you could use a cream cheese frosting, or even whipped cream.

Use whatever you prefer!

Here are a few other cupcake recipes I think you need to try too!

Vanilla Cupcakes

4.1 from 8 votes

Makes: 12-14 cupcakes

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened

  • 125ml vegetable oil

  • 250g granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 4 eggs

  • 250g self-raising flour

  • 60ml whole milk

  • Plus 1 batch of Swiss meringue buttercream, or whatever kind of buttercream you want to use.


  • Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c/350f. Also add your cupcake cases into your cupcake tin, leave this aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the softened butter, oil, sugar and vanilla. Beat these together for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. If you are doing this by hand, just aggressively whisk for as long as you can.
  • Add 2 of the eggs into this, whisk until combined, then whisk in the remaining 2 eggs.
  • Now add the flour and milk and whisk just until you get a smooth batter.
  • Add this batter into your cupcake cases, you want them to be around 3/4 of the way full.
  • Bake for around 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once baked, leave to cool completely.
  • Once they are cooled, you can decorate them. I just used a large star piping tip to pipe my buttercream onto them, then I added some sprinkles.
  • Now you can enjoy!


  1. Arisa
    July 31, 2023 / 1:53 pm

    Hi Ash love your recipes just wanted to add that I made these twice came out perfect both times but they make 24 cupcakes

    • Ash Baber
      July 31, 2023 / 6:50 pm

      oh…maybe my cupcake cases are just extremely large