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Sweet and simple, these classic vanilla cupcakes are perfectly topped with a tasty buttercream.

  • Serves10
  • Cook time25 minutes
  • Prep time10 minutes, (+ cooling time)
Vanilla cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Coles Australian Free Range Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • Mixed berries, to serve
  • Icing sugar, to dust

Buttercream

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (480g) icing sugar mixture
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.

Method

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 10 holes of a 1/3-cup (80ml) muffin pan with paper cases.

  2. Step 2

    Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just combined.

  3. Step 3

    Stir the flour and milk into the butter mixture, in alternating batches, until just combined. Spoon mixture evenly among paper cases. Bake for 20-25 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  4. Step 4

    To make the buttercream, use a clean electric mixer to beat the butter in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add icing sugar in 3 batches, beating until well combined. Beat in milk and vanilla until combined.

  5. Step 5

    Place buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe over cooled cupcakes to decorate.

Vanilla cupcake recipe

When hosting a birthday party, or any kind of party for that matter, you can never go wrong with a batch of vanilla cupcakes. Essentially tiny versions of an iced cake, they are the perfect canvas for a baker to creatively express themselves. Cupcakes are also a good size for kids, allows for everyone to get an equal amount of icing with their cake, and can be eaten easily while mingling.

To make a basic vanilla cupcake, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder and milk are combined. This cupcake recipe is a good one, because the cakes themselves are hard to stay away from, even when they haven’t been iced. They’re buttery while being fluffy, with a moist velvety crumb and just the right amount of sweetness to keep you reaching for ‘just one more’. 

How to make this easy vanilla cupcake recipe

Here is how to make fluffy and moist vanilla cupcakes.

Take the butter, eggs and milk that you will use out of the fridge ahead of time, so that it’s at room temperature before you start. Cream the soft butter with sugar and vanilla essence until it is fluffy and light, using a spatula to gently release any butter and sugar that might be stuck on the sides or bottom of the bowl. Then, beat in 1 egg at a time until everything is just combined. Fold in the flour and milk in batches, alternating between the two. You want to stir it in gently until just combined, taking care not to overbeat the batter as this can affect how the cupcakes turn out.

Line a muffin baking pan with paper cases and use a spoon to divide the batter evenly among the paper cases. If you want to check how high the cupcakes will rise, bake one test cupcake that has the batter filled halfway. 

Once you have filled the cases with the right amount of batter, put the baking pan in the pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and take the cupcakes out of the pan, placing onto a wire rack to cool. 

When the cupcakes are cooled down and ready to be iced, make the buttercream. Beat butter until it turns the lightest possible colour, adding icing sugar in three batches while beating. Beat in milk and vanilla essence until combined. See this classic buttercream recipe for more detailed directions.

Tips for icing cupcakes

When icing the cupcakes, keep these tips in mind. 

Make the icing just before you ice your cupcakes, so that it’s at the right consistency. Let the cupcakes cool completely before icing them to avoid runny icing. It can take at least an hour for cupcakes to be cooled to the right temperature for icing.

Use a palette knife to spread the buttercream onto the cupcakes, and gently roll them in a bowl of sprinkles. Alternatively, use a piping bag with a large tip to ice your cupcakes. Regardless of what icing pattern you do, remember to hold the bag straight up instead of holding it on an angle like a pencil, and start with the tip about 1 centimetre away from the surface of the cupcake. 

You may like to try these piping bag icing patterns to start:

  • Attach a star tip and start at the edge of the cupcake. In one motion, while pressing on the piping bag, follow a spiral pattern toward the centre. Make sure to overlap the icing slightly.

  • Attach a star tip and begin at the centre of the cupcake. Squeeze the icing out gently to make one small peak, then stop squeezing and pull the bag away. Repeat this until the cupcake is covered in small peaks of icing. 

Equipment you need to execute the best vanilla cupcake recipe

Have your equipment prepared before you start the baking process. This recipe calls for a 1/3-cup (80 mL) muffin pan with 10 holes that needs to be lined with paper cases. Then, preheat the oven to 180°C to ensure the batter cooks evenly when it goes in later.

You’ll also need an electric mixer, such as a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Using an electric mixer helps you get a fluffier cupcake and lighter buttercream icing. It also makes the creaming process easier. 

Another useful piece of equipment is a wire rack, which allows you to take the cupcakes out of the pan and leave it on the rack to cool completely before assembly.

You may want to consider getting an oven thermometer to make sure your cupcakes are cooking at the correct temperature. A digital weighing scale for baking would also be handy, to make sure the ingredients are measured out accurately and ensure a successful bake. 

Finally, have a skewer on hand to test the doneness of the cakes, and a palette knife or piping bag to ice the cupcakes.

FAQs

Vanilla cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes
  • Serves10
  • Cook time25 minutes
  • Prep time10 minutes, (+ cooling time)
Ingredients
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Coles Australian Free Range Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • Mixed berries, to serve
  • Icing sugar, to dust

Buttercream

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (480g) icing sugar mixture
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    Description

    Sweet and simple, these classic vanilla cupcakes are perfectly topped with a tasty buttercream.

    Method
    1. Step 1

      Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 10 holes of a 1/3-cup (80ml) muffin pan with paper cases.

    2. Step 2

      Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just combined.

    3. Step 3

      Stir the flour and milk into the butter mixture, in alternating batches, until just combined. Spoon mixture evenly among paper cases. Bake for 20-25 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

    4. Step 4

      To make the buttercream, use a clean electric mixer to beat the butter in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add icing sugar in 3 batches, beating until well combined. Beat in milk and vanilla until combined.

    5. Step 5

      Place buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe over cooled cupcakes to decorate.