Perfect Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes

These vanilla cupcakes are the perfect soft and fluffy vanilla cupcake! I have done a lot of testing and am proud to say that I finally have my favorite version to share with you!

The Perfect Moist Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes! So good!
The Perfect Moist Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes! So good!

I’m quite picky about vanilla cupcakes. You can’t get by with a mediocre one, you know? They might be one of the most important flavors to get right. Next to chocolate, that is. If you don’t have a good vanilla cupcake, you’ve got a problem.

I have tried numerous vanilla recipes over the past few years and this one was a fave. Problem was, it was a cake recipe. And while many cake and cupcake recipes are interchangeable, this one was not.

The Perfect Moist Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes! So good!

When I tried to use it for cupcakes, the wrappers would come off as the cupcakes cooled. Not good. Not good at all.

They also didn’t puff up quite like I wanted. They had pretty flat tops. Too flat.

I also tend to think sour cream gives terrific moisture and flavor to a vanilla cupcake. And I think that even more now, after all my testing. Plus, it can easily be switched up to allow fun flavor variations.

The Perfect Moist Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes! So good!

So I decided to take that tasty cake recipe and turn it into the perfect cupcake! Starting by adding sour cream.

Did you see the picture I posted on instagram of all the cupcakes I ended up freezing on my way to the perfect one? It was insane.

I played with the amount of eggs, just egg whites, amounts of milk, sour cream, flour, butter. I thought I was going to drown in cupcakes.

I also wanted to try and use the more common version of ingredients – all purpose flour instead of cake flour, regular milk instead of buttermilk, etc. Just to make it easier. 🙂

Aaaand to make it even easier, you only need one bowl! Woot woot!

The Perfect Moist Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes! So good!
The Perfect Moist Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes! So good!

I got a number of opinions along the way. Including when I had 6 women from my small group together and they tested what I thought would be my final 3 versions. I knew which my faves were, but wanted their opinions.

They totally agreed that one version had better flavor and one had better texture. The third was out!

So I decided to give it one more try.

Magic! Perfection! And sheer happiness!

My very own Perfect Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcake! It is so wonderful, you guys! You have to try it!

The Perfect Moist Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes! So good!

It is not too dense, but not too airy. Moist, but maintains structure. Rises, but not too much. And the sour cream really amplifies the vanilla flavor. Love, love, love it!

Plus, I’m kind of proud of myself for persevering. 🙂

As for the icing, it is my go-to vanilla icing.

It uses half butter, half shortening. In any of my icing recipes were I use half butter and half shortening, you can use all butter. But truly, I stand by using half shortening. Shortening can seem gross, but it will give a more stable icing, particularly if it’s warm out. And I really prefer the final flavor. I find all-butter icing to be too buttery and not enough vanilla flavor.

The Perfect Moist Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes! So good!

You might disagree in the end, but I encourage you to at least try it first. Either way, the cupcake that the icing will sit on will rock your socks off. And together, they will make a fabulous cupcake party.

So do me a favor, will you? I worked extra hard on this one and burned through a lot of butter, so make sure you give it a try. I know you’ll love it!

The Perfect Moist Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes! So good!

Perfect Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes

Yield: 12-14 cupcakes



1 2/3 cups (217g) all purpose flour
1 cup (200g) sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup salted butter (170g), room temperature ( I use Challenge Butter)
3 egg whites
3 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120ml) sour cream
1/2 cup (120ml) milk


1/2 cup (115g) salted butter
1/2 cup (95g) shortening
4 cups (480g) powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp (30-45ml) water or cream
1 tsp vanilla extract



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add butter, egg whites, vanilla, sour cream and milk and mix on medium speed just until smooth. Do not over mix.
4. Fill cupcake liners a little more than half way.
5. Bake 18-20 minutes.
6. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.


1. Combine butter and shortening and mix until smooth.
2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
3. Add vanilla extract and 1-2 tbsp of water or cream and mix until smooth.
4. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
5. Add a little more water or cream until desired consistency is reached.
6. Top cupcakes with icing.

Note: You may notice little bits of butter in the batter, but that’s ok. They will melt into the cupcake as they bake.



Some treats from friends:
Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake by Java Cupcake
Triple Coconut Poke Cake from Beyond Frosting
White Chocolate Funfetti Chip Cake from Inside BruCrew Life

You might also like:

Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cake
Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cake! Such a soft, tender cake!

Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes
Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes - layers of cinnamon swirled in the cupcake and cinnamon sugar icing!

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes - so moist and easy to make!

S’mores Cupcakes
S'mores Cupcakes - super moist chocolate cupcakes with a graham cracker crust, topped with a light marshmallow frosting!

Peach Pie Cupcakes
Peach Pie Cupcakes

Funfetti Millionaire Cake
Funfetti Millionaire Cake - A layer of Funfetti cheesecake, Funfetti cake, and Funfetti mousse!

White Chocolate Truffle Cake

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes