Favorite Moist Vanilla Cupcakes

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These Vanilla Cupcakes are moist, light & fluffy! There are a couple different recipes on my site for Vanilla Cupcakes, but these are my all-time favorite classic vanilla cupcakes!

Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes! My favorites!

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Best Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes

So here’s the funny thing about recipes – not everyone has the same opinion about them. What makes the “perfect” vanilla cupcake for one, may not be the same for another. It’s sometimes tough, because I want a recipe that everyone loves. I’ve got my original vanilla cupcake, Perfect Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes, and the new one, Moist Vanilla Cupcakes, I shared earlier this year and both are awesome! But which one is your favorite totally depends on the person. Both have rave reviews, and yet I’m still searching for that one that’s perfect for everyone.

I’m not really convinced that even exists, but this is my latest installment in the vanilla cupcake wars with myself. 🙂 It’s totally a real war. I figure between these three options, surely there’s one that tickles your fancy.

I have made these cupcakes over and over and over and they are always a hit. You can actually find them in various forms already on the blog and those are a hit, so I decided it was time to actually call attention to them in their full vanilla form. I like giving options, so this one should definitely be on your radar. They are a little different than both of my other vanilla cupcake recipes, so let’s chat about them a bit.

Easy Moist and Fluffy Vanilla CupcakesMoist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

While the other cupcakes utilize a more simple method of just being able to mix all the ingredients together (also one uses oil, instead of butter), these use the more traditional method of creaming. It’s actually a very important step, because creaming the butter and sugar together adds air to the batter that helps make them wonderfully fluffy. So be sure to not skimp on the creaming time, or you’ll be disappointed by dense cupcakes.

The remaining ingredients and steps are relatively straight forward. As with the other vanilla cupcake versions, the ingredients are all fairly standard ones you will hopefully have on hand. No crazy flours or anything.

After creaming the butter and sugar, you’ll add a couple teaspoons of vanilla and some sour cream. Vanilla is obviously important for a good vanilla cupcake and I always love the flavor and moisture that sour cream adds to a cupcake. It’s one of those ingredients that I really do stand by. Love it.

Next are the egg whites, followed by alternating adding the dry ingredients and milk and water. Again, all relatively straight forward. Just unlike other versions, these have more of a method to their madness – I mean brilliance. 😉

The final cupcake is super moist and fluffy and truly a favorite of mine. They are my go-to. When topped with vanilla frosting (or any other flavor frosting for that matter), they are delicious and absolutely make my ideal vanilla cupcake. I hope you love these as much as we do!

Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes displayed on standFavorite Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes

Read transcript

You might also like:

Moist Vanilla Cupcakes (oil based)
Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes (butter based, a little denser)
Moist Vanilla Layer Cake
Moist Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Homemade Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

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close up image of Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes

Favorite Moist Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These Vanilla Cupcakes are moist, light & fluffy! If you are looking for a totally foolproof, easy & perfect classic vanilla cupcake recipe this is it!




  • 6 tbsp (84g), unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups (155g) sugar
  • 6 tbsp (86g) sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (163g) all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp (90ml) milk
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) water


  • 1/2 cup (112g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (95g) shortening
  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 23 tbsp (30-45ml) water or milk


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the amount of creaming time.
3. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
4. Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the milk and water in a small measuring cup.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
7. Fill the cupcake liners about halfway. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
8. Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.
9. While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. Combine the butter and shortening in a large mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
10. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
11. Add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of water or milk and mix until smooth.
12. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
13. Add the remaining water or milk as needed and mix until smooth.
14. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I used Ateco tip 844.

Keywords: vanilla cupcakes recipe, best vanilla cupcakes, easy vanilla cupcakes recipe, vanilla frosting recipe


Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes! My favorites!

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Recipe rating

  1. Keji

    I adjusted this recipe a bit (doubled the measurements) and divided the batter in two parts. Then I added cocoa powder to one part and mixed it. Poured the batter in bits alternately into the baking pan to bake a marble cake. The result was fabulous.

  2. Mia

    I make up to 50 cupcakes a batch so this recipe is PERFECT!!. Sometime they underbake at  18 mins
    what would be a safe time not to get chewy on the inside?

    1. Lindsay

      That’s going to depend on your oven. If 18 minutes is too little, you can add another couple minutes. Glad you enjoy them.

  3. Judy

    Hello Lindsay, I’m wondering what suggestions you have for replacing the milk – will buttermilk, whipping cream or almond milk work?

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t tried buttermilk, but would think it’d be ok. Whipping cream might be a little heavy. Almond milk should be fine, but it lacks some of the fat, so I probably wouldn’t prefer the texture as much.

  4. Molly

    Hi Lindsay,
    I made your favorite moist vanilla cupcakes tonight and they are wonderful! Best tasting vanilla cupcakes ever! I do have a question… shortly after I removed them from the oven, the cupcakes didn’t keep their dome shape and the tops flattened out, some even sunk in. Have you had this problem before? I’ve had it happen one other time and I do know both this recipe and my previous recipe had sour cream in it. Would that cause the cupcakes to lose their height? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you enjoyed them! It’s hard to say for sure what happened with them sinking. A little bit of deflating is normal as they cool, but it sounds like they did more than that. It’s possible that they came out of the oven too quickly. Another possibility is that you added a touch too much baking powder. Beyond that, it’s hard to say.

  5. lavanya krishnan

    really awesome. The best thing i really liked about the cake is the simplicity to put it together (as a fellow mom of twins I am sure you can imagine). The batter was so easy to pour into the liners. 🙂

    1) I baked them for 15 mins and although cooked, they were little sticky on top. Should I bake them for a couple of more minutes? I noticed that some of them started to brown a lot at the bottom. I forgot to take out the mini cup cakes earlier and burnt them. Should I bake them for 1/2 the time as regular cup cake.

    2) As for the cake it self, my husband said it needed more flavour. I didnt use the frosting receipe from here and instead went with an expresso frosting. Should I increase the quantity of the vanilla extract if I want to skip the frosting? I prefer naked cakes for more guilt free eating. 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      Cupcakes and cakes can often be a little sticky on top after cooling. I believe it’s just from condensation and moisture. I’m not sure of how to avoid that.

      And yes, mini cupcakes should be baked for less time. I’d say probably around eight minutes.

      And you can certainly add more vanilla to the cupcakes. It won’t hurt them.

      I’m glad you enjoyed them!

    1. Lindsay

      I would really recommend sticking with sour cream for the best texture and flavor. But if you feel you have to change it, you could use plain yogurt instead. It does give you a little different result though.

  6. Priscila

    Lindsay, These are by far the best vanilla cupcakes I have ever baked! They are light and moist best of all, easy to make. I doubled the recipe and ended up with 36 cupcakes , It could be from half filling the cups? I usually fill my cups 2/3 full.

  7. James

    These came out perfect! Super easy. Definitely going to make this my go to vanilla. Thanks so much!!

  8. Teresa Araujo

    My husband loves this recipe, the cake is a wonderful consistency! We prefer it over the moist vanilla layer cake recipe. If I were to use this recipe for a cake (making batter 2-3 times to fill 6″ pans), would it work for a layer cake?

    1. Lindsay

      This cake definitely works well as a layer cake. I typically do it in 8 inch pans and double it. I’m not sure about 6 inch pans because I haven’t used those. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the cupcakes!

  9. Sonja Kerfont

    10/10 Will make again! I skipped the frosting and added a cup of mini chocolate chips, and baked it in a mini muffin pan. Makes 56. They were fantastic. Blows the Sara Lee Little Bites out of the water. I’ll be making these for my son’s lunches instead of buying the little bites. I mean sure, it’s cake, but it’s cake I know what went into it and it’s not pretending to be mini muffins like Sara Lee. Plus the added bonus of not having a funky chemical taste.

  10. Teresa

    Hi Lindsay,
    Can I make this cupcakes and frost them a day in advance? If so, what’s the best way to store them so they stay moist?


  11. Corrie

    I have made so many vanilla cupcakes! I made these yesterday with a whipped lemon cream cheese icing and they were DIVINE! So soft and fluffy! Thank you for the perfect vanilla cupcake, maybe my quest is finally over! 

  12. Helen

    I have tried these twice and each time they come out dense, almost like pound cake. Could you take a guess at what I’m doing wrong?

  13. Naomi

    Very easy and delicious vanilla cupcakes! I am slowing working my way through your recipes and was so happy to find this one when I had to take cupcakes to my daughter’s classroom. The kids loved them. 🙂

  14. Nina

    WOw based off of other reviews I wanted to try these iv been baking for years and I must say this is the nastiest vanilla cupcake recipe iv ever done, wasn’t moist and had a strange taste just not for me I’ll stick to my own vanilla cupcake recipe.

  15. Ayesha

    Fantastic cupcake recipe! wanting to use the same recipe for a letter “Y” tin – do you think I would need to double the recipe?

  16. Scgirl0

    Hey. I am wondering how this recipe would pair with a chocolate marble? I am baking a couple dozen for a baby shower this week and was planning on baking about half based on this recipe for vanilla and half marble (using a half and half cupcake divider). However, I’m having trouble finding a comparable chocolate cake recipe that will be able to be baked at same temp and time as well as hopefully have a similar consistency for obvious reasons.
    Could I simply just split this recipe, make my one dozen all vanilla. Then make my other dozen by quartering the recipe for the vanilla and quartering for the chocolate marble by simply adding cocoa? Feel like I would probably need something else but not sure. If it’s just adding cocoa, how much for just a dozen of doing marble?
    Sorry if this sounded confusing 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      I actually am going to be working on a marble cake soon, since it’s actually a little tougher to do than it would seem. Just adding cocoa powder won’t necessarily work, since often baking soda is used in chocolate and baking powder in vanilla. But in the meantime, I’d suggest this vanilla and this chocolate cake (just pay attention to the chocolate layers of cake). They are “the same” but chocolate versus vanilla. You’ll have to make the batter separately since one is baking soda and one baking powder, but the baking time and consistency issue would be right. I hope that helps!

  17. Joan

    Oops, Lindsey. I just watched the video, and hooray, I can simply add the egg whites. I am headed to the store for sour cream right now!! Thank you ???? 

  18. Joan

    I would like to make these for the 4th of July (tomorrow), and I am assuming I need to whip the egg whites first, or can I just add them as they are to the batter? Thanks!

  19. Jennifer

    Hi have you ever substituted the shortening for coconut oil in the frosting. Does it ruin the consistency of the frosting?

  20. Disappointed

    This is the worst recipe I’ve ever tried. I followed your method and ingredients just like you wrote. So disappointed. My cupcakes cake out spongy and soggy. 

  21. Tina Thompson

    Hello!!! I use your oil based recipe for both the chocolate and the vanilla. I am wondering how this recipe compares? The others are so moist and amazing and I am unsure if they can be beat lol. Just curious. Not sure I will change however….

  22. Soleil

    Hey, I have made these cupcakes before so I came back to use the recipe again. But when I made them this time they did not rise and tasted like pancakes, what did I do wrong?????

    1. Lindsay

      Hard to say from a distance. Is your baking powder still good? Did you maybe measure or mix something differently?

  23. Debbie Stein

    I couldnt believe it when I came across your website and all of your fabulous recipes. Wow.
    One question….are your vanilla cupcakes with the sour cream suitable for freezing (without icing of course)?

    1. Lindsay

      Thanks Debbie! Yes, they should freeze well. I just like to make sure they are well wrapped and defrost in the fridge.

  24. Sam Mitchell

    How many cupcakes will 1 batch of this recipe make? Also if I plan on using this recipe for a 3 layered 6inch cake as well how long would your bake the cake for? Thanks so much!

  25. Martha Reynoso

    Made these babies last night for MY birthday using my new Kitchen Aid.  These cupcakes were ahhhhhhhh-mazing!!  Even my husband (a die hard chocolate fan) loved them, said “the cupcakes were so good” three times!  I’ll have to make a nother batch today to use up the rest of the frosting, so damn good!  Thanks Lindsay!  I’m a coverted fan of yours!  Will it be okay to follow your recipes for my clients??  

    1. Lindsay

      Wonderful! So glad they were such a hit! When you say “clients”, I assume you mean you bake cakes for people? Yes, that’s fine. Thanks!

  26. Monica

    I just made a double batch of these amazing cupcakes.  They are so moist and delicious.  This recipe is a keeper, for sure!  Thanks for sharing.

  27. Audrey

    Is there something I can use in place of the sour cream? I am currently on PEI in Canada and the sour cream seems to be different here.

  28. Madeline

    I saw this recipe and thought I should give it a try, given it’s easy to recipe and great reviews. Turns out, they were absolutely delicious! Very easy and tasty! I had no problems whatsoever and everything turned out great. Thanks for the great recipe!

  29. Wendy

    I made these cupcakes this weekend and they came our shewy I made a second badge and the same.. I love your recipes but these came out really bad..  could u tell me what I did wrong pretty please

    1. Lindsay

      I’m curious to know what other recipes you’ve tried? Many of my layer cakes actually start with this cupcake recipe as the base, so if you’ve made other layer cakes and enjoyed them, these cupcakes should be the same. As far as trouble shooting, are you sure you fully creamed the butter and sugar? You should notice and change in color and texture and it’s important to make sure you get a fluffy cupcake.

      1. Lindsay

        I don’t think I’ve tried it with this recipe, but not sure it’d work out well. If you want an oil based cupcake, I’d try these.

  30. Soleil

    I made them and they were the best cupcakes I have ever tasted! If you are looking for a yummy recipe for vanilla cupcakes I recommend this recipe because it tastes delicious and is nice and dense and filling. ????????????????

  31. Jessica

    Can I make the cupcakes a day in advance? If so, what would be the best way to store them? They look so good. I’m planning on doubling recipe and making them for my daughters first birthday and adding beet juice to make them pretty pink! ????


  32. Nancy Punjani


    I was recommended this website by my friend. Can you please suggest something that can be used instead of shortening and the measurements for the same ?

  33. Emily

    I used greek yogurt subing the sour cream. The texture of these are awesome but we all though they tasted like corn bread. ????

  34. Hafsat Samaila

    Hi. Can i use whipped whole eggs instead of egg whites? And add them at the end? Do you think it would make any difference?

    Also what can i substitute for sour cream?

    1. Lindsay

      No, that most likely wouldn’t turn out (the eggs). As for the sour cream, you could try adding additional milk or yogurt.

      1. Dove

        How much additional milk? I am craving something sweet and I have no Sour cream, It would be helpful THANKS Lindsay!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, they will. I believe the baking time would be roughly 6-8 minutes. As long as the liners are non-stick, you shouldn’t need to spray them.

  35. Karol

    I was trying several cupcake recipes for my daughter’s birthday and this came out as the winner. It’s soft & fluffy, very moist and light – perfect for the kids. Will definitely my forever cupcake recipe till my kids stop having parties!

  36. Yoko L

    Hi Lindsay, 

    Just want to ask coz I’m making 50 cupcakes. Can i bake them day before the event and just place it on the counter at room tempt and will frost on  the day of the event right before delivery? Thank you

  37. Sherry Biesecker

    Hi I make cupcakes the same day they will be served. But I’m making like 100 cupcakes. Your Chocolate recipe and vanilla recipe.  So I need to make them the day before. What do you suggest on how store them? They will have the frosting on. Wondering if they can sit out on the counter in a container or if I should put them in the fridge? Thank You,  Sherry

    1. Lindsay

      Since I use half butter/half shortening in my frosting, I do leave them at room temperature. If you were to use all butter, I’d probably suggest keeping them in a container in the fridge.

  38. Eliana

    Hi Lindsay! I really like this recipe, but I’d like to know what the shortening is, or if it is a vegetable/animal-based flat. Thank you very much!

  39. Susan Storey

    I made these to take to an outdoor concert and share with friends. We all agreed they were really yummy….very moist and fluffy with great vanilla flavor!
    I did not have any left to bring home. ????????

  40. Kathy

    This recipe was perfectly delish! Can i use this same recipe for a cake pan and will doubling the recipe make a difference in consistency of the batter?

    1. Lindsay

      So glad you enjoyed them! Yes, you can definitely double it for a cake. I usually make three 8 inch cake layers and bake for about 21-23 minutes.

  41. Mary

    Hi Lindsay. These cupcakes are beautiful. Wondering where you found the tiny white pearls. They look much smaller than most you see.  Thank You. 

      1. Lindsay

        Gosh, I haven’t done a lot of mini cupcakes but you’d get at least double and probably more.

  42. JC

    Lindsey I am a new subscriber and has been looking for the perfect 3 layer moist and fluffy vanilla cake and cupcakes.  Now that I have 
    I want to know if I can use the same recipe for both vanilla cake and cupcakes to make Rainbow cake and cupcakes without adjusting any ingredients . prep, and cooking time? If so please tell me what I need to do. Also do you have a how to or tutorial videos?

    1. Lindsay

      This recipe can be used for cake. You’d want to double it. I usually use three 8 inch pans and bake for about 21-23 minutes. It should be fine to color the batter.

      1. Orly

        Hi Lindsey,

        So you double the recipe for each of the three 8 inch pans? or you double the recipe and divide that amount between the three 8″ pans? Thanks! Orly

  43. Betty

    Everything on your website looks and sounds delicious. This is the first time I try one of your recipes. These are now my all time favorite vanilla cupcakes! I’m so excited I finally have the best recipe! . I made half the recipe to try them out. (Since I have tried many recipes and end up throwing them away) these are the consistency and flavor I’ve been looking for. Thank you so much for sharing Lindsay! Good wishes! 

  44. Cory

    The last batch of cupcakes I made (pink champagne) I beat the egg whites to medium peaks, then folded them in. I am curious to try this method and see what the overall difference is. Thanks!

  45. Katrina

    There is something so perfect about a simply perfect vanilla cupcake. You really can’t go wrong! I’ve made your Moist and Fluffy Vanilla cupcakes which became a HUGE hit in my family. These look great too. I’ll definitely be giving them a try soon! Hope all is well with you!!

      1. Lindsay

        Yes, the same consistency. The main differences is that shortening is going to hold up better in heat and then the flavor is a little different when you’ve got all butter.

  46. Deborah Behney

    Thank you for your wonderful posts and wonderful recipes.
    It makes me smile when I see I received your email. Keep
    your lovely spirit and smile!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12