These white cupcakes are super moist, light, and fluffy! They are topped with vanilla buttercream and are sure to become a new favorite. If you are looking for a foolproof, classic white cupcake recipe, look no further.
Table of Contents
- The Best White Cupcake Recipe
- What is a White Cupcake?
- Why You’ll Love This Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
- Recipe Ingredients
- How to Make White Cupcakes
- Why Do You Whip Egg Whites For Cupcakes?
- Tips for the Best Homemade Cupcakes
- Decorating Ideas
- How to Store Homemade White Cupcakes
- More Easy Cupcake Recipes
- Watch How To Make These Cupcakes
- White Cupcake Recipe
The Best White Cupcake Recipe
Some days call for a simple, classic white cupcake done right. That’s exactly what I have for you today. These white cupcakes are perfect for weddings, baby showers or a regular Saturday night. They are super moist and stay that way for days. These are a classic and a recipe you’ll want to have on hand for all kinds of occasions.
To make these delicious cupcakes, whipped egg whites are folded into a classic vanilla batter making these white cupcakes so light and fluffy that they make you think of perfect white clouds in the sky. The subtly sweet flavor of the cupcake is complimented beautifully by a creamy buttercream frosting and a smattering of sprinkles. They truly are the best you’ve ever tasted.
What is a White Cupcake?
There are three different kinds of vanilla cakes – yellow, white, and regular. Yellow cupcakes are a little richer and they derive their color from the use of mostly (or all) egg yolks in the batter. White cupcakes, on the other hand, only use egg whites in the batter, making them lighter in color and, often, texture. Finally, classic vanilla cupcakes utilize whole eggs, producing a color and taste somewhere between white and yellow cupcakes. They are all delicious. I recommend experimenting to find your favorite.
Why You’ll Love This Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
There’s nothing quite like a simple white cupcake and this recipe is the king of all white cupcakes. Here are some of my favorite things about it.
- Simple flavor. I love the subtle sweetness of these simple vanilla cupcakes. If you are in the mood for a dessert that isn’t super overpowering and is pleasing to a variety of taste preferences, these are the perfect solution.
- Great texture. Folding the egg whites in at the end makes these cupcakes so light and fluffy. They are practically cloudlike. Plus, the addition of sour cream to the batter makes the finished product wonderfully moist.
- Customizable. This simple white cupcake creates the perfect canvas for a variety of adaptations. Try swapping out the vanilla buttercream for my Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. You could even add some berries or shredded coconut to the batter or play around with fun decorations (see the section below titled “Decorating Ideas” for inspiration).
Here’s a list of ingredients needed to make these white vanilla cupcakes. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card below for detailed measurements.
- All-purpose flour – I like to measure my flour with a food scale, to be sure it’s accurate. Too much flour can give you dry or dense cupcakes. Feel free to use a 1:1 gluten-free flour instead.
- Baking powder – For the perfect rise and texture.
- Salt – For flavor.
- Unsalted butter – The butter must be at room temperature otherwise it will not cream properly with the sugar.
- Sour cream – The sour cream adds a lovely moistness to these white cupcakes.
- Vanilla extract – For flavor.
- Milk – For moisture and a tender texture.
- Water – For additional moisture without weighing down the cupcake with additional fat.
- Egg whites – Make sure that the egg whites are at room temperature before beating. They will hold volume better.
- Unsalted butter – The butter should be at room temperature. If it is too cold, you will end up with a lumpy frosting. If it is too warm, your frosting will be runny.
- Powdered sugar – For volume and a thick consistency.
- Vanilla extract – Almond extract would be a fun alternative. Just note that you only need about 1/4 of the amount you would need if you were using vanilla.
- Heavy cream – I highly recommend using heavy cream here as opposed to something with a lower fat percentage, which can give you a thinner frosting.
How to Make White Cupcakes
Only 30 minutes to cupcake time! Here is a quick rundown of how to make these white cupcakes. Make sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
For the white cupcakes
- Prep. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and light in color.
- Add. Mix. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add half of the dry ingredients. Mix to combine. Add the milk and water. Mix to combine. Add remaining dry ingredients. Mix to combine.
- Beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the egg whites gently into the batter, one half at a time.
- Bake. Fill the cupcake liners halfway and bake for 15-17 minutes.
- Cool. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the vanilla buttercream
- Make the frosting. Mix the butter until smooth. Add half of the powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. Add the vanilla extract, salt, and 1 tablespoon of cream. Mix until smooth. Add the remaining powdered sugar. Mix until smooth.
- Get the texture right. If the frosting is too thick, add the remaining cream (a little bit at a time) and mix until smooth until the desired consistency is achieved.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
Why Do You Whip Egg Whites For Cupcakes?
Whipping egg whites incorporates air into them. When whipped egg whites are folded into cupcake batter properly (meaning very gently, ideally with a rubber spatula), that air is carried over into the batter. The result is a wonderfully light, fluffy cupcake. So whip those egg whites well and fold them in with care.
Tips for the Best Homemade Cupcakes
Here are some simple tips and tricks that will help you achieve the best white cupcakes you’ve ever tasted. Happy baking!
- Room temperature ingredients. Make sure that the butter and the eggs in the cupcake batter are at room temperature. Otherwise, the butter will not cream properly with the sugar and the eggs will not whip up properly. The butter in the buttercream should also be at room temperature unless you want an overly lumpy or runny frosting.
- Don’t skimp on the creaming time. When creaming together the butter and sugar for the cupcake batter, give the electric mixer a full 2-3 minutes to do its work. The mixture should be fluffy and light in color at the end. This will help make the cupcakes wonderfully fluffy.
- Fold in the egg whites. Folding in the egg whites at the end adds an airiness to the batter which results in a lighter, fluffier cupcake. Fold the egg whites in gently so they maintain as much air as possible.
- Cool your cupcakes. Before frosting your cupcakes, it is crucial that they cool completely. Otherwise, your frosting will melt and slide right off. What a mess! If you want to learn more, check out my post on How To Frost Cupcakes.
I love topping these cupcakes with sprinkles and calling it a day but there are a number of other directions you could go. Here are some ideas for you.
- Fresh fruit. Slice up some fresh strawberries or arrange a few blueberries in the frosting.
- Candy. Try chopping up your favorite candy bar and sprinkling the pieces on top of the buttercream frosting.
- Shredded coconut. I love adding a little shredded coconut to the tops of these cupcakes. Feeling tropical? Add a dash of coconut extract to the batter and/or the buttercream.
- Cookie crumbles. Crumble Oreo cookies or your favorite chocolate chip cookie on top for an extra treat.
- Add color. Add a drop or two of gel icing color to the buttercream frosting for a pop of color.
How to Store Homemade White Cupcakes
If you find yourself with leftover cupcakes, arrange them in a single layer in an airtight container that is tall enough to accommodate the frosting. Seal the container and store the cupcakes at room temperature for up to 24 hours, then store in fridge for 3-4 days. Allow them to come to room temperature before serving.
Alternatively, after sealing the cupcakes in an airtight container, you can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to enjoy, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator and then come to room temperature before serving.
More Easy Cupcake Recipes
- Blueberry Coconut Cupcakes
- Lemon Cupcakes
- Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
- Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
- Fluffy Angel Food Cupcakes
- Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
Watch How To Make These Cupcakes
White Cupcake Recipe
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 12-14 Cupcakes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
These white cupcakes are moist, light & fluffy! If you are looking for a totally foolproof, classic vanilla cupcake recipe, look no further.
- 1 1/4 cups (163g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 6 tbsp (84g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cups (155g) sugar
- 6 tbsp (86g) sour cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp (90ml) milk
- 2 tbsp (30ml) water
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2–3 tbsp (30-45ml) heavy cream
- Sprinkles, optional
For the white cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Do not skimp on the amount of creaming time.
- Add sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk and water 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. Set aside.
- Add the egg whites to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold about half of the whipped egg whites into the rest of the cake batter until mostly combined, then add the remaining egg whites and gently fold until well combined.
- Fill the cupcake liners about halfway. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
- Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.
For the vanilla buttercream
- While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. Add the butter to a large mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
- Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract, salt and 1 tablespoon of cream and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Add the remaining cream as needed and mix until smooth.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. I used Ateco tip 844.
- Serving Size: 1 cupcake
- Calories: 375
- Sugar: 45.9 g
- Sodium: 231.3 mg
- Fat: 20.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 49.6 g
- Protein: 1.8 g
- Cholesterol: 53.4 mg
Keywords: white cupcakes, white cupcake recipe, white vanilla cupcakes
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I forgot to give it 5 stars!
This really is the best vanilla cupcake recipe I’ve tried so far!! Thanks for all the yummy options, this one is the clear winner though! TYSM
So glad you enjoyed them!
This is my go to recipe! It is THE best vanilla cupcake recipe I have found. Absolutely delicious.
I would like to try this recipe and I was wondering if I could use orange zest in the batter?
for the vanilla frosting can i use unsalted butter? or does it have to be salted
What sugar do you use? Caster sugar with fine grains or icing powder sugar?
I use granulated sugar in the cupcakes and powdered sugar in the buttercream frosting.
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.
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?
That’s going to depend on your oven. If 18 minutes is too little, you can add another couple minutes. Glad you enjoy them.
Hello Lindsay, I’m wondering what suggestions you have for replacing the milk – will buttermilk, whipping cream or almond milk work?
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.
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!
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.
I agree with Lindsay about them coming out too quickly. Its like when u get out of a nice hot shower into the cold (I personally like it but others dont lol). Next time, leave them in the oven but with the door half way open. It’ll give the cupcakes time to adjust to the outside world and wont deflate as much. Some deflation will happen but they shouldn’t sink in. Good luck