Moist Vanilla Cupcakes

These Moist Vanilla Cupcakes are super easy to make and so moist – for days! They are my new favorite vanilla cupcake!
Moist Vanilla Cupcakes

Moist Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

Moist Vanilla Cupcakes recipe

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I’d be bringing you some new basic favorites and I started with my easy moist chocolate cake. Today, we are talking about these moist vanilla cupcakes and I’m pumped! One of the things that I’m always messing with is vanilla cake/cupcakes. It’s the never ending quest for all the best versions. I’m a believer that if you don’t have a good vanilla cake, you have NOTHING! 🙂 Ok, dramatic, but it’s like the “tell”. If you don’t have a good vanilla, can anything else really be that good? There are so many ways to vary a vanilla cake and I want the best of all of them! I’m greedy like that. Plus, I know not every has the same idea of the perfect cupcake, so I like to have options.

You may or may not have tried my original vanilla cupcakes. They are loved by many and were my favorite for some time. I still remember the batches upon batches of cupcakes I made while testing those and the fabulous friends that lined them up and tasted tested them all to help me find the best one. If you haven’t tried them, they are worth checking out. But while I still love them, these are my new fave. Sorry “OG cupcake”, there’s a new star in town. 😉

Best Moist Vanilla CupcakesEasy Moist Vanilla Cupcakes

So let’s talk a bit about these cupcake. There’s no need for creaming to get involved, which is kind of a plus. Creaming butter and sugar together makes quite a fabulous cupcake, but sometimes you just want quick and easy and to barely even need to use a mixer. I mean, basically like a box mix but not, you know? These are those cupcakes. The “OG cupcake” was that way too, but used butter and were a little denser. These cupcakes use oil and are lighter.

We’ve got the usual suspects in this cupcake, starting with the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Easy, common ingredients that you should totally have in your pantry already. Mix ’em all together and set ’em aside.

Next are the wet ingredients: milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs. The oil is the fat component instead of butter and in my opinion, tends to make a more moist cake that stays moist for longer. Totally true for these cupcakes. The milk (I typically use 2%) adds to the structure of the cake, in addition to adding moisture. Milk adds fluff and I love some fluff. 🙂 I used a full tablespoon of vanilla extract to make sure there’s plenty of delicious vanilla flavor. Then the eggs add more moisture, structure and flavor. I switched it up in these and went with whole eggs instead of egg whites. No more egg yolks getting wasted here!

Once the wet and dry ingredients are combined, the water is added.

There’s so much moisture in these cupcakes! I love them! I’m a big, big fan of their ease of making, their flavor and moisture. They use such simple ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry too – score! When topped with my favorite vanilla buttercream, these vanilla cupcakes really are a dream! They were a big hit in our house and I hope you love them as much as we did!

Homemade Moist Vanilla Cupcakes
Favorite Moist Vanilla Cupcakes recipe


Read transcript
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NOTE: Some people have reported having trouble with this recipe, while others love it. I have no idea why some people have trouble. There could be any number of factors – improper measuring of ingredients, oven type, altitude, etc. I have never had an issue with these and cannot troubleshoot a problem that I cannot recreate. If you’d prefer a more traditional vanilla cupcake that uses butter and a little bit of oil, as well as the creaming method, and seems to be less finicky for people, try out these Easy Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes. They are currently my favorite vanilla cupcake.

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Recipe

Moist Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24-26 Cupcakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Moist Vanilla Cupcakes are super easy to make and so moist – for days! They are my new favorite vanilla cupcake!


Ingredients

VANILLA CUPCAKES

  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) water*

VANILLA FROSTING

  • 1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 23 tbsp (30-45ml) water or milk
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
5. Slowly add the water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined. Please note that the batter will be very thin.
6. Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
7. Remove the cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
8. To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large mixer bowl until smooth.
9. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
10. Add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of water or milk and mix until smooth.
11. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
12. Add remaining water or milk, as needed, and salt and mix until smooth.
13. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I used Ateco tip 844.


Notes

If you’d prefer a more traditional vanilla cupcake that uses butter instead of oil, and the creaming method, try out these Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes.

*Some people report having issues with these cupcakes. If that happens to you, could try leaving out the water entirely.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 285
  • Sugar: 31 g
  • Sodium: 129.2 mg
  • Fat: 12.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 41 g
  • Protein: 2.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 25.1 mg

Keywords: vanilla cupcake recipe, easy vanilla cupcake recipe, vanilla frosting recipe, how to make vanilla cupcakes

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Recipe rating

1,525 Comments
  1. Deborah Egan

    I use this recipe all the time and always perfect even as a 3 tire cake best compliments from all .l have a question has anyone tried this with a gluten free flour and if so how did it go .

    1. Lindsay

      Glad you enjoy it! I haven’t tried it with gluten free flour but I think others have commented that they’ve had success.

  2. Vixenvena

    I used this to make Pineapple cupcakes by adding pineapple to the cake and frosting. So perfect!! I love it!!

  3. Jessica

    The cupcakes turned out amazing but I left the water out completely! I also put half the sugar and it was still sweet!

  4. Sarah

    These have been my go-to vanilla cupcakes for a while now and I’ve made them many times with perfect results. Lately, however, they aren’t working out quite as well for me. Was there always a tablespoon of baking powder in these? My cupcakes keep having tons of tiny, uniform bubbles in them. Yes, I tried banging the pan to release the bubbles. I wondered if the recipe had been updated at all, because I made these at least 10 times with 0 issues and now suddenly they just aren’t the same the last few times I’ve made them. Could be just me of course, but just thought I’d check. Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      Nothing about the recipe has changed. How measurements are still the same. Have you may be moved and now use a different oven or something? These are the strangest cupcakes in that they work beautifully for some people and not at all for other people. There is a note above the recipe about trying it without the water if you’re having trouble with them. You could certainly try that.

  5. Adelaide

    This recipe is amazing! I’ve made it once before without the frosting, but today I made it with the frosting and it was amazing! 10/10

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yolk upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29