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Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

My base recipe for cupcakes, moist, tender, very vanilla cupcakes, with THE perfect crumb!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12


  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 stick (113g) butter/marg*
  • 1 cup (200g) caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (210g) plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, I use Skim
  • For the frosting:
  • 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (300g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • Sprinkles to decorate, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a 12 hole cupcake tin.
  • Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer an beat until light and fluffy, about 2 mins on med-high speed.
  • Add in the eggs and vanilla extract, scraping sides as necessary and mix until well combined, smooth and light, around 1 min on med-high speed.
  • Add in the flour, baking powder and milk and mix until well incorporated and smooth.
  • Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full - for me this is a heaping 2tbsp cookie scoops worth.
  • Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes (mine took 22) until risen, golden and an inserted skewer into the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove from the tin as soon as possible and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely*.
  • Once cooled, it's time to make the frosting! Place the icing sugar and butter into a large bowl and beat until light and really fluffy, 2-3 mins on high speed.
  • Add in the vanilla and beat until incorporated, then add the milk 1tbsp at a time, if required. I only needed 1tbsp of milk.
  • Either spoon the frosting onto the cupcakes, or half fill a piping bag and pipe a swirl on each. Finish off with some sprinkles if you want.
  • Cupcakes will keep in an airtight container, in the fridge, for 4 days.


*This is the one time I would advocate using margarine instead of butter. Margarine makes the cupcakes more moist. *If you don't remove the cupcakes from the tin quickly, I always find the liners peel as the grease from the tin makes them wet and soggy. Recipe by Annie of Annie's Noms