easiest vanilla cupcakes


If rich and buttery vanilla cupcakes are your idea of perfection, look no further than these cupcakes, the fairer twin to my easiest chocolate cupcakes. Let’s start with the good – both the batter and frosting are one-bowl recipes and come together in minutes, no mixer required. Even better, these plush cupcakes are downright delicious, topped with fluffy clouds of sweet vanilla frosting.

Easiest Vanilla Cupcakes

What’s the secret to these cupcakes? Adding boiling water to the batter, a baking tip I learned from my favorite chocolate cupcake recipes. Here it gives the cupcakes the most incredible soft and moist texture, with an even softer crumb than cake flour! Whether you bake vanilla or chocolate (or both!), these are my go-to cupcakes for whenever life calls for a dozen (plus) happy cupcakes.

Easiest Vanilla Cupcakes

Easiest Vanilla Cupcakes


Easiest Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Yield: 16 cupcakes



  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water


  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350Β°F and line two 12-cup standard muffin pans with baking cups. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. Add sugar, melted butter, egg, egg yolk, milk, yogurt, and vanilla to flour mixture; whisk in just until incorporated. Add boiling water to batter and whisk in until smooth. Fill each baking cup just over half full of batter.
  2. Bake cupcakes for 18 to 19 minutes, until golden, tops spring back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool cupcakes in pans on wire racks for two minutes, then remove from pans to cool completely on wire racks.
  3. For the frosting, combine melted butter, vanilla, salt, powdered sugar, and milk in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. Whisk frosting one more minute, until smooth and glossy. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting over cupcakes. Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving.


The frosting yields enough for 16 cupcakes; if you prefer a more generous amount of frosting, double the recipe.


  • Calories: 190
  • Carbohydrates: 32
  1. One of my kiddos complains when desserts are “too chocolaty.” The rest of the family doesn’t get it. These would be perfect for her (and the boys wouldn’t complain, either!). Gorgeous!

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