Do you ever find yourself making cupcakes or a cake and it comes out crumbly and dry? But you’re not sure why because the recipe said moist cake? Yah- I often wondered and struggled with the same. I finally developed a recipe that is SUPER moist and light! These vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting are moist, light, and spongy! They were a hit for my husband’s 32nd birthday, so I just had to share them with you. There is one secret ingredient in this recipe that helps make this cake moist. This cupcake recipe can be used for a cake or cupcakes. Your baking times will vary, so make sure to pay close attention when your batter is in the oven.
What equipment do I need for Vanilla Cupcakes?
If you have a standing mixer, perfect! But if you don’t have a standing mixer then a hand held mixer works perfect too. I love mine! When mixing the butter cream, the frosting will begin to creep up the paddle. Simply stop the mixer and scrape off the frosting. Then continue to cream. You will also need a sifter or fine strainer for the dry ingredients in this recipe! That’s it!
What makes this vanilla cupcake recipe so moist?
Moist cake… It’s really a science. But, one thing I found to really help make cake moist is (drum roll please)…. Sour cream!! That’s right, sour cream. The cakes come out light, fluffy, and so very moist. Yes, you can taste a tiny touch of sour cream in the batter, so if that weirds you out, use ¼ cup sour cream instead. Buttermilk is also used in this recipe to help make the cakes fluffy and moist. If you don’t have buttermilk. You can use regular milk, but be sure to substitute the baking powder with baking soda instead.
How to Make Vanilla Cupcakes.
The first thing you will need to do when preparing your ingredients to make your cupcakes, will be to set out the butter, eggs, and buttermilk on the counter. These ingredients need to be room temperature when you are ready to bake. If you know you’re going to bake these cupcakes, set the butter, eggs, and buttermilk out on the counter in the morning. They will be ready in about an hour or 2. But, if you forget–like I did– and it’s a warm day out, set the butter on a plate outside in the sun for 30 minutes and it will be ready to go. You can also warm the butter in the oven for 15-30 seconds to warm it; however, I advise against this because the oven will warm your butter unevenly from the inside out. This often leaves a melted inside and a soft outside. We don’t want that. Another trick is to boil a cup or bowl full of water in the microwave, dump out the water, then cover the butter with the bowl or cup.
While your wet ingredients are getting to room temp, you can get your other ingredients together. This recipe has a few different steps to it, so we want to make sure to be organized.
Once your wet ingredients are room temp, and your other ingredients are prepped and ready to go, you’re ready!
Preheat the oven and line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. You’ll need about 14.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the room temp butter until it is smooth. There will be VERY minimal lumps in it.
Add the sugar into the butter and beat for about 2 minutes. The consistency will be a little grainy from the sugar addition. Add the oil and beat for another 2 minutes. Stop the mixer at this point and grab a medium bowl.
In this medium bowl we will whisk together the eggs until smooth. Almost like you’re making scrambled eggs for the family. Once you have that whisked up, add in the buttermilk, vanilla, and sour cream. Whisk this all together until smooth. This will take about a minute. Set that bowl aside and grab a fine strainer and another medium bowl.
In this medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set that aside.
Now, this is where it can get a little confusing.
So, grab your large bowl with the butter mixture in it. This will be your main bowl. You will alternate adding in the other bowls. First, add half of the liquid mixture into the large bowl; beat with a mixer. Then, add half of the flour mixture into the large bowl; beat with a mixer. Add in the rest of the liquid mixture into the large bowl and beat. Lastly, add the rest of the flour mixture into the large bowl and mix until just combined.
Using a large cookie scoop, scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan. Fill about ⅔ full.
You’re ready to bake!
How to make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.
When the cupcakes are cooling, you can start to prepare your buttercream frosting. Now, at first, I thought buttercream frosting was the hardest thing to make, but it really is SUPER easy and only takes a few minutes!
Make sure the butter used for this recipe is only slightly cold. You should be able to press a finger in the top and see a small indent, but it should not be completely at room temp. This is best achieved when the butter is set on the counter for about 30 minutes.
Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese for about 1 minute on medium speed until smooth, add the butter and beat until there are no chunks.
Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Scrape sides. When mixed, beat for another 20 seconds. Add the vanilla, salt, and heavy cream. Beat on low until ingredients start to combine, then mix on high for 2-4 minutes, scrape sides, and beat again until smooth.
Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Beat by hand until there are no more air bubbles and frosting is smooth.
Using a medium to large cookie scoop, scoop frosting onto cupcakes and shape!
Sprinkle with sprinkles and enjoy!
How do I Store Cupcakes?
These cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
How long do vanilla cupcakes Keep?
These vanilla cupcakes will keep fresh in an airtight container for about 2-3 days.
Make sure to snap a picture, share it in your stories, and tag me @raesbakeryblog on Instagram and comment below if you make these vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the button above or below this post, or any photos above.
Coffee and Brownies,
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, room temp.
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp
- 3 Tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 Tsp salt
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 cup full fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly cold
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temp.
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 Tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbs heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- For Cupcakes: Set out butter, eggs, and buttermilk on the counter in the morning (or for 1-2 hours) to bring them to room temp.
- Preheat oven to 350'F and line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter until smooth.
- Add in sugar and beat butter and sugar for 2 minutes until smooth with a slighly grainy texture. Be sure to scrape the sides.
- Add oil and beat for 2 minutes. Be sure to scrape down sides of bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until smooth.
- Add buttermilk, vanilla, and sour cream and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Using a fine strainer/sift over a medium bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Alternate adding the liquid mixture and the flour mixture to the butter mixture in the large bowl. Beat each time you add.
- Mix just until combined.
- Using a large cookie scoop, scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan. Fill 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake at 350'F for 15-20 minutes. Dough will be spongy in the center or toothpick comes out clean.
- Rotate pans half way through the baking process.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the buttercream: Set out butter and cream cheese on the counter for 30 minutes to 1 hour and bring to room temp.
- Sift powdered sugar into a medium bowl.
- With a mixer beat cream cheese for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Add butter and beat for 1 minute, until there are no butter chunks.
- On low speed, slowly add powdered sugar. When mixed beat on medium speed for 20 seconds.
- Add vanilla, salt, and heavy cream and beat on low until ingredients start to combine, then beat on high for 4 minutes, scrape down sides, and beat for another minute until buttercream is smooth.
- Chill for 15 minutes, then beat by hand until it is smooth and there are no air bubbles.
- Once cupcakes are completely cooled, you're ready to frost!
When mixing the different mixing bowls for the cupcakes I add 1/2 the liquid mixture to the butter mixture in the large bowl, beat until just combined, add half of the flour mixture, beat until combined, and repeat with remaining.