Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect dessert for any occasion! Sweet and tender cakes are topped with mounds of rich, slightly tangy frosting. A divine combination.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect dessert for any occasion

Vanilla Cupcakes for a Special Birthday

Katie’s birthday was approaching so we both mulled over what dessert to serve, but we also kept in mind that her little brother was coming home for the weekend. She likes peanut butter desserts, cheesecake and tres leches cake. He does not. He’s a dark chocolate fan. She is not. Cakes like this Very Vanilla Cake from Mom on Timeout make the whole family happy! We compromised with vanilla cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting. Nick would not be exactly thrilled with the icing, but what the heck, it’s not his birthday!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect dessert for any occasion

An Ina Garten Recipe

Ina’s sour cream vanilla cupcakes got raves all over the web. And who doesn’t love cream cheese frosting? Well, besides my son. The sour cream makes for a moist, tender crumb and a cloud of sweet, creamy icing with a bit of tang was the complement to the mini cakes. Katie was delighted plus she was thrilled to have both brothers home for the celebration. There was only a little griping about the icing from one of them!Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect dessert for any occasion

Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Serves 12 cupcakes     adjust servings

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr

A delicious, all-purpose cupcake !Recipe adapted from Ina Garten


  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1 brick (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces powdered sugar, sifted (approximately 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
  3. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Fill the cupcake liners to the top with batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
  4. For the icing, mix the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, mixing just until smooth. Spread or pipe the frosting generously on top of each cupcake


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 462kcal Calories from fat 238
% Daily Value
Total Fat 26g 40%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Transfat 1g
Cholesterol 109mg 36%
Sodium 190mg 8%
Carbohydrate 54g 18%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 40g
Protein 4g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
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This recipe was adapted from Ina Garten. If you’d like to double, use extra large eggs or increase to 7 large eggs.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect dessert for any occasion


  1. Classic treat! And they look just perfect!

  2. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    Perfect little party cakes:@)

  3. Lizzy, these Vanilla Cupcakes are such a dream! I love how you frosted them and applied those tiny sliver balls. So pretty!

  4. Your cupcakes look perfect! They are so pretty and I bet they are delicious as well.

  5. Liz, you are amazing!!! Happy birthday to Katie and I hope she enjoyed these fabulous and beautiful cupcakes!!!

  6. I think at the end Kate it must be happy with this dessert 😉

  7. Graham @ Glazed & Confused says:

    I love a good vanilla cupcake! Have to try out this recipe!

  8. So pretty, I think cream cheese frosting was absolutely the way to go! 🙂 Hope Katie had a great birthday!

  9. I love these cupcakes look absolutely beautiful! Many times I dont make cupcakes maybe is the time Lizzy!!

  10. Do you really only put in 3/4 cup of powdered sugar in? Doesn’t seem like enough compared to the butter and creamcheese.

    • Thanks for your question, Deirdre. The 6 ounces of powdered sugar measures out to be just a bit over 1 1/3 cups. I’ve added that option for those who don’t own a scale.

  11. Sour cream (or Greek yogurt) in cake batter is sublime =)

    P.s. Your children are very lucky to have a mom who bakes! Bet you were happy to have the whole family home =)

  12. How absolutely perfect, Lizzy!
    I made cupcakes last night…let’s just say I wanted to go to bed and forget about them…so much for late night baking…I feel I must redeem myself and try again this evening. I’m going to give these a go!

    Happy birthday to Katie! I hope she had a beautiful day 🙂


  13. I hope Katie enjoyed the celebration, these cupcakes look delicious.

  14. So pretty! How nice of you to find something both kids will like…mostly! 🙂

  15. How sweet to share her birthday treat with her brother! These are beautiful cupcakes Liz! and I’m totally craving that stromboli! oxox

  16. Cupcakes are the new Black))!!
    And nobody makes them quite as lovey as you, Liz! xx mmmmm

  17. Beautiful cupcakes Liz, love how they are decorated, so simple and lovely!

  18. Wow, these cupcakes look so delicious! Hope your daughter had a great birthday!

  19. Very beautiful Liz, they look delicious…. absolutely love Cream Cheese icing!! 🙂

  20. Lizzy,
    Those cupcakes look amazing. I would have 3 or 4. I can’t believe there was any griping.

  21. These sound delicious and they are so beautifully decorated!

  22. So pretty for a pretty girl! 🙂

  23. Compromise! #lifelessons These look delicious!

  24. Hotly Spiced says:

    Happy birthday to Katie. What beautiful looking cupcakes. As soon as I saw them I thought they would be perfect for my daughter’s birthday which is in about a week – I might just have to copy you xx

  25. These look just perfect! You can’t go wrong with a good vanilla cupcake!

  26. A classic cupcake recipe, Liz. They look stunning!

  27. Deliciously simple!

  28. There is just something about Vanilla cupcakes, that I actually prefer over most chocolate cupcakes.

  29. This recipe sounds wonderful and delicious. I should try them too, I am sure my daughters will love them, especially the cream cheese frosting.

  30. Interesting, I have a vanilla fan in my house and his birthday is just around the corner. I’ll make sure to make these for him :). The frosting looks soo soo delish.

  31. Beautiful and most delicious looking cupcakes !!
    I love vanilla flavors
    Happy Birthday to Katie 🙂

  32. I saw these a few days ago and still haven’t forgotten them!! They are simply perfect, and my sort of flavors all in a beautiful cupcake!
    On another note… I think I saw your name on the IFBC attendee list?? I just made a last minute registration and will be there!

  33. Happy Birthday to Katie and what a beautiful way to say it with these cupcakes. Meal planning isn’t easy at your house. 🙂

  34. happy B-day to your daughter!!!! Ina’s recipes are fantastic. I had never have one that disappoints. I would eat those cupcakes happily!

  35. Happy birthday to Katie; beautiful for the family to celebrate together.
    The cupcakes look to perfection dear Lizzy.
    Blessings, Catherine xo

  36. Such beautiful cupcakes! I’d love them for my birthday too. Vanilla is always king in my book.

  37. Even I like cream cheese frosting and I hate cream cheese in desserts! lol These cupcakes are oh so pretty and so perfect for your lucky daughter’s birthday!

  38. Liz, just had to come back and tell you I’ve tried this recipe and it was very successful!!! Everyone liked it in our gathering kids and adults … I just made one mistake and filled the muffin tin full so it turned out looking like a mushroom 🙂 but it was ok nobody complained. It was fluffy, light and way much better than the store bought ones. I’m just sad that I could not get to take even one bite as it vanished from the serving tray in a blink :(. Next time I will make a dozen only for me.. Thank you for this lovely recipe.

  39. Dana Sandoval says:

    Made these but used 3 egg whites, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 1/2 cup whole milk. I didn’t use corn starch and I used 1 cup of sugar. They turned out light, fluffy and very delicious


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