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Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting on a white tray

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes

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Easy Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for any occasion! Sweet, tender and topped with mounds of rich, slightly tangy frosting.

This Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe bakes up like a dream and is ideal for a delicious neutral-tasting cupcake.

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

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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 on a white rectangular tray

Tips for Making Ina Garten’s Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Ina’s sour cream vanilla flower cupcakes got raves all over the web when I first made these years ago. 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 with her vanilla cake 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!

  • PRO-Tip: Looking at more recent reviews on the Food Network site, it is suggested to only fill your cupcake tins 2/3 full so the batter does not overflow onto the tin.
  • There were some complaints about dry cupcakes. Personally, I think 30 minutes may be too long for these simple cupcakes. PRO-Tip: Check the vanilla cupcakes at the 20-minute mark. If a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean, they’re ready to pull out of the oven.
  • To play it extra safe, when you start smelling the sweet delicious aroma of this easy vanilla cupcakes recipe, it’s time to take a peek through the oven window. If the tops look mounded and lightly browned, it would be wise to check for doneness at this point in the baking process.
  • Another way to test cakes and cupcakes is to tap your index finger onto the middle of one cupcake (or cake). If it springs right back, the cupcakes are fully baked. If an indentation remains, they need more time in the oven. If you’re unsure, try a toothpick and if you see any batter on it, bake a little longer.
  • If you pull a cake or cupcakes out of the oven too soon, you cannot return them to the oven to finish baking. But you also can’t fix an over-baked cupcake.
  • You may want to invest in an oven thermometer to make sure your over is calibrated properly.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting on a white tray with candles

More Vanilla Recipes You’ll Love:

If vanilla desserts, like these easy vanilla cupcakes, are your thing, check out all these tasty vanilla recipes.

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 on a white tray

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

A delicious, all-purpose cupcake flavored with vanilla and topped with cream cheese icing.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 12 cupcakes


  • 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.


Recipe adapted from Ina Garten.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cupcake

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 268mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 0gSugar: 39gProtein: 4g


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