Easy Vanilla Cupcakes
Easy Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for any occasion! Sweet and tender, these will be a hit across the board.
This Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe bakes up like a dream and is ideal for a delicious simply flavored cupcake.
Why You Must Make
- Not everyone is a chocoholic! These Vanilla Cupcakes are a yummy alternative.
- This recipe is from Ina Garten and is not in any of her cookbooks!
- The sour cream in the cupcakes makes them moist and tender, plus they’re iced 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.
- Kitchen Staples – Check your pantry for Sugar, All-purpose Flour, Baking Soda
- Butter – Have at room temperature for easier blending and incorporation
- Eggs – Have at room temperature. To speed things along, place them in a bowl of hot, not boiling water.
- Sour Cream -Have at room temperature for better incorporation
- Pure Vanilla Extract – Check the label as you never want imitation vanilla. Real vanilla is so much better.
- Cornstarch – The combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch makes a substitution for cake flour. Do not omit as this will make a more tender crumb.
- Kosher Salt – This is coarser than table salt. If you need to substitute table salt, use slightly less, about 3/4 teaspoon
- Cream Cheese – Have at room temperature for a smoother frosting
- Powdered Sugar – Sift for a smoother frosting
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 youngest 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 these homemade vanilla cupcakes. 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. But 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.
- This homemade vanilla cupcakes recipe was adapted from Ina Garten. If you’d like to double, use extra-large eggs or increase to 7 large eggs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cornstarch “softens” the flour by decreasing the amount of gluten in the recipe. The cornstarch is taking the place of some of the flour, which is the source of gluten in the recipe. All-purpose flour plus a bit of cornstarch is a popular substitute for cake flour. Less gluten means a softer crumb.
This Ina Garten vanilla cupcake recipe has lots of reviews on the Food Network site. Many stated that their cupcakes overflowed the tins while baking. So do not fill the tins to the top. If you have extra batter, bake any leftover in a ramekin or two.
This was another question of some of the bakers who made this recipe. You’ll see the tops of my cupcakes are a dark golden color. If you’d prefer a lighter crown for your cupcakes, decrease the oven temperature to 325º and bake a little longer. Use either the tapping method or the toothpick method (mentioned above) to make sure they’re done before removing them from the oven.
More Vanilla Recipes You’ll Love:
If vanilla desserts, like these easy vanilla cupcakes, are your thing, check out all these tasty vanilla recipes.
- Triple Vanilla Pound Cake from The View from Great Island
- Instant Pot Vanilla Cheesecake
- Vanilla Spritz Cookies
- Ghirardelli Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe
- Buttercream Topped Vanilla Cupcakes
- More Dessert Recipes
- More Cupcake Recipes
Easy Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
A delicious, all-purpose cupcake flavored with vanilla and topped with cream cheese icing.
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350º. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Instead of sifting the dry ingredients, place them in a bowl and whisk until they're mixed well.
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Serving Size:1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 268mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 0gSugar: 39gProtein: 4g
50 Comments on “Easy Vanilla Cupcakes”
Those cupcakes look amazing. I would have 3 or 4. I can’t believe there was any griping.
Very beautiful Liz, they look delicious…. absolutely love Cream Cheese icing!! 🙂
Wow, these cupcakes look so delicious! Hope your daughter had a great birthday!
Beautiful cupcakes Liz, love how they are decorated, so simple and lovely!
Cupcakes are the new Black))!!
And nobody makes them quite as lovey as you, Liz! xx mmmmm
How sweet to share her birthday treat with her brother! These are beautiful cupcakes Liz! and I’m totally craving that stromboli! oxox
So pretty! How nice of you to find something both kids will like…mostly! 🙂
I hope Katie enjoyed the celebration, these cupcakes look delicious.
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 🙂
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 =)
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.
I love these cupcakes look absolutely beautiful! Many times I dont make cupcakes maybe is the time Lizzy!!
So pretty, I think cream cheese frosting was absolutely the way to go! 🙂 Hope Katie had a great birthday!
I love a good vanilla cupcake! Have to try out this recipe!
I think at the end Kate it must be happy with this dessert 😉
Liz, you are amazing!!! Happy birthday to Katie and I hope she enjoyed these fabulous and beautiful cupcakes!!!
Your cupcakes look perfect! They are so pretty and I bet they are delicious as well.
Lizzy, these Vanilla Cupcakes are such a dream! I love how you frosted them and applied those tiny sliver balls. So pretty!
Perfect little party cakes:@)
Classic treat! And they look just perfect!