Forget about boxed mixes, this simple vanilla cupcakes are just as easy to make, yet 100% tastier, because baking from scratch always wins! If you have the right recipe and helpful tips, that is…
Ever wanted to learn to bake simple cupcakes with beautiful golden brown top, soft fluffy texture and not-so-boring vanilla flavor?
Today, I’m going to walk you through the entire process of making very easy vanilla cupcakes that you’ll be so proud to serve your family and friends without reaching for boxed mixes.
What makes this vanilla cupcakes recipe perfect?
- Mixing this cupcake batter is the easiest! You basically combine all the ingredients together and mix it no more than 2 minutes!
- This easy recipe yields exactly 12 cupcakes.
- Visual cue of perfect vanilla cupcakes: beautiful golden color, soft and fluffy texture with perfectly even crumbs and smooth flat surface.
And I can’t take credit for this amazing recipe. The queen of cupcakes, CupcakeJemma on Youtube, is the creator of this vanilla cupcake recipe. She is the one who deserves all the credit. And you definitely want to check out her video where she demonstrates the technique. I made tiny little adjustments to fit my American ingredients.
Now that we know what makes a perfect vanilla cupcakes, let’s discuss how to achieve a perfect result every time! Again, these lessons I learned from Jemma’s Perfect Cupcake Masterclass video.
There’re 3 key areas to pay attention to to get perfect cupcakes:
- butter consistency
- mixing duration
- oven temperature
We need room temperature butter for this cupcake recipe. But what exactly room temperature butter mean? The butter should NOT be so soft that it feels greasy and has no resistance when you press. The properly softened butter doesn’t sink completely when you press on it, doesn’t leave oily residue on your fingertip, and is actually colder to touch than you think. By the way, here’s a very good tutorial on room temperature butter.
So what happens if you use too soft, or too hard butter?
With too soft butter, you’ll get cupcakes with large air pockets, collapsed top due to excessive rise during baking and shrinking as it cools.
When you use too cold butter, on other hand, the butter doesn’t incorporate properly into the batter and therefore the batter doesn’t have enough volume, making fewer cupcakes. Also these cupcakes are greasy and dense with volcano-like eruption in the middle. And who wants that!
Mixing the batter just long enough is also very important to get perfect cupcakes! Don’t leave the mixer running and get distracted. Or rush through the mixing process and under-mix the batter! And here’s why:
- Under-mixed batter doesn’t have enough volume, thus yields fewer cupcakes. The baked cupcakes are greasy with hard crust on the outside with a tall dome.
- Over-mixing the batter incorporates too much air and yields almost souffle-like rise during baking, then the cupcakes collapse and shrink as they cool, leaving a well in the middle. Sad!
Did you know that it’s common for ovens to range up to 50°F up or down? Crazy, huh? And that’s why I always recommend getting an oven thermometer to check accuracy of your oven.
Ok, let’s see what happens if the oven is too hot or not hot enough.
- Cupcakes, baked in too hot oven, come out dark brown color, very little rise with spiked dome on top and dry crumbs. Imagine how hard it’d be to eat that? No, thanks!
- Now if the oven is too low temperature, the cupcakes bake longer, naturally, yet they still come out pretty pale with overflowed sinked top and too soft damp crumbs.
Now that you know what to watch out for to bake perfect cupcakes, hope you’ll bake a dozen cupcakes right away. If you do, please share the photo on Instagram and tag me @shineshka.
Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (125g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 stick (114g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1.5 tablespoon milk at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix for 10 seconds to combine.
- Add butter and eggs into the dry ingredients and start mixing on low speed, then increase the speed to medium high and mix for 1 minute.
- Then reduce the speed to low and pour in milk and vanilla extract. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides with a silicone spatula and then run the mixer on medium high speed again and mix for another 30 seconds.
- Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter between 12 cupcake tins, lined with cupcake liners. (No need to grease the liners.)
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely on wire rack and then frost with your favorite frosting. In this case, I used my favorite cream cheese frosting.