Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

A tried and true vanilla cupcake recipe that wins over even those that don't like cupcakes.
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Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cupcakes


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), room temp
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk


  • Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 12-cup standard muffin tins and spray liners with cooking spray (look for a cooking spray that is labeled as a flour and oil or butter and don't over spray).
  • In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the butter and 1 cup sugar and mix for 2-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl in between additions. Add in oil, sour cream and vanilla and whisk until well incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients - cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Measure out the milk in a separate, pourable container. Alternate adding the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and the milk in three additions.
  • Fill cupcake liners half way (don't overfill or under fill!) and bake for 14 minutes-16 minutes or until the cake bounces back when you touch with your fingertip.


Butter and eggs must be at room temperature before making cake. If your eggs are cold place them in warm water for a few minutes before starting the process. Adjustments to consider if at a different altitude (I live at 4,200 ft). If at a higher altitude try using all purpose flour for more structure, decreasing sugar (sugar tenderizes), or increasing egg yolks (for structure). Try just one at a time until you get a good balance. If you're at a lower altitude, you'll want to do the opposite as your cake or cupcakes will rise slower - try increasing leavening or sugar and decreasing flour or egg yolks.
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