The Only Recipe You Need on How to Make Cupcakes

If you don’t have a go-to recipe for vanilla cupcakes, then look no further. This classic recipe creates soft, fluffy and moist cupcakes. It can be used over and over again as a delicious base for a variety toppings (such as an easy to make whipped cream frosting or a delicious buttercream frosting) and decorating ideas.

(Image: Sara Budisantoso)

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cupcake pan

  • 12 cupcake liners or cupcake tulips

  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)

  • 2/3 cup baking sugar

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 3 large eggs (brown or white at room temperature)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ cup shifted flour

  • Zest of one lemon

(Image: Sara Budisantoso)
(Image: Sara Budisantoso)

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Step 1: Prepare the Pan and Preheat the Oven

Prepare your cupcake pan by lining it with your cupcake liners or cupcake tulips. This recipe yields 1 dozen. Once your pan is lined, set it aside for later use. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

(Image: Sara Budisantoso)

Step 2: Prepare the Ingredients

Measure out your ingredients from the ingredients list, making sure your eggs and butter are at room temperature

(Image: Sara Budisantoso)


  • Your butter must be room temperature and soft when using. Also if you have a sifter, sift your flour. Sifted flour is easier to mix into other ingredients when baking cupcakes. It also breaks up any lumps in your flour and aerates it at the same time.

Step 3: Make Your Flour Mixture

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Then take the zest of your lemon and mix it into your flour mixture. Set this aside.

(Image: Sara Budisantoso)
(Image: Sara Budisantoso)

Step 4: Mix the Butter and Sugar together

Mix your butter and sugar together until they are light fluffy on medium high for about 10 to 15 minutes.

(Image: Sara Budisantoso)

Step 5: Add the Eggs and Vanilla

Add your 3 large eggs one at a time, beating then well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract after your eggs have beaten thoroughly. This takes approximately 5 minutes if are using a stand mixer.

(Image: Sara Budisantoso)
(Image: Sara Budisantoso)

Step 6: Add the Flour and Milk

With your mixer on a low speed, add your flour mixture and milk to your batter, alternating between the flour and milk. You will begin and end with the flour. This takes approximately 5 to 7 minutes using a stand mixer.

(Image: Sara Budisantoso)
(Image: Sara Budisantoso)

Step 7: Pour the Batter Into the Pan

Pour your batter into the cupcake holders you prepared earlier. Using a spatula (or spoon), fill them about ¾ the way.

Pour batter into cupcake liners
Pour batter into cupcake liners (Image: Sara Budisantoso)
(Image: Sara Budisantoso)

Step 8: Bake and Cool

Place your cupcakes into your preheated oven and bake for 17 minutes. After they are baked, remove them from the oven and cool them on a rack for 1 to 24 hours.


  • Use a cake tester or toothpick after 15 to 17 minutes to ensure they are cooked all the way through. If your tester comes out clean they are ready. Do not over-bake -- the tops of the cupcakes should be a light to golden brown.

(Image: Sara Budisantoso)
(Image: Sara Budisantoso)

Decorating Your Cupcakes

Looking for some cupcake decorating inspiration? Here are some of our favorites:

DIY Edible Halloween Cupcake Toppers

Edible Mustache Cupcake Topper

Edible Citrus Cupcake Topper

Christmas Tree Cupcake Topper

Record-Inspired Cupcake Toppings for Your Rad Dad

How to Make a Bunny Cupcake

(Image: Sara Budisantoso)


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