Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes (Another)

Updated: I just got a bad review (from a trusted source) for Cupcake Recipe #2, so I’ve taken it down. I guess nobody likes flat topped cupcakes. Boo Hoo. So now it’s between this one and the Martha Stewart Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes from a few days ago.

yellow cupcake with rounded top

For this cupcake I started with a basic vanilla recipe from my little Royal Caribbean Cupcake Cupboard cookbook, but instead of using all-purpose flour I used a slightly higher volume (same weight) of White Lily (though cake would be fine) and increased the amount of vanilla.

To get rounded tops, I added the eggs very slowly, and started the cupcakes in a hot 400 degree oven. I guess the little tricks worked because I did get nicely rounded tops. They’re not as velvety as Martha Stewart’s Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes, but they have less buttermilk and egg flavor, which might be a plus for people who want more vanilla flavor and less egg (kids/Fuzz!).  That’s all very subjective, of course.     Cupcakes are subjective, in general.   These last three recipes all contain buttermilk and are fairly simple and don’t contain extra egg yolks, but some of my other favorite yellow cupcake recipes are worth trying, too.

Anyway, I have to stop making cupcakes and move on to something else.  There’s a potato cake you need to know about…

Vanilla Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy scratch vanilla cupcake recipe
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 20
  • 2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour or 2 ¾ cup plus a tablespoon (315 grams) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (115 grams) unsalted butter or shortening or a mix of both
  • 1 cup (196 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup room temperature whole milk or buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. You will bake the cupcakes at a lower temperature, but the oven needs to get off to a hot start.
  2. Line 20 to 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.
  3. Thoroughly mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and beat lightly with a fork.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached, beat the butter until it is creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 4 minutes.
  6. With the mixer on low or medium, gradually add the beaten eggs, about a tablespoon at a time.
  7. Mix together the milk, vanilla and oil.
  8. Using lowest speed of mixer OR by hand using a heavy duty scraper, add the flour mixture and milk mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour and stirring until smooth.
  9. Divide batter among cupcake cups so that it cups are about ¾ full. Put the pans in the 400 degree oven and immediately reduce heat to 350. Bake for 20 minute or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cool completely.
Cupcake yield might vary depending on how much you put in the cups and the size cups you're using, but you should get at least 20 cupcakes.


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  1. Joy says

    1 cup sugar doesn’t seem a lot for the amount of other ingredients. Are they sweet enough? While I don’t like things TOO sweet, dessert should taste like dessert, as in, enough sugar! 🙂

  2. says

    Joy, I totally agree. I thought they were sweet enough. They were definitely less sweet than some other recipes, but they were much sweeter than muffins. They were about the same level of sweetness as Martha’s, I suppose. But you are right, there is proportionately less sugar than in some other cupcake recipes.

  3. Joy says

    Well, I think I’d like to give these cupcakes a shot this weekend. However, before proceeding I do have a couple of questions if you don’t mind………… 1st, I only have one 12 count muffin pan, so I’m curious what I should do with the rest of the batter while waiting for the pan to finish baking with the first round of cakes. 2nd, I don’t have whole milk or buttermilk on hand. I do have yogurt, almond milk, 1% cow milk, and skim milk. My last questions is storage: refrigerator, or room temperature (covered)? I would like to frost the cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting, which naturally requires refrigeration. If you are able to help me in any of the previously mentioned areas, I would be delighted. 🙂

  4. says

    Hi Joy,
    If you are using double acting baking powder such as Rumford, you should be able to let the batter sit while the other cupcakes are baking. I haven’t tested that with this recipe, but I think it will be fine. For the milk, you could probably get away with using the 1%, but I think the 1% has more water than whole, therefore you are going to be changing the composition of the batter somewhat by using water where fat should be. I doubt it will make a huge difference, though. What I do when I’m stuck with low fat milk and a recipe calls for whole is I add about a half tablespoon of cream to the milk. Of course if you don’t have cream that won’t help! But I think you’ll be fine with 1%.
    Do you have cake flour? I highly recommend using cake flour over all-purpose. If all you have is all-purpose, you’ll probably get a decent cupcake, but might be crumblier and coarser.
    Storage really depends on how much space you have. I actually like storing cupcakes in the freezer until ready to frost, and sometimes I put frosted cupcakes in the freezer, too. You can also put frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator, though in some cases it dries them a little. Also, some recipes for cream cheese icing are fine at room temperature for several hours. Depends on the recipe, but if you’re using the one with 2 parts cream cheese, 1 part butter, the icing should be okay for a while at room temp.

  5. Joy says

    Hi Anna,
    Well, I didn’t get to the cupcakes last weekend, as I was out of eggs! Now that I’m stocked with sufficient eggs again, I plan to make the cupcakes soon. One question I did forget to ask: I have only salted butter, so by how much should I reduce the salt? 1/4 tsp perhaps?
    I’m looking forward to tasting the end result! 🙂

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