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Light and spongy vanilla cupcakes recipe

Light and spongy vanilla cupcakes recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Mini cakes
  • Cupcakes
  • Vanilla cupcakes

These vanilla cupcakes are light and spongy and easy enough to make with the kids! Makes 12 cupcakes in only 30 minutes!

London, England, UK

15 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 12 vanilla cupcakes

  • 170g (6 oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 170g (6 oz) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 170g (6 oz) self raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cases.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar using a hand mixer until light and soft. Slowly add in the eggs one at a time until mixture is smooth.
  3. In another bowl roughly mix the flour and baking powder together. Then sift half the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and fold in using a spatula. Add the other half of the mixture and fold in. Add the vanilla and milk to the mixture until well incorporated. Spoon the mixture into the prepared paper cases filling 2/3 full to allow for a good rise.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack and cover with a cloth to keep the cakes from getting hard and deflating.


Would taste even better with butter cream frosting which I will post a recipe for soon!

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Moist Vanilla Cupcakes

This Easy Vanilla Cupcake recipe makes moist vanilla cupcakes topped my my favorite vanilla buttercream frosting. This recipe uses oil instead of butter to produce a dense and sponge-like cupcake. The results are perfect cupcakes every time!

Victoria Sponge Cupcakes

I’m so excited to share today’s recipe because it was actually part of a birthday gift for my youngest sister, Tammy.

Over the summer, we did a family girls trip to the UK. We started in Edinburgh, did a side trip to Oxford, and ended the vacation with a few days in London. The whole thing was a great adventure. We took a boat out on Loch Ness, rode bicycles around Oxford, and survived the August tube strike in London.

Every night after dinner, we’d walk around whatever city we were in, find a bakery and buy something to take back to the hotel and share. This ended up with some real winners, like the chocolate-filled doughnut I had in Edinburgh, and the shockingly delicious banoffee pie we bought in Greenwich (I don’t like bananas in baked goods, why do I love this. ) and some not so winners. No one liked treacle tarts and we all forgot that black forest gateau contained cherries until we bit into it–ick. But Tammy’s favorite dessert by far was Victoria sponge cake.

She’s mentioned it dreamily a few times since we got back, so I went to look up a recipe to send to her. But alas, since Victoria Sponge is a quintessentially British treat, all of the recipes were in British English, which my sister, who is not even a baker, does not speak.

So as a gift to her, I adapted the recipe for American cooks and sensibilities. I started with the great Mary Berry’s Victoria sponge recipe, translated it from metric (though we should probably all be using metric to bake as it’s so much easier), turned it into a cupcake, and added a buttercream on top. Now, any time she wants, she can make a little bit of England here in the US.

If you’ve never had Victoria sponge, it’s so good. Light and delicious sponge with a raspberry jam filling and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I’m not usually one for jam-filled desserts, but there’s something about the blend of flavors and textures here, the mild and the sweet, smooth and spongy that is really lovely. They are perfect for a light dessert, or serving to guests with tea.

Main Ingredients Needed

You’re going to need a couple of baking basics to make these vanilla cupcakes, nothing fancy here. Start by gathering these ingredients:

  • Flour – obviously needed for structure and a *little* gluten to hold these cupcakes together.
  • Baking Soda + Baking Powder – our leavening agents. I like using both for extra lift.
  • Salt – believe it or not, salt makes a huge difference in the finished product of your final cupcakes. Instead of sweet on sweet on sweet, the salt helps balance the flavor and brings out the vanilla flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar – used to sweeten.
  • Vanilla Extract – ok, friends, you’re going to want to use a good vanilla extract. Look for ‘pure vanilla extract’ instead of imitation vanilla for the best results. (Both will work, I just recommend pure vanilla extract. This is a great one.)
  • Butter + Vegetable Oil – I love the combination of the two of these in cupcakes. Butter gives great flavor and vegetable oil helps keep the cupcakes really moist. Canola oil also works in place of vegetable oil.
  • Eggs + Egg Whites – eggs are needed for structure but the egg whites are whipped into the batter to lift and lighten.
  • Milk – used for moisture and the protein in the milk gives a soft crumb texture.

Nutrition Facts


  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) milk
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups (1 L) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) 35% whipping cream (approx.)
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. For the Vanilla Cupcakes, beat all ingredients in large bowl with mixer on low speed just to moisten. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Spoon into 12 paper-lined muffin cups.

Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out with moist crumbs. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan cool completely on wire rack.

For the Whipped Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, beat butter and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition. Beat in milk until light and fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes with Frosting.

Vegan Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

¾ cup + 2 Tablespoons non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 cup + 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
2 Tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup + 3 Tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt

1) Prepare the egg replacer mixture

2) Whisk together the dry ingredients

3) Whisk together the flavor building ingredients

4) Whisk the batter together

5) Bake the vegan cupcakes to perfection

Pour the batter into a cupcake mold lined with cupcake liners so the mixture is ½ the way up to the top of the cupcake liner. Bake for 17 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
This recipe makes 12 Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes.

How To Make The Best Vanilla Cupcakes

The trick I use in this cupcake recipe is the Reverse Creaming Method. I have used this in a few other recipes on my site, like my Confetti Cupcakes and LOVE how they turn out. Reverse creaming produces an ultra-fine crumb, which makes these cupcakes super tender!

What Is Reverse Creaming?

Reverse Creaming is when you mix the butter into the dry ingredients before mixing in the remaining ingredients and liquids. Generally when you bake a cake you cream the butter and sugar together to start and then add the dry ingredients in alternating additions with the wet.

Reverse creaming evenly combines the butter into the dry ingredients creating a coarse sand texture, coating all the dry ingredients with fat, and then add in the remaining ingredients. We’re always told when making cake batter NOT TO OVER MIX! because over-mixing batter can cause more gluten to form, creating a denser, less light and airy cake. BUT reverse creaming coats the flour in fat which minimizes gluten formation. This also creates smaller air particles being formed in the mixing, producing a finer crumb, and a perfect dome.

Light and spongy vanilla cupcakes recipe - Recipes

There's a fair amount of vanilla in these cupcakes - look out for a vanilla bean paste for an extra boost of flavour. Or add lemon or orange zest or vegan chocolate chips for a twist on our classic recipe.

These light spongy cupcakes are so easy, quick and zero fuss. Top with the icing and sprinkles or toasted nuts, vegan caramel (see our salted caramel sauce here) whatever you like!

Each serving typically contains:

of an adult's Reference Intake (RI)*

Energy per 100g: 1796kJ/428kcal

Reference Intake of an average adult (8400kJ/2000kcal). Portions should be adjusted for children of different ages.

For allergens, always check the ingredients list of each product used. Recipe contains:

* Milk traces. This is because our Carnation Vegan Condensed Milk Alternative is produced in a factory which handles milk and whilst every effort is made to ensure no milk is in the finished result, we can’t guarantee this is the case.

If you want to stick with the full-on vanilla experience with your best vanilla cake recipe, I suggest frosting this vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. My vanilla frosting loaded with actual vanilla beans so it tastes like a melted vanilla ice cream and you won&rsquot find a homemade frosting that is easier to make.

You might also like trying rolling this cake in sprinkles to make a sprinkle cake! It can be decorated any way you like. It&rsquos a great base for an occasion cake like a baby shower cake, too.


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