A Lazy Girl’s Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe – Perfect for Kids!

This lazy girl’s easy vanilla cupcake recipe is one you need to have in your recipe box. It’s the best basic cupcake recipe to build on, making it perfect for birthday parties, movie nights, or just a fun recipe for kids to make on their own.

easy vanilla cupcake recipe image on white marble with text which readsEasy Vanilla Cupcakes You'll Actually Make

A Lazy Girl’s Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, I like easy. A vanilla cupcake recipe should be in everyone’s kitchen but it’s not going to get made if it’s not easy. Because I think the cupcake is the world’s most versatile dessert, I went into the kitchen and came up with just the thing.

This cupcake recipe uses basic supplies – no weird or expensive ingredients like truffle oil or even dried vanilla beans – and this vanilla cupcake recipe is made without using any oil. This is a simple, easy vanilla cupcake recipe for kids – seriously, my 9 year old daughter can make this on her own!

RELATED READING: Flamingo Cupcakes – An Easy Cupcake Recipe That Looks Amazing!

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Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe on Marble Background

What You Need to Know: Basic Vanilla Cupcakes Ingredients

You don’t need a lot of supplies, ingredients, or culinary experience for a basic vanilla cupcake recipe. There is no oil in this cupcake recipe because you do not need it; do not substitute anything for it.

Flour and Other Dry Ingredients

Cake Flour – If you want a high-rise cupcake, use cake flour. If you don’t have any on hand, however, you can make your own cake flour with a little cornstarch. Or…

All-Purpose Flour – If you’re too lazy (like me) to actually go and get cake flour, use all-purpose flour. To get the high-rise look, fill each cupcake liner with 1/4 cup of batter. 

Baking Powder – Note that this is NOT baking soda – you cannot use these two dry ingredients interchangeably. If you only have baking SODA, use three times what the recipe calls for.

Butter, Eggs, and Other Wet Ingredients

Butter – The best butter for cupcakes is unsalted butter. The basic vanilla cupcake recipe allows us to determine our desired amount of salt.

Eggs – Large eggs are often found in supermarkets, so that is what is recommended. If you’re using extra large eggs, you will need to measure 6.5 tablespoons of egg mixture (large are about 55-57 grams and extra large are between 62 and 65 grams).


Ugly Cupcakes – You can fix any cupcake’s unbalanced top or sunken centers with buttercream. Buttercream is your best friend, so be sure to use a tried-and-true recipe.

Browned Edges or Tops – See remedy above (buttercream) unless you’ve burned them. Toss cupcakes if they are burned, dry, or hard. Oven temperatures vary, so turn yours down or buy an oven thermometer.

Frosting and Decorating Tips

Frosting – Get yourself a great buttercream recipe (it needs to be stiff) and learn how to frost in your favorite style. Not all buttercream frostings are created equally and the one above is nearly perfect.

Have you ever been to a party and the cupcakes looked like they slid off the front seat while in transit even though they didn’t? Soft buttercream isn’t the best for cupcakes because the top needs to hold its shape. I promise it will still taste amazing!

For a wow-worthy effect, start watching this cupcake decorating video at 4:30 – it shows you how to pipe really impressive swirls. If you have a lot of cupcakes to make, need to pack them up in boxes, or want to extend your buttercream the farthest it can go, watch this basic cupcake frosting techniques video.

See More Cupcake Ideas

We’ve shared many easy cupcake recipes here on Ruffles and Rain Boots. Here are a few of our favorites :

Yield: 12 cupcakes

A Lazy Girl's Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe on Marble Background

This easy vanilla cupcake recipe should be a staple in your kitchen. It's the basic building block for tasty flavors and fun cupcake designs.

Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If you are using paper liners, be sure to double them up.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat together eggs and granulated sugar. Once combined, add softened butter and vanilla. Mix until creamy.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Alternating with the milk, add dry ingredients to egg and sugar mixture in three equal increments. Mix well, but only until incorporated. Do not over-mix.
  5. Scoop cupcake batter into the lined muffin pan, filling each cavity about 2/3rds of the way. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked through the center. Note: moist vanilla cupcakes are different from soft-center ones - the center should be baked through.
  6. Remove your tasty, easy vanilla cupcakes from the oven and let sit for about 2 minutes. Remove each cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. NOTE: if making mini cupcakes, please reduce the baking time to 12-15 minutes.


- This recipe can be doubled.
- If you are baking miniature cupcakes, please reduce the baking time to between 12 (check) and 15 minutes.
- Use a regular oven, not convection.
- Do not over-mix; your cake can become dense.
- Use white, granulated sugar (fine grain) to ensure the best incorporation. If substituting alternative sugars, the mixture might become grainy.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 3g

All nutrition information is estimated. For accuracy, please calculate your exact brands and ingredients if accuracy is desired.

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  1. Hi! Can I substitute the 1 stick of butter for 1 stick of margarine, and the 1/2 cup of milk to 1/2 cup of almond milk? I need them to be dairy free.

    1. Amanda, I have never made those substitutions, as I am not dairy free, but from what I read, the substitution of margarine for butter should be okay. Because of the almond milk (which contains more water), the recipe may bake faster. Reduce the time by a couple of minutes and check for doneness.

  2. Hi !

    I baked these and the taste is incredible. I did however have difficulty with it sticking to the liner and the crumbled. I am for sure doing something wrong. Can you maybe help?

    1. No, I don’t have the same issue with the liners sticking. Hmm, are you in a dry climate? If so, you can very slightly increase the milk. If you’re in a high-altitude environment, you can reduce the sugar and slightly increase the flour.

  3. I’ve used this recipe many many times for cupcakes but never as a cake. Can this recipe and oven times be used for a standard cake?

    1. Well, I’m not exactly sure… It could but you might have to decrease the temp by 25 degrees and bake it longer, Christi. I am thinking the texture will be fine for cake (even without using cake flower) but the time / temp need to be adjusted (check often).

      1. I’ve been using it for cake layers too since it isn’t as crumbly as other cake recipes and it’s been great for the naked cakes I’ve been making! This recipe will make one 8 inch layer!

  4. I love ❤️ This cupcake 🧁 recipe! I always make it for my daughter and she loves it so much! Although it has a bit too much sugar, so I only add 1/2 a cup.
    But my daughter still loves 🥰 it a lot!!! 😊

  5. These cupcakes are so easy to bake
    Me and my kids had so much fun baking these.
    And most of all they are delicious

    I put in chocolate chips and I recommend you all put them in too
    Maybe even add these to the recipe

  6. oh boy!!!
    I love it; made it and love it!!
    i used half the sugar but was still too sweet for me. Will reduce it further next time.
    i love the texture. Tastes great!!
    Will delicately do this again

  7. Thank you for the vanilla cup cake receipe.it was great for my first time.but i felt it was hard.can u tell me the reason for it?
    Thank you,