While I usually make cakes, everyone needs a go-to vanilla cupcake recipe. Or to be more specific, a moist vanilla cupcake recipe with oil!!
Cakes take so much time to make and decorate, but cupcakes come together in a flash!! Or at least that’s I feel about them. Because this recipe uses oil instead of butter as the fat, it can be made hand and you don’t have to bother with a stand mixer.
Cupcakes also are so much easier to eat. Cakes have to be sliced, you need plates and forks….but cupcakes? You just peel back the liner, and dive right in!
Vanilla Cupcakes Don’t Have To Be Boring
Another benefit to having an moist vanilla cupcake recipe up your sleeve? It’s the perfect starting point for so many different flavors of cupcakes!
You can add in different extracts, fillings, or frostings, and transform this base recipe into a million different cupcake flavors.
Want a lemon cupcake? Throw in some lemon zest, and swap the vanilla extract with lemon extract!
Need to make a strawberry cupcake? Fill the center with your favorite strawberry jam, and top with a strawberry buttercream!!
See what I mean? Once you have a foundation recipe you love, it’s so easy to alter it to create whatever flavor of cupcake you want. Or if you’re gluten free, you can try my recipe for gluten free vanilla cupcakes!!
While we’re on the topic of flavors, if you’re more of a chocolate person, I highly recommend my moist chocolate cupcake recipe. It also comes together in one bowl, and is packed with chocolate flavor.
What Makes This Moist Vanilla Cupcake Recipe So Good
A notable ingredient in this moist vanilla cupcake recipe? It uses BUTTERMILK! I don’t know what is is, but I’m absolutely crazy about buttermilk.
I love baking with it, and use it in most of my recipes! It makes such a tender crumb, and adds so much moisture! It also gives my cupcakes a delicious tang.
While buttermilk can be found in most grocery stores, some parts of the country or foreign countries don’t sell it! If you’re having a hard time getting your hands on buttermilk, don’t worry.
You can make your own buttermilk! For each cup of buttermilk that the recipe calls for, use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to fill 1 cup.
You also can use plain, low-fat yogurt as an equal substitute, cup for cup.
Don’t Worry About The Dishes: This Recipe Comes Together In One Bowl
My absolute favorite part of this recipe? It can be made in one bowl! That’s right, you add all your ingredients into one bowl, give it a good stir, and pop these into the oven.
I hate making extra dishes, and always try to keep things as simple as possible when it comes to baking.
This recipe can also be made by hand, so no need for hand or stand mixer needed! Just a big ol’ bowl, and a wooden spoon (or at least that’s what I use)!
Don’t Forget The Frosting!!
While the texture and taste of the cupcake is very important, I’d argue that the frosting / decoration on top of the cupcake is equally important. If you have a frosting recipe you love, by all means, top these cupcakes with it!
I usually frost my cupcakes with a half batch of my vanilla buttercream. It’s definitely a sweet frosting, but it is my absolute favorite!
It only uses 5 ingredients, and is also super easy to make. I usually make it ahead of time, to make life easier!
My buttercream frosting keeps in the fridge for up to a month in an airtight container. Just be sure to give it a good stir before using it, to get rid of any air bubble that may have formed while it came to room temperature.
While I do enjoy mixing up my cupcake decorations, the frosting tip I use the most is my Wilton 1m tip (open star). This frosting tip pipes those beautiful and classic swirls that we know and love!
How To Make This Moist Vanilla Cupcake Recipe with Oil
Begin by preheating oven to 350°F (175°C), and place cupcake liners in baking pans.
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large bowl, and gently combine with a large spoon. Pour in the buttermilk, and gently stir until just combined. The batter will be very thick, but that’s ok!
Next, add in the water, vanilla, eggs and vegetable oil, and mix until the batter comes together. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 way full.
I like to use an cookie scoop to do this, to make sure I add the same amount of batter into each cupcake liner.
I find I can make 12-14 cupcakes using this recipe, depending on slight variations between cupcake pans and liners.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
If you want to accelerate the cooling process, pop the pans into your freezer for about 30 minutes.
While the cupcakes bake and cool, prepare the vanilla frosting as instructed in the recipe below.
Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, add a large swirl of buttercream. I used a Wilton 1M tip, but you can use whatever you prefer!
If you don’t have any frosting tips, you can always use a ziplock bag and just trim the tip to have a 2 cm opening.
I also added a bit of gold leaf to these cupcakes to jazz them up! To do this, use a sterile paint brush to gently add the gold leaf sheets of 23k edible gold leaf.
Tips for Making The Best Vanilla Cupcakes:
- Properly measure your all-purpose flour (spoon into the cup measure then level) or use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients
- Use a cookie scoop to easily fill your cupcake liners
- Ingredients at room temp mix together better, so be sure you set out any cold ingredients ahead of time.
- Bang your cupcake pan on the counter before putting it in the oven, to bring any air bubbles that are trapped in the batter to the surface
- Be sure your cupcakes are COMPLETELY cooled before you frost them! If they’re even a little bit warm, the frosting can melt right off.
Making These Cupcakes In Advance & Storage Tips:
- Make your cupcakes in advance! If stored unfrosted in an airtight container, they can last for 2 days at room temp, up to a week in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer
- Make your frosting ahead of time too, or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
- Frosted cupcakes can sit out at room temperature overnight in an airtight container, but I find frosting them right before serving is best.
Let Me Know What You Think!
If you try this moist vanilla cupcake recipe with oil, I’d love to hear what think of it! Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment 🙂
Also please tag me @chelsweets, and use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media!
Other Recipes You Might Like:
- Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes
- Oreo Cupcakes
- Funfetti Cupcakes
- Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
- Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Rose Water Cupcakes
- Matcha Cupcakes
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (160 grams)
- 1 cup sugar (200 grams)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (6 grams)
- 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (120 grams)
- 1/2 cup water (120 grams)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (56 grams)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (12 grams)
- 1 large egg, room temp (57 grams)
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113 grams)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (6 grams)
- 1/4 tsp salt (1 gram)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (188 grams)
- 1 Tbsp heavy cream (or whipping cream) (15 grams)
- Begin by preheating oven to 350°F (175°C), and place cupcake liners in baking pans.
- Add 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt into a large bowl and gently combine with a large spoon or whisk.
- Pour in 1/2 cup of buttermilk and gently stir until just combined. The batter will be thick but that's how it should be!
- Next, add 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp vanilla extract and 1 large egg. Mix slowly until the batter just comes together.
- Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 way full. Bake for 18-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. If you want to accelerate the cooling process, pop the pans into your freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Beat 1/2 cup of room-temperature butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment until smooth.
- Mix in 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt on a low speed.
- Slowly add in 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Half way through add 1 Tbsp of heavy cream to make the frosting easier to mix.
- Mix on low for a couple minutes until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the desired consistency is reached.
- If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 Tablespoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (1/4 cup at a time).
- Place the buttercream in a piping bag fit with your favorite frosting tip, and pipe large swirls onto the fully cooled cupcakes.
- Garnish as desired, then enjoy!
This recipe can also be used to make mini vanilla cupcakes! It makes about 40 mini cupcakes, which only need to bake for 9-10 minutes.
Make these vanilla cupcakes in advance!! If stored unfrosted in an airtight container, they can last for:
- 1 day at room temperature
- Up to a week in the fridge
- Up to 3 months in the freezer
Make your frosting ahead of time too or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
Frosted cupcakes can sit out at room temperature overnight in an airtight container, but I find frosting them right before serving is best.
Amount Per Serving Calories 389Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 50mgSodium 285mgCarbohydrates 56gFiber 0gSugar 47gProtein 2g