Better than a Box Mix Vanilla Cupcakes

Better than a Box Mix Vanilla Cupcakes

I am always on the lookout for new cupcake recipes, and I’m so happy to have found this one!ย  So often I try a new cake or cupcake recipe only to realize that it was a lot of extra work and not much better than what I could get from a box. Well, I’m here to tell you that these vanilla cupcakes truly are better than a box mix. They are light and fluffy and full of flavor. So many “from scrach” vanilla cupcakes come out dry and dense, but not these! Plus, they stayed moist for quite awhile. I made half the batter into a cake for my Wilton class, and we were still eating the cake days later. This truly is the best vanilla cupcake recipe I’ve found and it will be my go-to recipe from now on.

p.s. – ignore the peach colored frosting. It was hanging out in the freezer from a wedding I did recently, so I thought I should put it to good use. ๐Ÿ™‚

Better than a Box Mix Vanilla Cupcakes

Better than a Box Mix Vanilla Cupcakes

Yield: makes about 15 cupcakes


1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until blended, about 15-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil and beat until well mixed. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mix and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl. The batter should be thin.

Divide evenly among the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full, and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

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  1. your cupcakes are so beautiful!!! i wish i could get my icing to look like that!! icing envy is the worst. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi Megan!
    Would you mind telling me the weight of the 1 1/4 cups of cake flour in oz./gr.? I just want to make this cupcakes and I want them to be really perfect.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Heidi. It varies by brand, so I would just go with what the side of the box says. I almost always weigh my cake flour, and depending on which brand I buy, it is either 28 grams per 1/4 cup, or 30 grams per 1/4 cup. Hope that helps! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. These look delicious! I have to say, I’m very intrigued by the frosting, even if it was just leftover. Isn’t so rewarding to finally perfect a great staple recipe?! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  4. From-scratch are always the best! And these are gorgeous, Megan! I love how smooth the frosting looks!!

  5. Vanilla cake is my husbands favorite, but I have yet to find a good one. Will definitely be giving this a go!

  6. I like the peach colored frosting ๐Ÿ™‚ I love vanilla cake..way better than chocolate ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Love this — thank you! I have been looking for a fabulous vanilla cake recipe that’s light – and I love all the ingredients in this one. Thanks!

  8. hello! I just stumbled upon your amazing food blog.
    Is cake flour any different from plain flour?

    • Yes it is, something about the protein content. It is sold in a box that says “cake flour”. You can use all purpose, but the end result won’t be nearly as light and fluffy.

  9. I’m not much of a cupcake expert myself, but I do love boxed mix cupcakes! Anything that is better than those has really got to be good! Thanks for sharing!

  10. I’m always trying to bake from scratch. Just pinned this recipe to try for a rainy day when I want to make vanilla cupcakes!

  11. I’ve been looking for a good vanilla cupcake recipe! Thanks!

  12. Yess…!!!! Iยดm using this recipe for a while and its amazing.. always you get cupcakes or a cake perfect, fluffy, firm… I Love it…

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  14. I made these cupcakes about a week ago and they didn’t turn out so good. I followed recipe exactly and the y were oily and the texture was somewhat rubbery. I don’t know what went wrong. ๐Ÿ™

  15. Can you use self-riing flour?

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  17. I love that you use oil-I (like many others, I can imagine) have been browsing blogs, recipes and websites for months now and can’t seem to pinpoint that PERFECT vanilla cake. All of the recipes I hve tried include so much butter and have come out really ense-not what you would want from a fluffy cupcake! I can’t wait to try this!! Love the pink frosting!

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  19. Hi Megan,
    I want to make this in a cake form for my son’s bday… Do you know the approximate time it would take for 2 round cakes? I know they will turn out cause I only use your cupcakes/cakes recipes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    TIA ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. These look amazing! Would the same proportions work for two 9 inch layer cake rounds? Thank you!

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