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Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

Classic vanilla cupcakes are what everybody craves. A tender cake, topped with a sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting makes the quintessential cupcake. Sprinkles make them even more special.

A classic vanilla cupcake with cream cheese frosting with rainbow sprinkles, in a pink cupcake paper.

Adapted from Food Network Magazine | The Big Fun Kids Baking Book | Hearst Home Kids, 2021

Smelling sweetly of butter, sugar, and vanilla, these classic little cakes bring you right back to when you were a kid and Mom baked your birthday cupcakes. Cream cheese buttercream frosting adds a little bit of an adult upgrade.–Food Network Magazine.

HOW DO I MAKE A SWIRL OF FROSTING?

If you know anything about piping frosting, you’ll need a decorating bag with a 1M or 2D tip. If not, just cut a biggish hole in the corner of a plastic bag. It won’t be as accurate but it’ll still be okay.

Hold the bag straight up above the middle of the cupcake. Start squeezing in the middle of the cupcake and start moving outwards. Once you’ve covered the top of the cupcake, start moving back inwards, building up a swirl. Continue swirling inwards until you’ve reached the desired height.

End the spiral at the center of the cupcake. Stop squeezing before pulling the tip away. Ta-da! You’ve just iced a cupcake like a pro!

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

A classic vanilla cupcake with cream cheese frosting with rainbow sprinkles, in a pink cupcake paper.

Classic vanilla cupcakes are what everybody craves. A tender cake, topped with a sweet and tangy cream-cheese frosting makes the quintessential cupcake. Sprinkles make them extra special.

Food Network Magazine

Prep 35 mins

Cook 25 mins

Total 1 hr

Dessert

American

12 cupcakes

299 kcal

No ratings yet

For the cupcakes

For the frosting

Make the cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add granulated sugar and beat until creamy, about 4 minutes more. Scrape down sides of bowl, then beat in eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla.

  • With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with milk in two batches. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until just combined, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary.

  • Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until tops of cupcakes spring back when pressed gently, 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Remove pan from oven. Let cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and let cool completely on a rack.

Make the frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt and beat on medium speed until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar on medium-low speed until smooth, then beat on medium-high until thick and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes more, scraping sides of bowl if necessary. If your frosting is too soft, add more confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

  • Spoon frosting into a piping bag or resealable plastic bag, snip a corner, and pipe frosting on cupcakes (or spread frosting on top). Sprinkle with nonpareils.

Serving: 1servingCalories: 299kcal (15%)Carbohydrates: 49g (16%)Protein: 4g (8%)Fat: 10g (15%)Saturated Fat: 6g (38%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 58mg (19%)Sodium: 164mg (7%)Potassium: 96mg (3%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 37g (41%)Vitamin A: 377IU (8%)Calcium: 48mg (5%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published October 2, 2021

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