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The secret to these soft and fluffy vanilla cupcakes is the creamy combination of cake mix, sour cream, and instant vanilla pudding. Plus, they are topped with a thick, easy, 3-ingredient vanilla frosting that makes them taste like they are straight from the bakery.
Need more than one batch of delicious cupcakes? Why not mix it up with a few of our other cupcake recipes and bring along our tasty Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes or the fun tropical Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes?
VANILLA CUPCAKES INGREDIENTS
You will need:
For the cupcakes
- 1 box of white cake mix
- 3.5-ounce box instant vanilla pudding
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
- ½ cup of milk
For the frosting
- 6 sticks of room temperature butter
- 3 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla
- food coloring
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
SOUR CREAM: In place of the sour cream in these homemade vanilla cupcakes, you could substitute Greek yogurt.
CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES: It would be easy to make a chocolate version of these moist cupcakes. Replace the white cake mix and vanilla pudding with the chocolate equivalent of both.
CAKE MIX: In place of the white cake in this easy recipe, you could also use vanilla cake mix for added vanilla flavor.
HOW TO MAKE THIS VANILLA CUPCAKES RECIPE
STEP ONE: In a mixing bowl, whisk together cake mix and the vanilla pudding.
STEP TWO: In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, oil, milk and sour cream.
PRO TIP: Make sure your ingredients are room temperature to keep your batter an even consistency.
STEP THREE: Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
STEP FOUR: Divide the cupcake batter among 24 cupcake liners in your cupcake pan. Fill each cupcake liner halfway with the batter.
PRO TIP: Using an ice cream scoop is a great way to measure your cupcake batter into the paper liners and the easiest way to minimize the mess.
STEP FIVE: Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. While they are cooling, make the frosting.
STEP SIX: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer, combine the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
STEP SEVEN: Turn on low speed and mix until all the powdered sugar is incorporated into the butter.
STEP EIGHT: Turn on high and whip for 30 seconds until the frosting is light and fluffy.
STEP NINE: Frost the cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles if desired.
PRO TIP: If you want a bakery perfect swirl of frosting on top, use a pastry bag or fill a Ziploc bag with frosting, snip the corner off, and use it as a piping bag, going in little circles to create a swirled design.
HOW TO SERVE
Serve these classic vanilla cupcakes for a sweet treat for dessert or at a party. Add festive sprinkles to match any occasion. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and our iced tea, raspberry iced tea, sweet peach iced tea, or our southern strawberry sweet tea on the side to wash them down.
IN THE FRIDGE: Because of the butter in the frosting, these homemade cupcakes are best stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze frosted cupcakes for up to three months. They are best stored each in their own container so that the frosting doesn’t get squashed. For the best results, freeze the cupcakes without the frosting and frost them when you are ready to serve.
Just a few simple ingredients—like instant pudding and sour cream—are enough to transfer a regular white cake box mix into truly scrumptious and moist vanilla cupcakes. The homemade frosting makes this easy vanilla cupcake recipe extra yummy too!
There are a few reasons why cupcakes come out dense or crumbly. First, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. They will not incorporate properly if they are not all the same temperature. Over mixing the batter can also cause dense cupcakes. Third, opening the oven door before the cupcakes are ready can cause them to sink due to the rush of cold air.
These easy vanilla cupcakes are best served the day they are made but can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 3 days. Freezing cupcakes is best done before adding the frosting, and they can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To ensure your cupcakes are moist, make sure not to overbake them. Storing them in an airtight container will also ensure they maintain their moisture.
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Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
- 1 box white cake mix
- 3.5 ounce box instant vanilla pudding
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup milk
- 6 sticks room temperature butter
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together cake mix and vanilla pudding.
- In a separate bowl mix together eggs, oil, milk and sour cream.
- Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
- Divide batter among 24 cupcake liners. Fill each cupcake liner half way with batter.
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Turn on low and mix until all the powdered sugar is mixed into the butter. Turn on high and whip for 30 seconds until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Frost cupcakes, and top with sprinkles.