This Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes recipe makes 6 moist and delicious cupcakes that are topped with a simple vanilla buttercream frosting. They're perfect for birthdays, welcome-to-the-neighborhood gifts, or just a fun after dinner treat for the family!
why you'll love these vanilla cupcakes
- Super easy to whip up!
- Makes only 6 vanilla cupcakes.
- Perfect for beginner bakers or for those that don't like to have extra desserts around!
- Simple and delicious!
- Pairs well with this small batch vanilla buttercream frosting.
- Super moist!
- Can easily be decorated with fresh berries, sprinkles, and more!
- Perfect for birthdays, gifts, or a sweet after dinner treat!
This small batch vanilla cupcakes recipe can be easily doubled as well! For example, I doubled them for my How to Decorate Cupcakes with a Sprinkled Heart tutorial!
easy vanilla cupcakes ingredients list
Here's what you'll need to make this easy vanilla cupcakes recipe!
- All-Purpose Flour. My favorite flour to use is the King Arthur brand. With flour still hard to get in some spots though, use what you can find!
- Baking Powder. Always a good idea to make sure this hasn't expired. Expired baking powder can leave your baked goods dense and sunken in the middle. To test, pour some boiling water over a teaspoon of baking powder. If it bubble up, it is still good!
- Salt. Just a pinch, or ⅛ teaspoon, is needed.
- Unsalted Butter. For the best results, this should be softened to room temperature.
- Granulated Sugar. I've been using Simply Nature Organic sugar from ALDI, but the classic white granulated sugar works just as well.
- Egg. Yep, just one is needed. Having it at room temperature is recommended too.
- Vanilla Bean Paste. You can also use vanilla extract. I just like to use the paste sometimes because I love to see the vanilla bean specks!
- Whole Milk. You can also use 1% milk, but whole milk is my preference here.
what baking tools do I need?
You can use either your hand-held mixer or stand mixer that's fitted with a paddle attachment. You will also need:
- Cupcake tin. I baked the cupcakes in the middle section of the tin.
- Cupcake liners. The liners I used for this small batch recipe are the wavy cupcake liners from Wilton. I've used them before in black for my Devil's Food Cupcakes. They also come in a few other random colors, but man are those so hard to find!
- Spatula(s). I have quite the growing collection of spatulas in my kitchen, but my favorite ones are from GIR. They make these mini baby spatulas that are perfect for getting any extra batter from around the paddle attachment.
- Cookie Scoop. You can use a medium size cookie scoop to evenly divide the batter into each liner. Another alternative—use a large serving spoon and a regular size spoon!
how to make a small batch of vanilla cupcakes from scratch?
Here is a basic overview of the steps for how to make this small batch of vanilla cupcakes. The method is slightly different from my other cupcake recipes, but I promise, it's an easy one. Detailed instructions can be found in the recipe below!
- Mix together the dry ingredients and egg. Use either your hand-held mixer or stand mixer to mix together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, granulated suagr, and the egg. On medium-high speed, blending all of these ingredients takes about 1 minute. If needed, scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend for a few seconds more.
- Add in the vanilla bean paste and whole milk. Reduce the mixer speed to low when you add in these final 2 ingredients. Then mix together for another 30 seconds or so.
- Evenly fill each cupcake liner. You can use either a medium-size cookie scoop or a serving spoon and regular size spoon to do this. The batter will be easily scoopable, on the thinner side, but not runny. So either of these methods will work fine.
- Bake the cupcakes. The recommended baking times are 18-20 minutes at 350ºF. The tops should be a nice golden yellow with a slight dome to the top.
- Remove from the oven and cool. Let them the vanilla cupcakes cool first in the cupcake tin for 5-10 minutes. Then remove and allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
vanilla cupcakes recipe notes
Below are just a few quick notes to read over before starting this small batch vanilla cupcakes recipe.
- Be careful not to not over mix the cupcake batter.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the tin for only 5-10 minutes. Then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Wait until the vanilla cupcakes have cooled before adding frosting.
- I used the Wilton 1A piping tip with a medium-size piping bag to pipe the vanilla buttercream.
- For toppings, I used King Arthur Flour's sparkling sugar and fresh blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. You can also use sprinkles, crushed cookies crumbs, and chocolate syrup just to name a few!
- The vanilla buttercream frosting recipe makes just enough for this small batch vanilla cupcakes recipe using the Wilton 1A piping tip.
- If you or the recipient of your cupcakes isn't a big frosting fan, you can probably half this—skipping the piping as well—and still be okay!
Small Batch Vanilla CupcakesAuthor:
small batch vanilla cupcakes
- ⅔ cup All-Purpose Flour
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
- ⅓ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Large Egg (room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup Whole Milk
vanilla buttercream frosting
- 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar (sifted)
- 1 tablespoon Heavy Whipping Cream
- ¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
small batch vanilla cupcakes
- Adjust your oven rack to the 2nd level position (just above center). Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a cupcake tin with 6 cupcake liners. I placed mine in the middle section of the tin, but you can also space them out if you'd like.
- Using your hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, granulated sugar and egg on medium-high speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.⅔ cup All-Purpose Flour, ½ teaspoon Baking Powder, ⅛ teaspoon Salt, ¼ cup Unsalted Butter, ⅓ cup Granulated Sugar, 1 Large Egg
- Add in the vanilla bean paste and milk, and mix until just combined (about 30 seconds). The batter should be easily scoopable and on the thinner side, but not runny.½ teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Extract, ¼ cup Whole Milk
- Using a medium-size cookie scoop (or a serving spoon and regular size spoon), evenly divide the batter into the cupcake liners.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350ºF. They should be a nice golden yellow color with a slight dome to the top.
- Cool the cupcakes in the tin for 5-10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.
vanilla buttercream frosting
- Using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the unsalted butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy (about 1-2 minutes).4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the sifted powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and salt, mixing until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.1 cup Powdered Sugar, 1 tablespoon Heavy Whipping Cream, ¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract, ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- Fill a medium size piping bag fitted with the Wilton 1A piping tip (or one of your choosing) and pipe the frosting onto each cooled cupcake.
- Top with sparkling sugar, berries, sprinkles, or other toppings of your choosing!