French Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

This is our go to recipe which is used as a base for a lot of the cakes and cupcakes we make every day. We’ve been using it for years and it has never failed us! It’s easiest to make with an electric mixer but it’s not necessary to have one – I once used this recipe to bake 6000 cupcakes in my student flat without an electric mixer!


  • For the Vanilla Cupcakes:
    1 cup Butter
    2 cups Caster Sugar
    2 eggs
    3 cups Self Raising Flour
    1 cup Whole Milk
    1 tsp Vanilla Extract

  • For the Buttercream Frosting:
    200g butter
    700g icing sugar
    1/4 cup of milk
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    Cream the butter and sugar

    Preheat oven to 180°C. Beat the butter on sugar on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy. We’re not using any extra rising agents so the lightness of the cake will come from the air you get into it at this stage.

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    Add eggs

    Reduce the mixer speed slightly and add the eggs, one at a time. Try cracking each egg into a separate bowl first to ensure no shells get into your batter.

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    Add the flour and milk

    Sieve the flour and then fold a third of it into the cupcake batter, make sure it is completely incorporated before adding half the milk. Add another third of flour, the remaining milk, and then the remaining flour, being sure to fold in really well between each addition to avoid a gloopy mix.

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    Cupcake away

    Mix in the vanilla and the batter is ready to go into a cupcake tin. Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases of your choosing and use an ice cream scoop or spoon to divide the batter into the cases. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch.

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    Make the Buttercream

    While the cupcakes are cooling you can make the frosting. Beat the butter, icing sugar and milk together in an electric mixer. Start slowly to avoid an icing sugar mushroom cloud and then beat on high until very light and fluffy. If you want to add colour to your frosting, do it at this stage.

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    This is the fun bit. You can pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes or smother it on with a bread knife depending on the look you want to go for. If you want to get the high swirl like we have you will need a piping bag and an open star tip. See our video on perfect piping techniques for inspiration.
    Lastly, decorate with whatever sprinkles your heart desires and enjoy 🙂

Vanilla Cupcakes
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 3 cups S.R. Flour
  5. 1 cup whole milk
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy
  2. Add eggs one at a time, mixing in between.
  3. Fold in the flour and milk, alternating and making sure completely mixed in, starting and finishing with flour.
  4. Add vanilla and then divide batter into cupcake cases
  5. Bake at 180 for about 18 minutes.

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