These vanilla buttermilk cupcakes are the unsung heroes of the baking world, bringing a subtle tang and ultra-moist texture that’ll make your taste buds dance. Perfect for any occasion, these little wonders are like a cozy hug for your palate, combining the classic charm of vanilla with the rich depth of buttermilk. Trust me, one bite and you’ll wonder why these haven’t been in your baking repertoire all along!
Why You’ll Love This Homemade Cupcake
- Impressively Simple: Despite sounding fancy, buttermilk cupcakes are surprisingly easy to make. They’re a great way to impress guests without stressing in the kitchen.
- Great Base Cupcake: These cupcakes are a fantastic canvas for all sorts of frostings and toppings. Whether it’s a classic buttercream or a zesty lemon glaze, they pair beautifully.
- Moist and Tender Crumb: Buttermilk is a baker’s secret for super moist cupcakes. Its acidity breaks down gluten, giving you a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
This Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcake is my all-time favorite. It was one of the base flavors in my newest cookbook, The Deliciously Easy Cupcake Cookbook, (affiliate) and is the one we have made over and over. The texture reminds me a bit of pound cake, only lighter, with a flavor of vanilla Cake. There is a slight tang that brings everything together, thanks to the buttermilk, and makes these addicting.
Extra eggs give you an incredibly moist and sweet finish. My eleven year old, who is also a self proclaimed food critic and has delivered me some seriously bad reviews, raved and gave these five stars. We now make them for every occasion.
Buttermilk Cupcake Ingredients
The ingredients for this recipe are simple, and most likely already in your home. Be sure to have all of your ingredients at room temperature to help them come together quickly and avoid any over mixing. If you follow the recipe the end result will be the most amazing vanilla cupcakes you will have in your life.
- All-purpose flour: I’ve had success with all purpose or cake flour when baking these cupcakes. It’s the base of the dry ingredients.
- Leavening Agents: Baking soda and baking powder are what your cake that light and fluffy texture. Always double check that expiration date before beginning for optimal results.
- Butter: I like to use unsalted butter in this cupcake, but salted will work in a pinch.
- Sugar: This cake works best with granulated, or white, sugar.
- Eggs: This cupcake resembles a pound cake, which means it calls for more eggs than most.
- Vanilla Extract: I’m a big fan of pure vanilla extract. I find that imitation vanilla, while cheaper, leaves an aftertaste that is less appealing.
- Sour cream: This adds a pleasant tang to the cupcake. However, if you are in a pinch you can substitute this with plain Greek yogurt.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk helps work as a tenderizer to the cake and is key to a soft and tender finish.
How To Make Buttermilk Cupcakes
While the ingredients are written for cupcakes, this would make a delicious layer cake! No need to double. This will easily make an 8 inch cake. You could even try adding a little lemon zest for a fresh spring flavor!
- PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside for later.
- DRY INGREDIENTS: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- CREAM: Add the butter and sugar in a large bowl, or a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until each is incorporated.
- MIX: Scrape the sides of the bowl. Stir in the vanilla and sour cream at low speed. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating between the two until fully incorporated.
- BAKE: Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and top with your favorite frosting!
Baking cupcakes can be super simple, especially with the help of some of my favorite kitchen must-have’s! The following are items I personally own and use and make my baking experience seamless.
- Cupcake Tins (affiliate): Essential for shaping your cupcakes. Use a standard 12-cup tin for classic-sized treats.
- Cupcake Liners: (affiliate)These prevent sticking and make clean-up a snap. Plus, they come in fun colors and designs!
- Stand Mixer or Handheld Mixer: (affiliate) Whether it’s a stand mixer or a handheld one, this tool is a game-changer for getting that batter silky smooth.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: Precision is key in baking, so having a full set of measuring tools is a must.
- Silicone Spatulas: (affiliate) For scraping down the sides of your bowl to ensure everything is well mixed.
According to Food Network, buttermilk is fermented milk. It’s thicker and has an acidic tang. When used in a cake batter it improves the texture and tenderizes the cake.
No buttermilk? No problem! You can make your own by combining 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar with 1 cup milk. Allow the mixture to sit for five to ten minutes, stir and add to your recipe.
Yes! These cupcakes will last up to two to three days. Although they are in their prime flavor during the first 24 hours.
The flavor for this cupcake is mainly vanilla. That means there are limitless options for frosting! here are a few of our favorites:
Strawberry Whipped Cream (pictured)
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Yep! Bake and cool the cupcakes completely. Once cooled, place the cupcakes in a single layer in a freezer safe zip top bag. Keep stored in the freezer for up to three months.
When ready to enjoy, allow the cupcakes to thaw at room temperature and add your favorite frosting.
TIP: These would look beautiful with a candied strawberry slice on top!
Buttermilk Cupcake Recipe
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups 3 sticks butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking tins with paper liners and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Add the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, or a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until each is incorporated.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl. Stir in the vanilla and sour cream.
- Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating between the two until fully incorporated.
- Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool and top with your favorite frosting.
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