AKA the *original* White Cake Recipe From Scratch – these perfect white cupcakes from scratch rise with a beautiful dome every time. This is a versatile, crowd-pleasing, easy vanilla cupcake recipe.
Darlings, this is my long-promised white vanilla cupcake recipe. If you’ve been around the blog a while, you’ll recognize this recipe as the original recipe posted for my white cake from scratch. In the years since posting, I did make an update to the original white cake recipe that I feel lends itself a little better to a cake, especially if you plan to make a tiered cake. But the original recipe is still good, and it’s my go-to bakes “the best white cupcakes ever” (<– not my quote, a friend’s) with beautiful domes and a lovely spring to the crumb. And, you can always make it as a cake, because it’s still good cake, darlings.
I believe cupcakes are also a little easier to make. White cake from scratch is challenging. I talk about the challenges over in the other post, so I won’t repeat them here, but it is the recipe for which I have to answer a good amount of questions. You cannot guesstimate and fudge your way through white cake because of the way the recipe is. Cupcakes are more forgiving. 😉 And I’ve yet to have a batch not turn out, and I’ve baked dozens of batches of these white cupcakes since really getting my white cake recipe down.
Look at that dome! Isn’t it pretty?
The batter for these cupcakes is pretty liquid, so if you have to pour more than scoop, don’t worry about it. They will still come out. They rise like magic in the oven and are an absolute dream to frost once cool. We all know frosting warm cupcakes is a bad way to start a week, yes? So wait until they’re cool before frosting. 😉
Because white cupcakes are a perfect blank slate, feel free to frost however you’d like! I love a good chocolate frosting, or raspberry is great if you’re in the mood for fruit, or you can keep it vanilla like I did for photos with Swiss meringue buttercream. I didn’t have vanilla beans, so just used regular vanilla extract.
A few notes if you plan to bake these as a cake instead of cupcakes…
Normally, I wouldn’t include this, but since I know a few of you reading are fans of the original white cake recipe, or looking for that one in particular, I just want to point out a few things for the newbies who may want to make the cake instead of cupcakes. First of all, don’t over-mix. It’s a surefire way to make the cake turn out too dense because you’ve overworked the gluten. Follow the directions and add the flour last. Fold it in, and that’s it. Stop once it’s combined. If you are using a stand mixer, this takes no more than a few seconds.
Keep in mind that the recipe doesn’t rise very much as a cake. If you want a cake that rises to almost 2″ tall in an 8″ cake pan, please use the “new” white cake recipe. If you’re just looking for a cake to simply frost, you don’t have to worry about it. Just keep design in mind.
Otherwise, that’s it. Because we don’t need to over-complicate (cup)cakes. 😉
I hope you enjoy this white cupcake recipe darlings!
As always, if you have any questions about these white cupcakes from scratch, feel free to shoot me a message or a comment. Enjoy!
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil, I typically use avocado, canola, or vegetable
- 3 large egg whites
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or another extract of your choice
- 1 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat your oven to 350 F, line 18 muffin tins or butter 2 8" round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Combine the sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients in a smaller mixing bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the flour and stop when just mixed.
- Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full (the batter will be runny, it's fine). Bake for 18-20 minutes until the center of a cupcake springs back when touched. If you are baking as a cake, bake for 30-35 minutes until the center of the cake springs back when touched.
- Allow the cupcakes to rest in the pan 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Frost and decorate as desired. Enjoy!
- If you don't have sour cream, plain Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute, will full-fat yogurt giving better results than fat-free.
- If you'd like to substitute an extract that isn't vanilla, good options are a mix of almond and vanilla, lemon extract, or even a bakery emulsion. If you're using the Lorann flavors, butter vanilla and princess cake are 2 classic favorites.
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