Moist Vanilla Cupcakes or hot milk cupcakes with a delicious vanilla buttercream, some decadent treats that are super easy to make at home with little prep and a few simple ingredients. The sponge is beautifully light and moist, and the buttercream is silky and wonderfully flavourful.
Cupcakes are a fantastic addition to any party menu. They are insanely delicious, pretty and fancy enough for any celebration. The sky is the limit when it comes to flavours for both the sponge and the frosting, but sometimes, less is more.
A classic flavour like vanilla is hard to beat. It's the simplicity of it that makes is extremely popular with all ages and lifestyles, and really good vanilla extract can be easily purchased at pretty much any larger store.
A good-quality vanilla extract is crucial though if you want some proper moist vanilla cupcakes, a cheap-tasking extract simply won't do it, as the flavour really needs to come through for that wow factor. While the buttercream can work even without an extract, the sponge is pretty bland is simple without.
And if you like these vanilla cupcakes, my Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream is an absolute showstopper.
What are hot milk cupcakes?
Unlike a more traditional cupcake sponge which is rather dense, rich and buttery and calls for the butter and sugar to be creamed together, the hot milk method calls for the milk and butter to be heated together until the butter melts.
This helps create a very light sponge that stays moist for days, rather than drying out the very next day. It's not as crumbly, and it can be stored safely for at least 4-5 days. I tried this method for cakes too, with the same amazing results.
I also adapted this recipe for my Halloween Black Cupcakes, and they worked a treat too. If you like moist cupcakes, this is your recipe.
Ingredients needed for the sponge
- flour - plain flour works we well, there is no need for self-raising flour
- baking powder
- eggs - make sure they are at room temperature
- sugar - caster or granulated
- milk - full-fat milk is the best, but semi-skimmed milk is also ok
- vanilla extract - I use the Dr Oetker brand, it's simply the best, the vanilla flavour comes though beautifully in any bake
How to make moist vanilla cupcakes
Start by making the sponge as the cupcakes needs to be cooled down before adding the frosting, otherwise it will melt, creating a big mess.
- in a bowl, add the sugar and eggs, and use a hand mixer to beat them together well until you get a runny mixture that has a pale yellow colour
- add the milk and butter to a pan set over a low to medium heat, and heat it up until the butter is melted - the milk does not need to boil, it is removed from the pan as soon as the butter is melted
- pour the milk mixture over the egg mixture, whisking continuously
- sift in the flour and baking powder together with the vanilla extract
- mix well to get a rather thin batter than seems pretty runny - do not add any more flour, as it is not necessary and it will change the consistency of the sponges
- bake at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clear
How to make vanilla buttercream
A good buttercream makes the difference between alright cupcakes and cupcakes that make you link your fingers clean. Homemade buttercream is way more flavourful than any store-bought buttercream.
There are 2 ways of making the buttercream:
- add all the ingredients to a food processor and let it work its magic - which gives you a super smooth and silky buttercream
- use a hand mixer, which works as well, but it can be pretty messy with icing sugar flying everywhere
I went for the first method: add the sifted icing sugar (confectioner's sugar), soft butter, vanilla extract and milk to the food processor, and blitz to get a smooth texture.
Use a piping bag fitted with any nozzle of your choice to pipe each cupcake sponge - I also added a few sprinkles on top, but that's complexly option.
How to store the cupcakes
I find that the best way to store the cupcakes are in a cool room rather than in the fridge, as otherwise they tend to harden up too much, and they are nowhere near as light.
The buttercream and the sponge will keep fresh for days - but do not store them in a rather hot room, as the butter might start melting.
Other cupcake recipes
In love with cupcakes? I am too. And these delicious recipes are such a treat:
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Moist Vanilla Cupcakes
For the sponges
- 150 g flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 85 g butter
- 125 ml milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the buttercream
- 400 g icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 200 g butter, soften
- 2 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the sugar and eggs to a bowl and use a hand mixer to beat them well until you have a pale yellow colour and they triple their volume.
- In a pan set over a low to medium heat, add the milk and butter cut into cubes, and heat them up until the butter is melted.
- Pour the milk mixture over the egg mixture whisking really well.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder, and the vanilla extract, and mix well to get a runny batter.
- Line 12-hole muffin tray with non-stick muffin cases, and divide the batter evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and set them side to cool down completely.
- To make the buttercream, add all the ingredients to a food processor, and blitz to get a smooth and silky buttercream.
- Use a piping bag fitted with a start nozzle (or any other nozzle of your choice) to decorate each cupcake.
- You can also use some sprinkles if you wish.
- I find that the best way to store the cupcakes are in a cool room rather than in the fridge, as otherwise they tend to harden up too much, and they are nowhere near as light.
- The buttercream and the sponge will keep fresh for days - but do not store them in a rather hot room, as the butter might start melting.
- Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
- The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.