Basic Vanilla Cupcakes & Vanilla Frosting

At Amelia’s birthday party this weekend, I wanted to make sure we had some handheld snacks for the parents that didn’t require plates or utensils. So I made mini vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting and sprinkles – Amelia’s favorite combination!

They were so cute and reminded me of the ones I buy when at the Baked by Melissa shops. They’re usually so tiny and colorful and I just love them.  They are the perfect cupcake for birthday parties (or any party for that matter).

These cupcakes are tiny but packed with flavor and come from Melissa Ben-Ishay’s Cakes by Melissa Cookbook, linked here.

Basic Vanilla Cupcakes & Vanilla Frosting

  • Servings: 48 mini cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure (or homemade) vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons whole milk (room temperature)

For the frosting:

  • 1 box (about 3 1/2 cups) confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease mini cupcake tin and set aside.
  2. With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 1 minute on high speed, then scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the granulated sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Add the vanilla extract. While mixing at medium-low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the edges of the bowl midway through.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and sea salt in a separate bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add half the flour mixture. When it’s mostly incorporated, add half the milk. Add the remainder of the dry and wet ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Stop mixing as soon as you have a smooth batter.
  4. Bake until cupcakes feel springy when you gently press your finger against them, 17-20 minutes. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting.
  5. To make the frosting: in a large bowl, with electric mixer at low speed, combine sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Beat at medium speed 1 to 2 minutes, until creamy. If desired, add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency.
  6. To assemble, dollop a spoonful of frosting on top of the cupcake and spread in a circular pattern. Repeat until all cupcakes are frosted. Use food coloring to color frosting, if desired and top with sprinkles. Enjoy!

Adapted from: Cakes by Melissa Cookbook


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