These are my favourite dairy free vanilla cupcakes! This easy recipe is perfect for celebrations, birthday parties or just because. They are soft, light and fluffy, and the perfect base for a swirl of creamy buttercream frosting.
Having a perfect, easy, works every time vanilla cupcake recipe in your back pocket is one of those essential recipes for every home baker.
This is my OG cupcake recipe that has served me for most of my adult life and I am so excited for it to be yours as well!
This one of the very first recipes I shared on this blog back in 2015 and for years before and still to this day I have been making these cupcakes.
Whenever I have an occasion that calls for some baking such as a birthday, work lunch, or just a general need for cake, I make these. They are so easy, but result in a perfect soft texture, and are full of vanilla flavour.
Vanilla is always a great option when you want to make something using basic pantry ingredients. I usually have everything I need to make a batch of these making them a great option when you’re short on time (or notice!).
- Dairy free butter – for the best taste and texture use a good quality vegan butter. I always use Nuttelex Buttery which is an Australian product but I believe the best US alternative is Earth Balance.
- White sugar – keeps the cakes sweet but not overly so they can be balanced with the buttercream frosting.
- Eggs – to give extra lift and lightness to the cupcakes keeping them soft and light.
- Vanilla extract – for the best flavour make sure to use a good vanilla extract and not imitation vanilla essence.
- Self-raising flour – we’re using self-raising flour in this recipe so we don’t need to add another ingredient to provide lift and rise. If you don’t have any, see recipe notes for how to make your own.
- Plain flour – known as all purpose flour in the US, we’re combining it with the SRF to give the perfect cupcake texture.
- Dairy free milk – I like to use almond milk usually, but any non dairy milk such as oat milk or soy milk will also work. Coconut milk can be used but your cupcakes will carry that flavour through them.
How to make vanilla cupcakes
One of the reasons these cupcakes are my favourite is because of just how easy they are to make. You’ll need a large mixing bowl and a handheld electric mixer.
Start by creaming the dairy free butter and sugar together well which will result in a soft, flavourful cupcake. Next, add in the eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flours. Add the flour to the wet ingredients, alternating with the milk and mix well in between each addition.
Spoon the mixture into a 12 cup muffin pan that has been lined with cupcake liners about ½ to ¾ full. It is important to not overfill the cupcakes so that they have room to rise without spilling out and burning.
Bake the cupcakes in a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
For these cupcakes I love to finish them with batch of my favourite vanilla buttercream and a few sprinkles for fun.
This buttercream is vegan, dairy-free, really easy to make, and holds its shape perfectly for piping, but you would never realise it’s not made with real butter once you taste it.
One batch of the frosting will be enough for these cupcakes, but all ingredients and steps are written out in the recipe below.
While these cupcakes are dairy free, they are not vegan as they contain eggs. For a vegan version, use my vegan vanilla cupcakes recipe instead which are equally delicious.
Yes you can replace the flours with gluten free 121 replacement flour or for best results, use my gluten free vanilla cupcakes recipe instead.
Yes, the best part about these cupcakes is just how versatile they are! To change the flavour combination you could try pairing the cupcakes with a classic chocolate buttercream, lemon buttercream, or even a strawberry buttercream!
These cupcakes will stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for about 2 days. If wanting to keep them longer, you can store in the fridge for 3-4 days, just let come to room temperature before serving.
You can also freeze these cupcakes for up to 3 months.
More dairy free cupcake recipes:
Dairy Free Vanilla Cupcakes
For The Vanilla Cupcakes
- ½ cup (125 grams) dairy-free butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup self-raising flour
- ¾ cup plain flour
- ½ cup almond milk
For The Vanilla Buttercream
- ½ cup (125 grams) dairy-free butter
- 3-4 cups icing mixture
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt to taste
- pink food colouring optional
- sprinkles optional
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 12 cup muffin pan with patty cases.
- In a medium bowl, sift flour and stir a few times to combine. Then in a large bowl, beat dairy-free butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and continue to beat until light and creamy. Slowly add in sifted flour about ¼ cup at a time, alternating with the almond milk until everything has been added and batter comes together.
- Spoon mixture into the prepared pan ensuring they are ¾ full, and place in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until cakes are lightly golden on top and spring back when lightly touched. Set aside to cool completely.
- Make the buttercream. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, beat dairy-free spread for 1-2 minutes until creamy. Add in 3 cups of icing sugar and beat on medium until combined. As mixture thickens, add in vanilla and dairy-free milk. If frosting is too thin, add in an extra ½-1 cup of icing sugar until it reaches the right consistency. Add pinch of salt to taste if frosting is too sweet.
- Tint the buttercream with a few drops of food colouring if desired, and place buttercream into a piping bag with your favourite tip and pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes. Top with sprinkles and enjoy!
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.
Original recipe was published March 16th 2015.