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Craving a sweet treat but don’t want to deal with a dozen leftovers? This Vanilla Cupcakes recipe is your delightful solution! It’s perfect for those times when you want something sweet without the excess.

These two cupcakes boast a gorgeous golden top, a soft and tender crumb, and are topped off with a creamy, rich buttercream frosting. Best of all, they’re a breeze to whip up with just a bowl and a few common pantry ingredients. These cupcakes come out perfect every time, proving that sometimes, less really is more.

Searching for additional small batch cupcake recipes? Explore our rich Chocolate Cupcakes and our extra-moist Carrot Cake Cupcakes!

Why You’ll Love This Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

  • Small Batch Convenience: Just two cupcakes, ideal for a treat without leftovers.
  • Simple Ingredients: Uses everyday pantry staples.
  • Easy Preparation: One bowl, no fancy equipment.
  • Versatile Cooking: Suitable for both toaster and conventional ovens.
  • Delicious Taste: A melt-in-your-mouth texture with a luscious buttercream frosting.

RELATED: 15 Easy Dessert Recipes For One

a vanilla cupcake sliced in half on a white plate.

Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this cupcake recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Butter: I use salted butter, melted for ease of mixing.
  • Sugar: Added to enhance the sweetness of the cupcakes.
  • Egg White: Just one egg white is required. Hang on to the egg yolk and use it to make a small batch of Thumbprint Cookies, a Mini German Chocolate Cake, or even Potato Gnocchi.
  • Vanilla Extract: Infuses the cupcakes with a rich, aromatic flavor.
  • Self-Rising Flour: Don’t have it? See below for a simple homemade self-rising flour recipe.
  • Heavy Cream: Incorporated to give the batter a moist and tender texture. Consider using leftover cream in a small White Cake or Banana Cream Pie.

For the Frosting:

  • Powdered Sugar: The key to a smooth and sweet frosting. Its fine texture ensures your frosting is lump-free and perfectly sweetened.
  • Butter: Ideally at room temperature, butter is the foundation of your frosting, providing a rich and creamy base.
  • Vanilla Extract: A splash of vanilla extract adds a depth of flavor, enhancing the overall taste of your frosting. Pure extract is recommended for the best quality.
  • Cream: Used to adjust the consistency of your frosting. Heavy cream yields a richer texture, but milk can be substituted for a lighter option.
  • Candy Sprinkles (Optional): For a festive touch, add candy sprinkles on top of the frosting. They not only add color and fun but also a slight crunch for textural contrast.

Recipe Variations

Each of these variations adds its own unique flair to the classic vanilla cupcake, making them perfect for different occasions or just to satisfy a specific craving. Experiment with these ideas or mix and match them to create your own signature cupcake!

  1. Citrus Infused Cupcakes: For a zesty touch, add lemon or orange zest to the batter. This will infuse the cupcakes with a refreshing citrus aroma and taste, ideal for a summer treat.
  2. Nutty Cupcakes: Mix in a small handful of finely chopped nuts, like walnuts or pecans, for a crunchy texture. This adds a delightful nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch with each bite.
  3. Berry Filled Cupcakes: Gently fold in a few of your favorite berries, such as blueberries or raspberries, into the batter. This will create bursts of fruity flavor in every bite, making the cupcakes refreshingly sweet and tangy.
  4. Spiced Cupcakes: Incorporate a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg into the batter for a warm, spicy note. This is especially comforting during colder months and adds a lovely aromatic touch to the cupcakes.

RELATED: Recipes For Empty Nesters – The Joy Of Cooking For Two

two unbaked vanilla cupcakes in a muffin pan.

Making Self-Rising Flour At Home: A Simple Guide

Lacking self-rising flour for your recipe? No worries, you can effortlessly create your own at home with basic pantry staples. This homemade self-rising flour recipe is simple and yields approximately one cup, ensuring you have just the right amount for your baking needs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Mix these ingredients thoroughly to ensure even distribution.
  3. Use the required amount for your current recipe.
  4. Store any leftover self-rising flour in a zip-top bag or an airtight container for future use.

This method is not only convenient but also perfect for those who prefer homemade ingredients or need a quick substitute. With this easy-to-follow recipe, you’ll have homemade self-rising flour ready in no time, ideal for a variety of baking projects!

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How To Make Two Vanilla Cupcakes

Detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  1. Heat the oven and line either the cupcake pan with two cupcake liners or line 2 ramekins.

Note: Adapting for a Single Cupcake – If you’re intrigued by the idea of a single cupcake recipe, this 2 cupcake recipe offers just that flexibility. Should you wish to bake a recipe for one cupcake, simply use a larger muffin pan. The pan I used was smaller, ideal for creating two cupcakes. However, adjusting to a larger size easily accommodates the batter for a single, larger cupcake, making it a versatile choice whether you’re in the mood for one or two treats.

  1. Mix together melted butter, sugar, an egg white and vanilla. Then, add in self-rising flour and cream.
  2. Pour the cupcake batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  3. To make the frosting: Mix together the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream in a small bowl and spread over the cooled cupcakes.

RELATED: Cooking For One Meal Plan

If you like this vanilla cupcake recipe, you might also like to try our chocolate cupcake recipe which makes just two cupcakes too!

Expert Tips

  • Versatile Baking Options: These vanilla cupcakes are conveniently adaptable for both toaster ovens and conventional ovens. When using a toaster oven, apply the same temperature settings as you would for a regular oven. Keep in mind that toaster ovens often preheat more quickly, and baking times may be shorter. To ensure perfect cupcakes, start checking them at the 15-minute mark. Insert a toothpick or the tip of a sharp knife into the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean, they’re ready. Remember to use a muffin or cupcake pan that fits your toaster oven. I recommend the Nordic Ware compact muffin pan, which is smaller than standard-sized pans and perfectly fits three cupcakes.
  • Advance Preparation: You can bake these cupcakes a day ahead of frosting. To maintain freshness, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They can also be covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep them moist and ready for frosting the next day.
One cupcake topped with vanilla frosting and rainbow colored sprinkles on a plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I double this vanilla cupcake recipe?

Absolutely! Simply double all the ingredients for four cupcakes.

How long do these vanilla cupcakes keep?

They’re best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

RELATED: Over 15 Easy Dessert Recipes For One

If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried these vanilla cupcakes or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

How To Make Two Vanilla Cupcakes

4.86 from 27 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Cool: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Enjoy two homemade vanilla cupcakes with this easy recipe. Delightful, melt-in-your-mouth texture with rich buttercream frosting.

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter , melted
  • 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons self-rising flour (see recipe notes)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

For the frosting

  • ½ cup powdered sugar , sifted
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter , softened
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon heavy cream
  • candied sprinkles , optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Place cupcake liners in the pans or use two oven-safe ramekins.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk butter, sugar, egg white, and vanilla until smooth.
  • Mix in the self-rising flour.
  • Add cream and blend until the batter is smooth.
  • Fill the cupcake liners with the batter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the frosting

  • For the frosting, combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream. Mix well, either manually or with an electric beater, until it's smooth.
  • Frost the cupcakes and garnish with sprinkles if desired.

Video

Notes

Versatile Baking Options: These vanilla cupcakes are conveniently adaptable for both toaster ovens and conventional ovens. When using a toaster oven, apply the same temperature settings as you would for a regular oven. Keep in mind that toaster ovens often preheat more quickly, and baking times may be shorter. To ensure perfect cupcakes, start checking them at the 15-minute mark. Insert a toothpick or the tip of a sharp knife into the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean, they’re ready. Remember to use a muffin or cupcake pan that fits your toaster oven. I recommend the Nordic Ware compact muffin pan, which is smaller than standard-sized pans and perfectly fits three cupcakes.
Advance Preparation: You can bake these cupcakes a day ahead of frosting. To maintain freshness, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They can also be covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep them moist and ready for frosting the next day.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 391kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Sodium: 232mg, Potassium: 24mg, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 975IU, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 0.1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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45 Comments

  1. I’m wanting to make one or two cupcakes for someone but I’m wanting to do a lemon cupcake with a strawberry frosting. Would it be easy to turn this cupcake into a lemon one or can you recommend any other recipes?

    1. Hi Amanda, using lemon juice instead of vanilla and between 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest will give the cupcakes a lovely hint of lemon flavor.

  2. This recipe is delicious but I do have a question. Instead of 2 cupcakes, what size ramekin is best? I would think a 10 ounce one would be too big…so…7 ounce?

  3. Hi Joanie,
    I like your recipes, since I’m alone, they are perfect for me.
    In this cupcake recipe, what is considered heavy cream, is it whipping cream or like coffee cream 18 % ? I don’t usually buy cream. Do you have to use cream or can you use milk instead?
    Thank you

    1. Barb, heavy cream is often called “double cream” and contains 38 percent fat. It is basically the same as heavy whipping cream – heavy whipping cream is slightly lighter than heavy cream and contains 35 percent fat. You can use either type or you can even use half and half (half milk and half cream with 12 percent fat). The cream gives the cupcakes a rich, creamy flavor. You can use milk instead but I highly recommend using cream.

  4. These are lovely little cupcakes. I made eight mini ones ( bite sized) instead and they turned out perfect!

  5. What did I do wrong? My cupcakes had a good flavor but they were spongey, a little flat and not completely done. I think I followed the directions carefully.

    1. It’s so frustrating when recipes don’t turn out as we hope. Let’s try to see what happened…
      It sounds like your cupcakes might have been underbaked. Another possibility would be that the batter may have been over-beaten. Over-beating the batter overworks the gluten, making the cupcakes tough and less likely to rise. A final thought; did you use self-rising flour? If you made the homemade version of self rising flour listed in the recipe post, could your baking powder be old or expired?

  6. I’m a widow & the serving sizes in these recipes are an answer to my cooking dilemma! Thank you so much! I used the egg yolk in the oatmeal cookies & while they were baking I whipped up the vanilla cupcakes! Heinous! Satisfied my sweet tooth for the week! Bev

    1. Hi Susan, we recommend using self-rising flour. If you don’t have any, you can follow our easy self-rising flour recipe found in the recipe notes.

  7. Made these this morning along with maple muffins to bake only once. They were very tasty cupcakes. They had a subtle vanilla flavor and made exactly two regular sized cupcakes. The texture was good, not spongey like some small recipe baked goods. The vanilla frosting came together perfectly (I did add a few drops more cream for a looser texture)and was just enough for the two cupcakes. I added a small drizzle of Hershey’s dark syrup to the top and used a toothpick to spider web it into the frosting rather than sprinkles. The flavor was good on the frosting as well but maybe a touch sweet for my taste. I can envision additions to both batter and frosting for a change of flavor. Next time I may try a few granules of instant coffee in the cream for the frosting as well as a little cocoa in the batter. A keeper recipe for me.