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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. No. We recommend using only the egg white. Using the entire egg will alter the taste and texture of the cupcake.

  1. This was fun! I made this on a whim because my friend had ONE extra egg white. Did it up in a flash in a small bowl, no beaters, barely any cleanup. For self-raising flower, I added a tsp of baking powder to the flour and it worked out – probably should have used baking soda but oh well! They were cute, easy, quick and TASTY cupcakes! 🙂

  2. This is exactly what I was looking for so my granddaughter can have vanilla cake at Grandpa’s birthday party tomorrow because he asked for chocolate cake. By the flour you say “see recipe notes”, but I don’t see anything in the notes re: flour. Is it a substitute for self rising flour because that’s something I don’t have.

    1. Hi Kathi, If you don’t have self-rising flour in your pantry, you can easily make your own.
      This easy recipe for self rising flour will yield about a cup. Use the amount you need for this recipe and store the rest in a zip-top bag or other airtight container.
      Ingredients:
      1 cup flour
      1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
      ¼ teaspoon salt
      Mix these ingredients together and store to use when needed.

  3. Turned out great!
    Had leftover egg white from my husband’s favorite oatmeal cookies so, decided to try.
    The only change I made was added freeze dried strawberries powdered to my frosting. Yum and beautiful too!.

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed the cupcakes! I bet they were beautiful with the powdered freeze-dried strawberries – what a great idea!

  4. Can I use something other than heavy cream in this recipe? Trying to save some calories. I never buy heavy cream because I would not use even the small container. Thank you!
    Rhonda

  5. Amazing! I didn’t have heavy cream so subbed with 1 tbsp each almond milk and Greek vanilla yogurt combined. Moist, delicious, and perfect for a birthday treat. Thanks for this recipe!!!

  6. Made a mini orange cake today with your recipe by adding the grated zest of one orange. I used a 4 inch cake pan and sprayed with the cake-version, no stick spray for a good release. It took about 19 minutes in a toaster oven set at 325 degrees (my toaster oven runs 25 degrees hot so I always reduce the temperature). The cake came out perfectly, and I decided not to frost it.
    Thank you for your recipes. I eat low carb and indulge occasionally. I know that I would not be able to resist an entire cake. This little orange cake hit the spot. After eating 1/4 of it, I tucked it into the freezer to enjoy at a later date. Occasional treats like this keep me on the low carb track much more easily. Although I occasionally bake low carb treats, it is challenging to find recipes that taste as great as this.
    A final note: when searching for “yellow cake” at the website, this recipe is not retrieved. It is only retrieved if “cupcake” is used.

  7. I had 1 egg white left over from your Carrot Cake for One, (Awesome!). So I made this recipe in to a batch of mini cupcakes. Just lovely! Will definitely be making more in the future.