Easy white cupcakes are soft, delicate, and surprisingly simple to make from scratch. These moist and light-as-air cupcakes are perfect for weddings, events, and birthdays.
These easy white cupcakes are truly heavenly. They are light, tender, and moist. Best of all? They are shockingly easy to make. Plus, they're the perfect palette for any favorite flavors you'd like to add.
This white cupcake recipe is also the base for my popular Strawberry Filled Cupcakes recipe. While they may be soft and light, these cupcakes will hold up to any frostings and fillings you may want to add.
Room temperature ingredients
For this recipe, you'll need room temperature butter, egg whites, and milk. If possible, set out your ingredients ahead of time, about an hour before you begin baking.
To warm up butter quickly, try slicing it into smaller pieces, then setting it out on the counter for 30 minutes. To warm up eggs, place in them in a bowl and cover with warm water. Your eggs will come to room temperature in minutes.
Microwaving milk for 10-15 seconds at a time can bring it to room temperature quickly. However, be careful with microwaving and do not walk away from it (it's easy to forget and scorch!).
Ingredients and substitutions
If you don't have cake flour on hand, you can make this recipe with all-purpose flour, but your cupcakes will have a less tender texture with a coarser crumb. I highly recommend using cake flour.
Unsalted butter and salt can be substituted with salted butter.
Egg whites are needed for this recipe, not whole eggs. If you want to use whole eggs (with the yolk) to make cupcakes, I suggest trying my Vanilla Homemade Cupcakes recipe.
Cupcake tips and tricks
Here are a few tips for cupcake success, taken from reader questions and reviews!
- Make sure you're using baking powder and not baking soda. There is a difference, and baking soda will not work for this recipe.
- Properly measure your flour by using a spoon to scoop flour into your measuring cup, then using a knife to level off the top. Scooping using your measuring cup will compact flour into the cup, adding extra flour to the recipe.
- Only mix your batter until the ingredients are incorporated. Overmixing your batter can whip extra air in, causing your cupcakes to rise quickly and then fall in the center when they bake.
- Do not unwrap your cupcakes while they're still warm. Your cupcakes will stick to the liners until they are fully cooled throughout. Once cooled, your cupcakes will easily unwrap.
- Are your cupcakes sticky on top? This can be caused by humidity in your home or storing cupcakes while they're still warm. This can't really be fixed, but can easily be covered with frosting.
- Do not frost warm cupcakes! Buttercream is sensitive to heat and will melt between 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whipped Buttercream Frosting - fluffier than a traditional buttercream (this recipe is included below)
- Chocolate Buttercream Frosting - sweet, traditional buttercream frosting
- American Buttercream Frosting - sweet, traditional buttercream frosting
- Homemade Whipped Cream - light and much less sweet than buttercream
Any of these frostings are great for piping or knife decorating - they're very easy to work with. Traditional buttercream frostings are also very sweet, so you could use less (if you want) to top your cupcakes.
For years I've used this simple Wilton Cupcake Decorating Kit to decorate my cupcakes. It comes with four piping tips, bags, and easy to read instructions. I also purchased this additional coupler to make it easy secure the piping tips and to change out tips halfway through decorating.
Easy White Cupcakes
- 1 ½ cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large egg whites room temperature
- ½ cup milk room temperature
Whipped Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup heavy cream very cold
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk (or sift) together the dry ingredients: cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and granulated sugar. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated. Then, add egg whites and beat until light and fluffy, about a minute.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk, just until each ingredient is incorporated and batter is smooth. Do not overmix.
- Divide batter between 15 cupcake liners, filling each about ⅔ full. Bake in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Whipped Buttercream Frosting
- In a large bowl, add room temperature butter and beat until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Add confectioner's sugar and slowly mix until ingredients are fully combined. Then, whip at high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream and whip for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add additional heavy cream as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Pipe or spread frosting with a knife onto cupcakes and serve.
- Frosting will make enough to frost about 16 cupcakes with high, dramatic piped frosting, or 24 cupcakes spread with a knife, a 9x13 sheet cake, or an 8-9 inch two layer cake.
- Butter melts around 90 to 95 degrees, and so will your frosting. If your location is nearing this temperature, I'd recommend refrigerating your baked goods until an hour before you're ready to serve them. Refrigerating your frosted baked goods will not hurt them, but you will want to give them some time to come to room temperature before serving.
- Optionally, add ¼ teaspoon of almond extract to your cupcakes and/or buttercream frosting for an elevated, light almond flavor.
- For the buttercream frosting, heavy whipping cream can not be substituted with milk, milk will not whip up into whipped cream.