Easy Vanilla Cupcakes

Okay…I’m going to let you in on a secret. I will often use a box cake mix when I need to whip up a quick batch of cupcakes for one of my kid’s birthday parties or classroom celebrations. It’s easy and my kids are notorious for those last-minute bake sale requests. And truth be told, kids don’t generally care if it comes from a box. Heck, I don’t care that it comes from a box. These are truly the best easy vanilla cupcakes.

Note: This post contains affiliate links to which I earn a small commission, but don’t worry there’s no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting CAKED by Katie.

How To Make Easy Vanilla Cupcakes

I do, however, add a few additional ingredients to doctor the cake mix up a teensy bit. Goes from “yum” to “hot darn yum!” And honestly, these few extra steps take up no extra time. All you will need is some egg whites, Greek yogurt, almond milk, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil. So grab that box of white cake mix that I know you keep hidden in the back of your pantry (we all do), preheat the oven, and start mixing.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Katie
  • Total Time: 50 Minutes
  • Yield: 24 Cupcakes 1x
  • Diet: Low Lactose


The easiest and yummiest vanilla cupcakes from a doctored cake mix. Add a splash of fun with a brightly colored sprinkle mix! 



Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 box (432g) white cake mix

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup (180ml) dairy-free milk, room temperature

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature

  • ⅔ cup (165ml) dairy-free yogurt or sour cream, room temperature

  • ⅓ cup (80ml) vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 cup (240g) dairy-free salted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup (240g) all-vegetable shortening

  • 5 cups (600g) icing sugar

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • optional: food coloring

  • optional: sprinkles


Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a 24-cavity cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer dump the cake mix in and salt and give it a quick whisk to break up any clumps.

  3. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix on medium until fully incorporated scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

  4. Fill the cupcake liners up ⅔ of the way full.

  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs.

  6. Let cool in cupcake pan for 10 minutes and then fully cool on a rack.

Vanilla Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and shortening on high until light and fluffy. This should take approximately 5-10 minutes.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix on low until fully combined.

  3. Turn the mixer up to high and let beat for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary. 

  4. Optional: Add in desired food color and mix on low.

  5. Decorate fully cooled cupcakes as desired. I used a Wilton 1M piping tip and the cutest Sprinkle Pop “Day Dreamer” sprinkles. Topped with a daffodil meringue or fun cupcake topper if desired. Enjoy!


Store cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 Cupcake
  • Calories: 185
  • Sugar: 13 Grams
  • Sodium: 135 Miligrams
  • Fat: 9 Grams
  • Saturated Fat: 5 Grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1 gram
  • Trans Fat: 0 Grams
  • Carbohydrates: 23 Grams
  • Fiber: 1 Gram
  • Protein: 4 Grams
  • Cholesterol: 50 Miligrams


Similar Posts


  1. Hi! Just wondering how would you describe the sweetness of the buttercream? obviously its frosting so its going to be sweet but the amount of salt and heavy cream plus using salted butter…does it cut the sweetness a lot?

    1. It’s sweet, as you said, it’s still frosting. But my buttercream recipe, due to the salted butter and shortening, runs a bit less sweet than the typical American Buttercream.

  2. I just made the vanilla cupcakes and they are lovely – Light and fluffy, and not overly sweet. Delicious ? Do they freeze well? Also have you tried using a GF cake mix in this recipe and if so, what brand did you use?

    1. Hi Suzy, I am thrilled to hear you enjoyed them! They freeze excellently. I allow them to thaw slowly overnight in the fridge. And yes, I have used a GF mix with success. I personally love Kinnikinnick.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star