Vanilla for Valentine’s

The two bakers and two of the final cupcakes.
The two bakers and two of the final cupcakes.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be complicated. An old saying proves true: quality over quantity. If you’re trying to impress, consider a classic recipe and keep it simple! Go for homemade items over ready-made ones from the store.

The final products. (DUAA MAJID ’26)

I want to share with you this incredibly simple, universal vanilla cupcake recipe that is sure to entice the individual it is being made for—even if that person is yourself. 

After scrolling through social media to try and find something simple to make with ingredients I already had at home, I came across a recipe from Life, Love and Sugar, whose moist and fluffy vanilla cupcakes seemed popular and quite easy to make. 

This recipe was perfect! It only took me fifteen minutes to prepare the batter and fifteen minutes to bake, which was far from time-consuming. This recipe is great for anyone who has limited time in between their working day or after school if they want to make this special treat for a loved one—just mix the ingredients and pop it in the oven. 

It also came with this amazing recipe for vanilla buttercream which was so easy to make, especially as a beginner who has never made frosting from scratch before. In order to stay true to the Valentine’s Day theme, I dyed the frosting pink using a single drop of red food coloring. If you wish to have red cupcakes instead, you can also dye the cupcake batter. However, since I was making these cupcakes for my family, I came to realize that the majority of them did not even enjoy vanilla frosting.

Icing the cupcakes. (DUAA MAJID ’26)

That being the case, I found another recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting that only took five minutes to make. Thankfully, I was able to use piping attachments to make the frosting look somewhat presentable, and I had finished!  

For an extra add-on, finish it off with some colorful sprinkles—any topping will work if you don’t prefer the taste or texture of sprinkles—and you’re guaranteed to have a great Valentine’s Day. 

The ingredients and instructions below were found here: “Moist Vanilla Cupcakes” by Lindsay Conchar, and “Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (6-Minute Recipe)” by Natasha Kravchuk.



  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) water*


  • 1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2–3 tbsp (30-45ml) water or milk
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
  3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
  5. Slowly add the water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined. Please note that the batter will be very thin.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Remove the cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  8. To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large mixer bowl until smooth.
  9. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  10. Add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of water or milk and mix until smooth.
  11. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  12. Add remaining water or milk, as needed, and salt and mix until smooth.
  13. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I used Ateco tip 844.
Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
Navigate Right


Unsalted butter – should be softened at room temperature

Confectioners sugar – also known as powdered sugar. Measured before sifting (sifting is not necessary).

Cocoa powdered – natural unsweetened cocoa powder or dutch process.

Heavy whipping cream – lightens up and thins the frosting.

Vanilla extract – we use real vanilla extract for the best flavor.

Salt – balances the sweetness of the buttercream. It’s the secret ingredient in buttercream that makes it taste not too sweet. We use fine sea salt.


The best chocolate buttercream is easier and takes less time than you think! (Amazon links for tools used)

  1. Beat butter in a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment on high speed for 3 minutes until creamy and lightened in color.
  2. Add remaining ingredients – confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt.
  3. Beat together on low speed until powdered sugar is incorporated then on medium/high speed for another 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Add more cream if needed to thin the frosting.
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Eagle's Eye
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Edison High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The Eagle's Eye
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Eagle's Eye Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

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