Moist and delicious vanilla cupcakes

Yesterday was National Vanilla Cupcake Day…. omgoodness how did I not know this day existed before now?  Alas, I didn’t have time yesterday to make any cupcakes, but I do have an amazing recipe to share with you.  It starts with….drumroll please…. boxed cake mix.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Boxed cake mix.  Hands down, it is the tastiest and most moist and soft cupcake I’ve ever made, and yet it holds up very well to buttercream frosting.

The softest, fluffiest, tastiest vanilla cupcakes you've ever had!

The softest, fluffiest, tastiest cupcakes EVER!

I know you may not be too crazy about boxed cake mix, but let me assure you… no one will know.  I’ve made these countless times and have been told over and over again that they taste better than cupcakes from a professional bakery!

The softest, fluffiest, tastiest cupcakes EVER!

The softest, fluffiest, tastiest cupcakes EVER

Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl

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The softest, fluffiest, tastiest cupcakes EVER

Not Your Average Vanilla Cupcakes

There's not much I can say, other than you just have to try these!
5 from 2 votes
Servings 24 -30 cupcakes


  • 18-19 oz box of white cake mix
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp heavy cream


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans.
  • In a large bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add
  • all remaining ingredients and beat with mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended.
  • Use ice cream scoop (or spoon that has been sprayed with cooking spray) to fill prepared
  • cupcake tins- fill about 3/4 full.
  • Bake about 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • In a large bowl, with a hand or stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter on low speed.
  • Mix until well blended. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  • Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding
  • more cream if needed for desired spreading/piping consistency.
  • Scoop into a piping bag and pipe decoratively onto cupcakes, or spread onto cupcakes as desired.


** A lot of companies have downsized their cake mix boxes (grrrrrr), so you can make it with a slightly smaller mix, or get 2 boxes and add in a little from the second box to make it the stated size. I added a little extra, but I think overall, you'd be just fine if you wanted to use a slightly smaller box.
Author The Chunky Chef
Tried this recipe?Mention @the_chunky_chef or tag #thechunkychef!

If changing the recipe serving quantity, the recipe plugin will change the ingredient values for you, but it does NOT change the written instructions, those are manually added and not subject to a slider/button. You will have to extrapolate that multiplication to any amounts listed in the instructions.

For example: if an ingredient calls for 4 cups, and you doubled the recipe, it will automatically change to 8 cups. In the instructions, if I say “use 4 cups of cheese”, you will have to realize that since you doubled it, you use 8 cups, not 4



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Recipe Rating

42 comments on “Moist and delicious vanilla cupcakes”

  1. I was nervous to try because of the box cake. But they turned out perfect, moist and light. It worked perfectly.

  2. Hello! How many cupcakes does this recipe yield? Thank you 🙂

  3. Hi there, 
    Can I use this recipe to make a cake too?  Going to be making a cake and cupcakes for the party!  I’m excited to bake and try these!

    • Yes you can make a regular cake with this batter 🙂 I haven’t tested it to tell you the exact baking times… but I’d go by the instructions regarding baking time on the back of the cake mix box, and start checking for doneness around that time. You’ll want a toothpick inserted in the center to come out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.

      • Thank you!  I did (2) 9” round cake pans and put in oven for 35 minutes.  Came out perfectly and I’m making the icing now :). Smells wonderful, can’t wait to try tonight- then cupcakes tomorrow!  

  4. Did I read the frosting recipe right? Sour Cream? I love sour cream but I’m making cupcakes for a nephews bday and I don’t have the time to mess up lol looking forward to trying your recipes! 

  5. Hi I cam across this recipe and reay want to try. It’s really appealing.
    However. Can you confirm the box mix size again? 1 oz is 28 grams unlike 18 you mentioned. 1oz is a v small box. I have a 19 oz box and don’t think I need to multiply it by 19!

  6. instead of white cake mix, have you used this recipe with other boxed cake mixes? Does the recipe need to be adjusted?

  7. Hello I am also a mom of two beautiful princesses I also love to bake well I am just doing it for me and my family but now I just have a person who asked me to bake rum cupcakes for a party!!! OMG!!! I would love too but I am afraid to do something wrong, do you have a recipe for rum cupcakes?? I need to bake 54 cupcakes in total can you help me with this pleaseeeee. Thanksssss

  8. Congratulations!! Your recipe has been featured at Tickle My Tastebuds on my blog, Lori’s Culinary Creations. Hop on over and grab a feature button and link up your latest culinary creations. Congrats again.


  9. You brought the most delicious thing to our party! Thank you. Pinned and tweeted. We feel honored that you take the time to stop by our party. I hope to see you on tonight at 7 pm. We love to party with you! Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  10. Love that purple frosting! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  11. I absolutely love the color of the butter cream and the moist look of the cupcake! I am drooling, these look fabulous! Saying hello from the Wednesday round up!

  12. Oh my goodness, please pass the milk.Yum! Hugs P.S. I hope you will share at my hop on Thursday.♥

  13. The purple frosting caught my attention when I saw these cupcakes on Foodgawker! They look absolutely stunning!

  14. Pingback: Introducing ‘new’ bloggers #21 | thenotsocreativecook

  15. Your cupcakes look delicious and so pretty! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing this awesome post with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  16. I love cupcakes, eating and baking them… and the vanilla ones are my favorite 😀 loved your blog!

  17. I love your cupcakes! They look so cute and delicious! They look so pretty I almost don’t want to eat them
    Wow, I didn’t know there was a National Cupcake Day 😮 We probably don’t have that here in Belgium 🙁

  18. I saw that too, and like you, didn’t know such a day existed? Your cupcakes are beautiful. I like the rosette design. I am also pinning your recipe. It looks great!

  19. I have tasted these cupcakes and they’re so moist you want to eat more than one that’s for sure.