Recipe Review

These Easy Vanilla Cupcakes Stay Moist for Days (They’re the Perfect Make-Ahead Treat)

published Aug 3, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Jocelyn Delk Adams, aka Grandbaby Cakes, is one of my absolute favorite bakers. Her recipes — from her carrot cake to her chicken and dumplings — have never let me down. So when picking out recipes to include in our vanilla cupcake showdown, I knew I needed to include hers.

Delk Adams’ recipe calls for both sour cream and vegetable oil, so I had high hopes that it was going to turn out moist. I went to my kitchen and baked up a batch to find out.

Get the recipe: Vanilla Cupcakes

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make Grandbaby Cakes’ Vanilla Cupcakes

Grandbaby Cakes’ cupcake recipe is delightfully easy and comes together in no time. You’ll start by adding oil and butter to the bowl of a mixer and mixing on high speed. Slowly add in sugar and beat until fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix to combine. Finally, add a generous amount of sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract, and mix until smooth. Scoop the batter into 2 cupcake pans lined with cupcake liners (this recipe makes 28 cupcakes, so you’ll actually need to bake one more batch for the final 4) and bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make your frosting. (I used Grandbaby Cakes’ American buttercream recipe.) In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and salt. Slowly add in confectioners’ sugar until smooth and thick. Add heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix once more until smooth. Frost the cupcakes once cooled.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of Grandbaby Cakes’ Vanilla Cupcakes

The texture of these cupcakes was incredible. They were impossibly moist and dense in the most luxurious way imaginable. They had the texture of pound cake but were still somehow delicate. The combination of sour cream and vegetable oil made the cake an absolute dream to eat and kept them moist for days. I had never experienced such a moist cupcake before and was blown away by their texture.

I also loved how intense the vanilla flavor was. It wasn’t overwhelming, but definitely strong. The recipe was simple to make and came together quickly, and I appreciated how easy the frosting was to make as well. If you’re looking for a classic, quality cupcake recipe that mimics the texture of pound cake, this is a great option for you.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making Grandbaby Cakes’ Vanilla Cupcakes, a Few Tips

  1. Use a neutral oil. This recipe uses vegetable oil in the batter to help keep the cupcakes moist. Double check that whatever oil you’re using is flavorless: canola, safflower, or vegetable oil are all great options.
  2. Bring the sour cream to room temperature. This will prevent lumps in the batter and make mixing everything together easier.
  3. Use the full amount of vanilla extract. One tablespoon of vanilla extract might seem like a lot, but it gives these cupcakes their seriously delicious flavor.
  4. Bake the cupcakes the day before frosting them. Because these cupcakes are so moist, you can get away with baking them in advance without worrying they will dry out. Even after sitting on the counter for several days after baking, the cupcakes were still perfectly moist.

Rating: 9.5/10

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Have you tried Grandbaby Cakes’ vanilla cupcake recipe? Let us know in the comments!