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Vanilla Cupcakes with a Healthier Cream Cheese Frosting (VIDEO)

Updated: May 15

I hope you'll make this recipe soon. If you do, please tag me #innichka_chef on Instagram, Facebook, Patreon or Pinterest.

vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

These incredible vanilla cupcakes are my "go to" for cupcakes. They are light and fluffy, with just the right amount of sweetness. Tender and soft, you can’t go wrong with these cupcakes. Decorate them with a healthier cream cheese frosting and feel very safe to serve them to the children.

cupcakes on a cooling rack

Today is my youngest son's birthday (you will see this post much later). And as my emotions go above the roof, I can't get my head wrapped around the fact that Johnny is already 6. They grow way too fast.

Take a look at this video:

How this boy grows from a tiny, tiny baby to a big and smart boy!


I can't believe I have not published this recipe earlier. It's my true "go to"  FOR VANILLA CUPCAKES or CAKE.

  • I think everyone needs a quick and easy vanilla cupcake/cake recipe that they can make in a pinch. I have made many cupcakes over the past years and this is our favorite so far.  You can literally come home from work and have cupcakes in the oven 10 minutes later.

  • These cupcakes stay moist for several days and they’re packed with vanilla flavor.

  • I topped these cupcakes this time with a healthier cream cheese frosting, but you feel free to use any frosting you like.

  • I think cream cheese frosting is a good combo, but if you are in love with a classic buttercream go head and use it.

  • In fact, this recipe can be made into a regular cake, Bundt cake, sheet cake, mini cupcakes ... anything, and it will come out perfectly; only the baking time will vary.


A few years ago I published this recipe under the chocolate Bundt cake. But this recipe is fantastic for regular cake, sheet cake, cupcakes, mini cupcakes, etc.

cake chocolate with chocolate ganache

Also my oldest son likes this recipe for chocolate cupcakes, he is true chocoholic.

chocolate cake and cupcakes


This cream cheese frosting is sweetened with maple syrup.

YES! Natural sweetener, minimal processed, beautiful golden color. You can use honey as well. These are my favorite ways to sweeten things in a more natural and healthier way. Sweetener is done, but now we need a way to thicken things up just a bit so that the frosting stays on our cake. The simple solution would be a corn starch or arrowroot powder.

Yes, I know that corn starch sounds weird, but all you need is a tablespoon or two and it does the trick nicely. A little milk to give it a spreadable consistency and we have frosting perfection.

I must mention, I didn't do this step in the video. Instead, I placed the frosting into the fridge for a half hour or so to thicken it up and then it is ready for decoration.


  • Using a cookie scoop or measuring cup to fill the pan will ensure that there’s an even amount of batter in each cupcake liner. This means the baking times will also be consistent. 

  • Use an oven thermometer:   most ovens take much longer to preheat than you think. Using an oven thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your oven will help ensure it’s not over or under heated. Baked cupcake should reach to 180 F is the temperature you are looking for.

  • Using cream cheese and butter for frosting at room temperature.

  • Change up the frosting: This cupcake is so versatile. Try adding some classic vanilla buttercream frosting or dairy free coconut frosting.

Let's do it...

Prep time: 10 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Author:  Inna of 

Serves:16-17 cupcakes

ingredients for cupcakes

Ingredients for the cake

1& 1/4 cups raw cane sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1& 1/2 cups milk (any milk works great here)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

ingredients for the cream cheese frosting

Ingredients for healthier Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

8 oz butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup maple syrup


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners or silicone cups.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt.   Mix everything with a hand whisk.

  • Add olive oil, milk, apple cider, and vanilla extract. Mix everything together very well.

  • Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full.

  • Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a kitchen thermometer into the center of the cupcake. If the temperature comes to 175-180F, the cupcakes are done.

  • Let them cool just for few minutes, then transfer onto a cooling rack until they reach room temperature.

  • For the frosting, add butter and cream cheese into an electric mixing bowl with whisk attachment.

  • Whip for a few minutes, add vanilla extract and maple syrup. Keep whisking until everything incorporates. Make sure everything is scraped from the walls of the bowl.

  • Then move to the fridge for a half hour to cool down and harden up a bit and then using piping, decorate the cupcakes as you desire. Or use the other method. (Add 1 tablespoon of corn starch and mix well until everything is incorporated. At this point you can add 1 more teaspoon of cornstarch if you feel like it is needed, or thin it out with 1 teaspoon of milk).


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