A perfectly simple vanilla cupcake recipe

About six years ago I stumbled upon a simple vanilla cupcake recipe which I desperately needed to make for my friend’s job farewell cupcakes. I searched on the net and I found this vanilla cupcake recipe by Natasha’s Kitchen that is very easy to make.

Since then I’ve made hundreds of vanilla cupcakes using the same recipe for so many occasions among family and friends. And every time I made them, everyone loved them. The cupcakes are so delightfully light and fluffy. Delicious.

As for me, I love making the cupcakes because even after I simplified the method to my own lazy style 😃, the cupcakes always turned out perfect every single time. When I said lazy method, I literally mean lazily mix both dry and wet ingredients using a hand-held mixer or blender. Whizz it for a minute, then that’s it. Your cupcake batter is ready for baking.

A versatile sponge cake recipe that is good for vegans and dairy intolerance too

After using this cupcake recipe so many times without fail, I was intrigued to play about and tweak the recipe. Mainly because I was curious if I can use the recipe for normal cake tins with the same quality of lightness and fluffiness. 

Marble sponge cake

I was blown by the result.

Because the cake turned out light and spongy BUT with a not-too-heavy richness at the same time. It was just perfect for a cake. Moreover, I was ecstatic because I managed to use my lazy method YET the result was an amazing cake. Yaaayyyy

Ever since I’ve also tried to vary the flavor of the cake using the same basic recipe. I’ve made vanilla yogurt cake, chocolate cake, marble cake, Dutch spiced cake, lemon cake, and Apple toffee cake. I’ve also tried the recipe using vegan options and non-dairy ingredients for my niece who has dairy-intolerance. She said the cake is the best. Happy. 😊

Here is the basic recipe, and I will explain how to vary and tweak the flavor on the top tips below.

A basic sponge cake recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ Cup plain flour
  • 1 ¼  tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 2 medium to large eggs
  • ½ Cup + 3 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract
  • ½ Cup of oil (see the note on top tips)
  • ¼ Cup of milk (see the note for vegan or dairy intolerance option)
  • ¼ Cup of yogurt (plain natural yogurt or Greek-style yogurt)

Lazy method:

Preheat the oven to Gas 3.5 or 170° C/ 325° F (depending on your oven)

Grease and flour your preferred cake tin (check the note on top tips). It should be able to hold around 1.5-litre liquid. I use a medium-sized cake bundt tin.

Put all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. If you want (most of the time I don’t do this 😃), you can sieve the flour.

dry and wet ingredients of sponge cake

Then measure and put the wet ingredients in a measuring jug. Give it a quick stir just until everything looks mingling and mixing.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a hand-held mixer or a hand-held blender you give the ingredients a whizz for a couple of minutes until the batter looks nicely mixed. 

Put the batter in the prepared tin, and bake for about 45 minutes until the top springs back when you touch the cake or a skewer comes out clean when you insert it in the middle of the cake.

Enjoy the cake with your cup of tea or coffee.

Top tips to make a variety of flavors for this simple sponge cake recipe

  • I’ve made the cake using different types of oil, and they all came out tasty. I’ve used sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil, and canola oil. In summer or when the weather is warm, I like to use melted butter. With the exact measure as the oil. The reason I don’t use butter in winter or when the weather is cold is because the butter will make the cake hard and definitely less spongy.
  • For the lemon sponge cake: put lemon zest out of one-two lemon. Reduce the milk (liquid) about 2 tbsp and replace it with 2 ½ tbsp of lemon juice.
  • For the chocolate cake: reduce the plain flour ¼ cup of it and substitute with ¼ cup of good quality cocoa powder. Then put ½ cup of white granulated sugar and ¼ + 2 tbsp of soft brown sugar. I would also reduce the milk to ¼ cup and add ¼ cup of hot dark coffee.
  • For chocolate marble cake: follow the basic recipe and when you put the batter in the tin, leave about ¼ – ⅓ cup of batter in the bowl, then add in a heaped teaspoon of cocoa powder. Mix it well and gently put in the tin on top of the basic white batter. Then using a skewer or toothpick, carefully swirl it around the batter until you see a marble looking pattern. But don’t overdo it. 
  • For the spiced cake: reduce the vanilla extract to one teaspoon and add one teaspoon of five-spice. I used the Dutch Speculaas spice mix.
  • For vegan: you can simply substitute the eggs with normal vegan eggs or if you have canned chickpeas or any canned beans in your pantry, you can use the liquid from the can to substitute the eggs. This liquid is called Aquafaba which is now popular as an egg replacement. 3 tablespoon of Aquafaba is equal to 1 whole egg. So for this recipe, you will need 6 tablespoons of Aquafaba. Note: unfortunately I haven’t tried using Aquafaba for this cake recipe though. But you can replace dairy milk and yogurt with non-dairy milk. I’ve tried rice milk, almond milk, and soya milk. They all gave me the same result with just a subtle difference in taste. So substitute the combined amount of dairy milk and yogurt with ½ cup of non-dairy milk and add one teaspoon of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
a vanilla sponge cake with vanilla buttercream

An easy cake recipe that easy to make with amazing sponginess

This cake recipe is so easy to make and always turns out tasty and spongy. The recipe is so versatile too that you can make it into any flavor that can satisfy your cravings.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: International
Keyword: chocolate sponge cake, lemon cake, spiced cake, sponge cake, vanilla cake, vanilla sponge cake
Servings: 12 pieces
Author: Devy
Cost: $2-5

Equipment

  • A Mixing bowl
  • A spatula
  • A hand mixer or blender
  • A measuring jug
  • A cake tin

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ Cup Plain flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp  baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 medium to large eggs
  • ½ Cup granulated sugar and 3 tablespoon
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ Cup Oil Sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil, or canola oil
  • ¼ Cup Milk See top tip notes
  • ¼ Cup Plain yogurt or Greek-style yogurt See top tip notes

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to Gas 3.5 or 170° C/ 325° F (depending on your oven)
  • Grease and flour your preferred cake tin (check the note on top tips). It should be able to hold around 1.5-liter liquid. I use a medium-sized cake bundt tin.
  • Put all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. If you want (most of the time I don’t do this 😃), you can sieve the flour.
  • Then measure and put the wet ingredients in a measuring jug. Give it a quick stir just until everything looks mingling and mixing.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a hand-held mixer or a hand-held blender you give the ingredients a whizz for a couple of minutes until the batter looks nicely mixed. 
  • Put the batter in the prepared tin, and bake for about 45 minutes until the top springs back when you touch the cake or a skewer comes out clean when you insert it in the middle of the cake.
  • Enjoy the cake with your cup of tea or coffee.

If you like the recipe, feel free to share it with family and friends. You can also have a look at my other recipes for more inspo:

The best Snow white butter cookies with only three ingredients.

Hassle-free and delicious sweet potato Dauphinoise.

Definitely yummy Indonesian sweetcorn fritters.

Easy to cook Indonesian sweet soy chicken that all your family and friends will love.

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Written by

Devy

Hi, I'm Devy. Relocating thousands of miles away from your homeland to a totally new place is exciting but it can be overwhelming too.