My favourite vanilla sponge cake recipe

The best vanilla butterfly cupcake recipe

Hey guys! Today’s blog post is all about how to make my basic vanilla cupcake recipe and my super simple vanilla buttercream recipe. In my opinion, this is the BEST basic cake recipe you can find- though if you have a different favourite cupcake recipe please don’t be offended! This is just one that I’ve found works the best for me 🙂

I’ve used this same recipe ever since I started baking with my gran back when I was a toddler, and it has never failed me yet. This method is the foundation for many of the other cupcake recipes that you can find on this blog, such as my peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes and my strawberry and cream cupcakes, as it can be easily adapted to produce all sorts of wonderful flavours. It’s super easy, super tasty and super versatile- result!

Once you’ve cracked this recipe, you’ll have access to a whole world of new and exciting cake flavours at your finger tips!

Homemade simple vanilla butterfly cupcakes recipe

The cupcakes pictured here are my butterfly cupcakes, but I use the exact same recipe for my classic Victoria spongecake. If you’re interested in making your own, find the recipe below!

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes- all quantities should be doubled if you wish to make a Victoria sponge cake):

For the cake:

  • 4oz unsalted butter or margarine (I use Stork margarine in all of my bakes)
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 4oz self raising flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extractHomemade vanilla cupcakes

For the buttercream:

  • 8oz icing sugar
  • 4oz margarine (You can also use unsalted butter but I find this makes the buttercream too sweet for my taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Homemade vanilla butterfly cupcakesMethod:

To make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C fan/375F/gas mark 5 and line a cupcake tray with twelve cupcake cases.
  2. Cream together the butter/margarine and the sugar.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each.
  4. Sieve in the remaining flour and fold the mixture together.
  5. Add in the vanilla extract and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
  6. Distribute the cake mix evenly amongst the twelve cake cases, each should be around two thirds full.
  7. Pop the cakes in the oven for 15 minutes or so, until the tops have just started to turn golden brown. Top tip: you can check to see if your cakes are cooked by putting a knife in and seeing if it comes out clean. 
  8. Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool.P1220656

To make the buttercream icing:

  1. Cube the margarine.
  2. Cream the margarine and icing sugar together. This will take a while, be patient. Don’t use an electric whisk, your icing sugar will go everywhere! Begin mixing by hand, using a wooden spoon. When your icing sugar is thoroughly mixed in, you can use an electric whisk to finish creaming the buttercream and add the vanilla extract.
  3. P1230024

Ta da! It’s that easy.

If you wish to make butterfly cupcakes like I did, use a knife to cut a small circle out of the top of each of your cakes, as shown below. Pipe buttercream into the hole, before cutting the circle of cake in half and popping this on the top of the buttercream like two butterfly wings! Dust with some icing sugar to finish off and there you have it 🙂


There you have it, my favourite sponge cake recipe. I love the simplicity of this recipe- and I’m yet to find a sponge cake that tastes as good! It’s a super easy method that has been delighting my family and friends alike for almost twenty years; I hope that it brings you some tasty cupcake goodness too!

Best wishes to you all for the weekend,

Maddie x