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This Cream Cheese Vanilla Cupcakes recipe is made lighter by using low-fat cream cheese and Greek yogurt. Replacing the usual butter with Greek yogurt still gives the frosting an airy light density without the extra fat. This recipe is versatile to make all year round for any occasion with any decorations/toppings!
This is a go-to recipe for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and Fourth of July celebrations. It’s a simple base cupcake recipe that you can dress up, decorate and devour for any occasion!
Ingredients & substitutions
- Flour: Use all purpose flour for this recipe or cake flour for a lighter texture.
- Baking powder: To allow the cupcakes to rise during baking and get nice and fluffy.
- Salt: For flavor. Just a little makes all the difference.
- Eggs: To bind the dry ingredients together.
- Sugar: Any type of granulated sugar works here for the cupcakes; for example cane sugar.
- Vanilla extract: For sweetness and flavor.
- Vegetable oil: This cupcake recipe replaces butter with oil so that the cupcakes are super light rather than dense.
- Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt adds moisture to the cakes as well as a little extra protein, but you can substitute it with equal parts butter if you prefer.
- Cream cheese frosting: Cream cheese, honey, heavy cream and vanilla extract or use store-bought to make it easier.
How to make vanilla cupcakes
Make the cupcake batter
- Place the sugar and eggs into a bowl.
- Whisk to combine.
- Add the yogurt and combine.
- Fold in the dry ingredients until well blended.
- Pour the batter into cupcake liners.
- Bake until cooked through and golden brown.
Make the frosting & frost the cupcakes
Beat the cream cheese, then add in the honey and vanilla before whipping in the cream. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature to make it easier.
When the cupcakes are cooled, pipe on the cream cheese frosting. You don’t even need a piping bag though and can simply use a ziplock bag for this step.
Tips for making cupcakes
- Adjust the frosting ingredients depending on how sweet you like it. If you like a tangier frosting, start with ¼ cup of honey and add more honey to taste. This will also depend on the type of honey you use since some are sweeter and more flavorful.
- Don’t over mix the batter when you add the flour. Over mixing can cause the gluten to over develop and the cupcakes won’t rise much.
- Use a hand mixer for the quickest and easiest way to make these cupcakes. You can mix the batter by hand or with an electric mixer, but be sure to get everything well combined and keep in mind it will take a little longer.
- Use room temperature ingredients. This will help everything to combine more easily and your cupcakes will have a more even texture. This goes for the batter and the frosting.
Frequently asked questions
Both unfrosted and frosted cupcakes will keep well for 3 days in an airtight container. If you have frosted the cupcakes keep them refrigerated. Unfrosted ones can be kept at room temperature.
Both the cupcakes and the frosting are freezer friendly. The cooled cupcakes should be wrapped individually before being placed in a freezer bag, and the frosting can be frozen in an airtight container. Both can be kept for up to 3 months.
Frosting should be thawed in the fridge overnight and cupcakes can defrost at room temperature for a couple of hours.
These vanilla cupcakes are perfect in their simplicity, but you can easily add your own flare to them with the decorations! You can add food coloring to the frosting if you like, and decorate with sprinkles or shaved chocolate. This is a great recipe that can easily be adapted to suit any occasion!
More cake recipes:
- Sfouf (Turmeric Cake)
- Cranberry Lemon Cake
- Crumbly Nutella Mugcake
- Olive Oil Cake
- Cinnamon Coffee Crumb Cake
- Birthday Mug Cake
- Baked Oats (Looks like Cake!)
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Vanilla Cupcakes recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Vanilla Cupcakes with Frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese softened.
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until well blended. Add the vanilla and vegetable oil, beating until incorporated. Add the yogurt and whisk until everything is smooth.
- Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined and no lumps remain.
- Scoop or pour batter into lined muffin pan, filling the cups about ¾ full.
- Bake for 14 -16 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a rack.
Make the frosting:
- With a stand mixer or hand beaters, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.
- Add the honey and vanilla and beat until smooth and light.
- Add the cream, beating until the frosting is light and fluffy and completely smooth, 2-3 minutes more on high.
- Cover the frosting and chill in the fridge until ready to pipe.
- When the cupcakes are cooled, pipe on the cream cheese frosting using a large tipped piping nozzle or a Ziploc bag with a hole cut from one corner.
Frosting should be thawed in the fridge overnight and cupcakes can defrost at room temperature for a couple of hours. Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.