Moist Vanilla Sourdough Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

These vanilla sourdough cupcakes are so moist and tender that they’ll be the best cupcakes you’ll ever have. Best of all, this easy recipe is quick to make! 

sourdough vanilla cupcakes on a table. has buttercream frosting and sprinkles

If you’re searching for the most perfect sourdough cupcakes, I’ve got you covered!

Out of all the sourdough recipes I’ve made, this by far is one of my favorites. The cupcakes are on a level of its own; these surpass the quality of cupcakes from a professional bakery. 

A vanilla sourdough discard cupcake with a bite taken out of it. There are sprinkles and vanilla frosting on top.
Look at that moist and tender crumb!

Why You’ll Love This Sourdough Cupcakes Recipe

  • This sourdough recipe is quick! You can be eating delicious cupcakes within 45 minutes
  • ULTRA MOIST AND TENDER cupcakes! None of that dry stuff your aunt makes at family get-togethers.
  • Packed with flavor
  • Perfect dessert for the entire family (even your picky kids will love them)
  • Simple ingredients that are easy to find
  • Easy to make!

Key Ingredients For Sourdough Cupcakes

Ingredients on a table: flour, eggs, melted butter, sugar, kosher salt, sourdough discard, milk, baking soda, and baking powder
  • Flour: All Purpose is the base for these cupcakes
  • Sugar: For sweetness
  • Baking Soda: Leavening agent
  • Baking Powder: Leavening agent
  • Kosher Salt: Flavor enhancer that all foods need
  • Melted Unsalted Butter: Melted and at room temperature
  • 3 Egg Whites: Can be boxed or from whole eggs
  • Vanilla Extract: Gives lots of flavor to these cupcakes
  • Sour Cream: Aids in making the cupcakes ultra moist
  • Whole Milk: Milk adds moisture
  • Sourdough Starter Discard: The sour tang gives the best flavor to cupcakes
  • Optional Topping: Sprinkles!

For best results, check out my Baking Conversion Chart. I list cup measurements, weight in grams, and even the brands of ingredients that I use.

a cupcake with the liner taken off. There are sprinkles and also piped frosting on top.

Ingredients For The Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

The frosting we will use for these cupcakes is American buttercream. It is the easiest frosting to make and is delicious.

  • Butter: Needs to be room temperature or else your buttercream will be chunky.
  • Powdered Sugar: Sifted, to remove any chunks. Our goal is a smooth butercream
  • Vanilla Extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor!
  • Heavy Cream: Gives maximum creaminess and richness. However, whole milk is perfectly acceptable.
  • Kosher Salt: This will enhance the taste! Trust me, even sweet frostings will benefit from added salt.
Three sourdough discard cupcakes on a table with sprinkles and vanilla buttercream frosting

Ingredient Substitutions

  • All Purpose Flour: You can use cake flour and even bread flour if that’s all you have. I have yet to use whole wheat flour in this recipe 
  • White Sugar: Substitute with brown sugar or coconut sugar.
  • Melted Butter: You can substitute butter with vegetable oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil. I don’t recommend olive oil since that pairs well with savory foods.
  • Sourdough Discard Substitution: Add an additional ⅓ cup milk and ⅔ cup flour. On the other hand, you can also use an active sourdough starter.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: I highly recommend you do not substitute this. 
  • Milk: Heavy cream, or any plant based milk

If you don’t have a sourdough starter, read my guide on how to make a sourdough starter at home.

Step-By-Step Photos Of Sourdough Discard Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

Scroll down for the printable Sourdough Vanilla Cupcakes recipe card

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the cupcake liners in the cupcake tin.

mixing the dry ingredients together for sourdough cupcakes recipe

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt) into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together. Make sure the flour mixture is thoroughly combined.

separating egg yolks from egg whites. Then, adding milk into the bowl

In a medium bowl, add the wet ingredients (melted butter, egg whites, vanilla extract, sour cream, milk and sourdough discard). Whisk together until combined.

adding wet ingredients to make sourdough cupcake batter

Add the wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients. Mix until combined.

Fill the cupcake liners ⅔ of the way full.

Bake cupcakes for 18 minutes or until the tops are springy to the touch. You can use a toothpick or cake tester as well.

Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack before frosting. 

How To Make The Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla buttercream frosting is easy to make! All it takes is five minutes. 

  1. Place the room temperature butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream on medium speed for one to two minutes.
  2. Add the powdered sugar in batches. Then, add salt, heavy cream and pure vanilla extract. Mix until fluffy.
  3. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag
  4. Pipe the vanilla buttercream on each cupcake

If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use an electric mixer. However, I don’t recommend making frosting by hand since it will take ten minutes of whisking. It’ll be quite the workout!

cupcakes on a cooling rack. someone is holding a cupcake and took a bite out of it.

Tips For The Perfect Sourdough Vanilla Cupcakes

  • For best results, use room temperature ingredients. 
  • Make sure the flour mixture is thoroughly combined before adding the wet ingredients. This will lead to more consistent cupcakes.
  • Don’t overmix the batter. Overmixing will develop the gluten in the flour, which leads to a tough texture for baked goods. Just mix until there are no more dry bits of flour. Check out my step-by-step photos for the correct cupcake batter consistency.
  • Do not overfill the cupcake liners. 
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before piping the frosting.
  • Store properly to keep moist for days!

How Much Cupcake Batter Do I Put In Each Liner?

You’ll want to fill the paper liners until they are ⅔ of the way full. Why? Because the batter gets support from the liners. It climbs up the paper as it rises. 

one underfilled cupcake liner, one overfilled cupcake liner, and one 2/3ds of the way full
For perfect cupcakes, fill the liners 2/3 full.

Check out the picture of a baking experiment I did with the sourdough cupcake batter. If they are underfilled, then you’ll have sad looking cupcakes. Overfilled, and the cupcake will overflow and be lopsided!

How To Store Sourdough Cupcakes to Keep Them Moist

To keep these sourdough cupcakes moist, they will need to be kept in an airtight container. Air will dry out cupcakes, so it’s best to place them in an airtight container as soon as possible.

Storing Frosted Cupcakes

Frosted cupcakes will stay fresh in an airtight container for 3-4 days at room temperature (source: Southern Living). You can eat any leftover cupcakes the next day. However, if the frosting has any dairy, you’ll want to store them in the refrigerator.

Storing Unfrosted Cupcakes

The best way to store cupcakes to eat for later! You can always frost them whenever you’re ready to eat them for ultimate freshness.

Steps:

  1. Wrap the cupcakes with plastic wrap and place in an airtight container
  2. Leave at room temperature for up to four days. Or, freeze them if you don’t plan on eating them soon.
  3. Defrost on the counter
  4. Add frosting when ready to eat.
Mooist sourdough discard vanilla cupcakes on a cake stand. There is a piping bag filled with vanilla frosting

Other Sourdough Discard Recipes You May Like

Easy Sourdough Banana Pancakes With Discard

Simple Apple Sourdough Muffins With Applesauce

Easy And Quick Sourdough Crepe Recipe

Best Sourdough Apple Fritters With Sourdough Discard

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Printable Sourdough Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe Card

Sourdough cupcakes with vanilla frosting and sprinkles
4.75 from 4 votes

Moist Sourdough Discard Vanilla Cupcakes

These vanilla sourdough cupcakes are so moist and tender that they'll be the best cupcakes you'll ever have. They're so easy to make!
Xena
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 16 Cupcakes

Ingredients
 
 

For The Cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter Melted
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Sourdough Discard

For The Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 1/2 Cups Unsalted Butter Room Temperature (three sticks)
  • 3 1/4 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Instructions
 

For The Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the cupcake liners in the cupcake pan.
  • Sift the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt) into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together.
  • In a medium bowl, add the wet ingredients (melted butter, egg whites, vanilla extract, sour cream, milk and sourdough discard). Whisk together until combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
  • Fill the cupcake liners ⅔ of the way full.
  • Bake for 18 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes are springy to the touch.

For The Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • Place the room temperature butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream on medium speed for one to two minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar in batches. Then, add salt, heavy cream and pure vanilla extract. Mix until fluffy.
  • Transfer the frosting into a piping bag. Pipe the vanilla buttercream on each cupcake

Notes

  • Check out my post for step-by-step instructional photos. They’re extremely helpful!
  • For best results, use room temperature ingredients.
  • When mixing the wet ingredients, don’t worry if there are lumps of butter. 
  • Don’t overmix the batter. Overmixing will develop the gluten in the flour, which leads to a tough texture for baked goods. Just mix until there are no more dry bits of flour. Check out my step-by-step photos for the correct cupcake batter consistency.
  • Other Sourdough Recipes You May Like:
Freshly baked sourdough apple muffins. With a bowl of applesauce and oatmeal.
Simple Apple Sourdough Muffins With Applesauce

sourdough banana pancakes with sliced bananas on top. Someone is pouring maple syrup on the pancakes
Fluffy Sourdough Banana Pancakes

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