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National Vanilla Cupcake Day

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Get ready for November 10, 2023!

Some people think that “vanilla” is synonymous with “boring,” but National Vanilla Cupcake Day is dedicated to dispelling that myth. The very first cupcakes date back to the late 18th century and took their name from the small ramekins or cups in which they were baked. We’ve come a long way since then—now, cupcakes are miniature, edible works of art that are almost too pretty to eat.

Vanilla Cupcake Historical Timeline

15th Century: Aztecs and the (Vanilla) Beanstalk. The Totonac people of the Aztec Empire were the first to cultivate the vanilla bean.

1776: Cupcakes are Born. The first cupcake recipe was created; a light cake baked in small cups. However many consider the original American recipe to be written in 1796 when a recipe notation for a cake to be baked in small cups was written in American Cookery (by Amelia Simmons).

1828: The earliest known documentation of the term cupcake was in 1828 in Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats in Eliza Leslie's Receipts cookbook.

1919: Hostess with the mostest. Hostess created its first ever snack cake - the famous Hostess Cupcake.

1920s: Experimenting with Toppings. The idea for frosting cupcakes started with the options of chocolate or vanilla frosting.

Vanilla Cupcakes are Easy to Make

Cupcakes are super easy to make to make. Here is a simple and delicious recipe for this national treasure from our friends at

Ingredients are Available at any Morton Williams


  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour

  • 2 cups (414g) sugar

  • 3 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 cup (240ml) milk

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup (240ml) water*


  • 1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2–3 tbsp (30-45ml) water or milk

  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.

  2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.

  3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.

  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.

  5. Slowly add the water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined. Please note that the batter will be very thin.

  6. Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.

  7. Remove the cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

  8. To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large mixer bowl until smooth.

  9. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.

  10. Add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of water or milk and mix until smooth.

  11. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.

  12. Add remaining water or milk, as needed, and salt and mix until smooth.

  13. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.

Pick up all of your ingredients at any Morton Williams or order for home delivery!

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