Sweet Tooth Fairy’s VaNIElla Squared Cupcake Copycat Recipe

You just can’t beat a perfect vanilla cupcake with out of this world vanilla icing. Let me introduce you to the Sweet Tooth Fairy’s VaNIElla Squared Cupcake Copycat. The cupcakes used to be called Vanilla Squared until the shop decided to change the name to honor one of its biggest fans – Stephanie Nielsen from Nie Nie Dialogues.

I’m a lover of all things cupcake. Try these yummy treats too: Pink Lemonade Cupcakes, Cherry Chip Cupcakes and Pumpkin Cupcakes with Whipped Cinnamon Icing.

Sweet Tooth Fairy's VaNIElla Squared Cupcake Copycat Recipe

Sweet Tooth Fairy’s VaNIElla Squared Cupcake Copycat

If the title Sweet Tooth Fairy’s VaNIElla Squared Cupcake Copycat Recipe doesn’t mean much to you, let me explain. Sweet Tooth Fairy is a cupcake shop in Utah (the owner was on Cupcake Wars and won!) and the VaNIElla Squared cupcakes are one of their most delicious (and popular) cupcake flavors ever.

Stephanie Nielsen has an incredible story. Her blog bio sums it up well. “My blog began in 2005. I write daily about whatever I am doing, mostly about my five children, my husband Christian (Mr. Nielson), my struggles, my blessings and my strong Mormon faith. In 2008, Christian and I were in an airplane crash. I was burned over 80% of my body. I am living a beautiful life despite pain and challenges.”

I’ve been reading her blog since 2008 and I just love that woman. She is strong, kind, feminine, and a mother. She’s inspired me in ways that she’ll never know. To prove how much I enjoy her, here are some fun little fact. When she hiked the Y for the first time in 2009 I went to support her and met her for the first time. Later in 2010 while we were living in Provo I actually just lived a few blocks from her home. In a blog post she mentioned that she was having a bad day so I made her a pumpkin roll, took it to her house with a note, was too embarrassed to knock, and just left it on the door step. If I were her I would have thrown that food from a stranger away! Can you tell my love language is food though? When her book came out I read it and decided I liked her even more. The book, Heaven Is Here, is amazing and I highly recommend it. She has such a painful yet inspiring story! Being burned alive and living to tell the tale with truth and grace really is a testament to who she is.

When I found out that she was going to be the keynote speaker at the Women’s Forum in Kanab this spring I got so very excited! I bought a few copies of the book for her to sign and decided that I need a gift to take. Her favorite cupcakes were an obvious choice. Recipe testing commenced and about a month later I had created a nearly perfect copycat of her favorite VaNIElla Squared cupcakes from Sweet Tooth Fairy. These are SO good! The crumb of the cupcake is moist and sturdy and that icing will change your life. I can’t wait for you to try these.

How high do you fill cupcake liners?

You will want to fill the cupcake liners 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. If you fill them liners to the top, the cupcake will overflow and you’ll have a big mess on your hands.

Do you spray cupcake liners?

A little non- stick spray on the cupcake liners is never a bad idea. You don’t want the cupcake sticking to the paper because you need every last bite!

How long do cupcakes need to cool before frosting them?

Let the cupcakes cool completely before attempting to frost. This is usually 30-45 minutes.

Sweet Tooth Fairy's VaNIElla Squared Cupcake Copycat Recipe


Sweet Tooth Fairy’s VaNIElla Squared Cupcake Copycat Recipe

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths-Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 10min
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 12 cupcakes 1x


You just can’t beat a perfect vanilla cupcake with out of this world vanilla icing!



For the Cupcakes

  • 1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 3/4 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 45 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a whisk to combine them. In a separate medium bowl add the melted butter and the sugar. Stir to combine (will be gritty). Add the egg whites, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract to the sugar mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir until just incorporated. The batter will be thick.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 lined cups. Bake for around 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Let the cupcakes rest for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan. Allow to cool before frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. Add the butter to the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix on medium speed with the whisk attachment until the butter is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, Add cream, extracts, salt, and 2.5 cups of the powdered sugar. Mix on low until combined and then increase speed to medium and whip for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the icing 1/2 to a 1/4 cup at a time to until you reach the desired consistency.
  2. The constancy of the icing is important if you are going to pile it high on a cupcake. It should be a medium consistency. If you mix the batch of icing with a metal teaspoon (the kind you use for dinner) it should stand up straight in the middle of the bowl when it is in the icing. So, you should be able to stir it with a spoon by hand but it should also be sturdy enough to hold the spoon up. If the icing is too thick, add a little cream. If it needs to be a little thicker add a 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and whip to combine until it’s sturdy enough.
  3. Place in an icing bag and pipe on the cool cupcakes with tip 2A


I don’t normally use a lot of different extracts but they are the secret to the Sweet Tooth Fairy Copycat. They add just a subtle difference that you hardly notice but make this icing amazing. And if you aren’t coconut fans, don’t worry, it doesn’t taste “coconuty”.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 12 SERVING SIZE: 1 Cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 414.3 Fat: 26.2g Cholesterol: 99.5mg Sodium: 198.3mg Carbohydrates: 42.7g Sugars: 34.7g Protein: 3.2g Vitamin A: 233.5µg Vitamin C: 1mg

Keywords: Sweet Tooth Fairy copycat recipe, vanilla cupcake recipe, Dessert, Frosting, Cupcake

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Try these other tasty cakes and cupcakes:

I know you will just love this Sweet Tooth Fairy’s VaNIElla Squared Cupcake Copycat Recipe. You just can’t go wrong with the perfect cupcake and this delicious icing.



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About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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These look so good! Have you tried using the recipe to make a whole cake instead of cupcakes? If so, any necessary changes?

Seriously, this is the BEST vanilla cupcake recipe I’ve ever made! ?? The cakes are moist and chewy and not crumbly. The texture is fantastic. I used Bulgarian yogurt instead of sour cream. It took me about 22 minutes to bake them. The batter made 16 cup cakes. I didn’t change one thing about the ingredients for the cakes.

The frosting is probably more buttery for my taste but still really good. I used only 2.5 cups of sugar as I like less sugary frostings (maybe that’s why it was more buttery). I also added extra from the extracts. The combination of flavors are very good together. The consistency of the frosting is perfect for piping.

Thank you SO much for sharing your recipe.

I’m glad she was kind to you.. I met her when I worked in the service industry and was very sweet and attentive to her, but I found her to be extremely rude, curt, dismissive, and condescending. Maybe she is nicer at publicity events or doesn’t think much of service people, but it really soured me on her and on the Mormon church.

Looks amazing. Have you tried doubling this recipe or should I just make two batches?

Can you make these a day ahead? If so how do you store them?

This is my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe. I love how dense and moist they are (in a good way)–they aren’t so dry like regular cake mix cupcakes can be. Made them for my two-year-old’s birthday on Saturday and they were perfect.

Looks like a yummy recipe. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect vanilla cupcake. Might have to try this recipe.

When do you add the salt when mixing the icing?

These look divine! Can you substitute vanilla extract for the coconut? I don’t have any coconut extract. 🙂 My fav cake/frosting is the classic – chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting, baby! 😉

yum and yum! I can’t wait to try these cupcakes–I even have all the ingredients! I love it when that happens 🙂

Those look delicious. I loved hearing Stephanie’s story at the Women’s Forum too.

White on white cupcakes are my FAVORITE!!

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.