Heat oven to 350° F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer fit with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, stirring after each addition.
Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating it with the milk and mixing just until incorporated. Add the vanilla and combine.
Divide the batter among 12 cupcake tins with paper liners. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting or decorating.
To freeze: Leave the cupcakes undecorated. Place the plain cupcakes in a large resealable plastic bag. Store for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature, about 40 minutes.