Homemade Cupcake Recipes

A cupcake with green frosting.

Homemade cupcake recipes are some of the most fun to prepare and bake. They range from simple to complex, and the decorating can be as easy as spreading some frosting with a knife or as complicated as piping dozens of intricate rosettes and dropping dragées on each finished cupcake.

Ideal for birthday parties, classroom celebrations, and even dinner parties, cupcakes are a neat individual dessert in a compact package that pleases almost everyone.

One of the Best Homemade Cupcake Recipes

This yellow-cake recipe makes 12 standard cupcakes and is adapted from Elinor Klivans's book Cupcakes!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or a mixture of all-purpose and cake flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Using a large bowl and an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the egg and egg yolk with the sugar until thick and thoroughly combined, about two to three minutes.
  4. Turn the mixer speed down and add the oil and vanilla.
  5. Add the sour cream, and continue mixing until completely blended.
  6. Add the flour mixture in three intervals, and mix until the batter is smooth and all ingredients are combined.
  7. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick test comes out clean.

Cupcake Tips

  • Most recipes for regular cakes will also work as homemade cupcake recipes (one standard cake recipe usually makes 12 cupcakes), but it's always best to seek out cupcake-specific recipes if possible.
  • You can adjust the basic yellow-cake recipe above to make almost any flavor of cupcake. For chocolate cupcakes, add cocoa powder and melted chocolate. For almond cupcakes, try almond extract and almond paste. You can also add fruit, chocolate chips, extracts, or a variety of other flavorings.
  • Cupcakes don't need to bake as long as regular cakes do, and they can brown quickly, so keep an eye on them. Try checking the oven after half the baking time to judge how many more minutes they need to bake.
  • For flat cupcakes that can be mounded with frosting, fill batter cups just more than halfway. For domed cupcakes or cupcakes that puff over the edges, fill cups two-thirds full or nearly up to the top of the liners.
  • One standard 12-cupcake recipe will usually make six "giant" (one-cup capacity) cupcakes or about 40 mini cupcakes.
  • If you'd like to make filled cupcakes, you can use a sharp knife to carve a cone out of the middle of each cooled cupcake. Cut the bottoms off the cones (so only circle tops remain), pipe each cupcake with filling, and replace the cake circles on top. Then frost the cupcakes as normal.
  • Filling paper cupcake liners can be messy, so try using piping bags or ice-cream scoops.
  • Cupcakes with fresh whipped cream on top should be stored in the refrigerator or eaten immediately, but other cupcakes (even those with buttercream frosting) can be stored at room temperature for several days, covered with plastic wrap or secured in an airtight container. Most cupcakes don't freeze very well and may get stale if stored in the refrigerator.
A cupcake decorated with flowers.

More Cupcake Information

  • One of the best parts of decorating cupcakes is the potential creativity involved. Seasonal decorations work well, and basic equipment like a few piping bags and frosting tips can take you far. Cupcake toppers and other decorations are available on sites such as Bake It Pretty. Cupcakes can also be topped with fresh fruit.
  • For the latest cupcake news and fun cupcake-baking information, try following blogs such as Cupcakes Take the Cake.
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Homemade Cupcake Recipes