Yellow Cupcake Recipe

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This Yellow Cupcake Recipe is made  from scratch is a better than cake mix! It’s a classic cupcake topped with chocolate fudge frosting and sprinkles. You’ll love how light and fluffy these are. 

A close up shot of a perfect yellow cupcake with a big swirl of chocolate frosting and sprinkles

Easy yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting

If you are familiar with the Moist Yellow Cake Recipe, then you know that I tested 4-6 recipes for yellow cake and two cake-mix versions in order to find the perfect yellow cake. Well it also makes for an amazing cupcake!

Of course, my yellow cupcakes would be covered with a fudgy chocolate frosting because DUH! The frosting is rich, which is a perfect contrast to the cupcake because it’s not overly sweet.

You’ll absolutely love these. You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy these, but they do make a perfect birthday cupcake!

What makes these cupcakes so good

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I use to love baking with cake mix. Slowly over the last year, my love for cake mix has been fading away. When I was testing yellow cake recipes and tasting them next to yellow cake mix, I truly understood how artificial they tasted. 

I truly believe these are better than cake mix. These are moist and fluffy but  they’re denser  with a much tighter crumb than what you’ll find with a cake mix. There’s so much more flavor in these cupcakes and if you were to taste them side by side, you’d agree, there’s no competition. 

This recipe uses a combination of oil and melted butter, so it’s easy to throw together. There’s also egg and egg yolks for richness and a tender crumb. Lastly the two powder ingredients, sour cream and buttermilk. Both gives these cupcakes added moisture and a slight tang. 

A giant bite taken out of this yellow cupcake covered with chocolate frosting and sprinkles

Yellow Cake Ingredients:

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Melted butter
  • Eggs and egg yolks
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Sour Cream
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Buttermilk (or milk)

Ingredient substitutions:

Buttermilk: I personally feel that cake is way better with buttermilk as it contributes to the flavor and texture of this cake. However, if you don’t have buttermilk you can substitute it with regular milk or make homemade buttermilk.  To make homemade buttermilk use 1 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar and then add enough milk to make 1 cup. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes and then stir. You can substitute regular milk instead of buttermilk if absolutely necessary. 

Sour cream: This is essential for keeping the cupcakes moist. If you don’t have sour cream. I recommend substituting with non-fat Greek yogurt. 

two vanilla cupcakes stacked on top of one another, the top one has a bite taken out of it

How to make Yellow Cupcakes:

  • Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  • Combine wet ingredients and sugar: In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, with all the dry ingredients except the buttermilk and sour cream. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  • Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk: Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add half the dry ingredients and half the buttermilk and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Add remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk and beat until all of the ingredients are well combined. Use a spatula to stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  • Fill the pan: Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full.
  • Bake: Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Cool Completely before frosting.

A close up of a gorgeous cupcake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles

Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate frosting is very popular in our house. My husband get final taste testing for all things chocolate frosting. This frosting uses a combination of melted chocolate and cocoa powder for the ultimate fudgy, rich frosting that is perfect for these cupcakes. 

I recommend using a high quality chocolate bar like Ghirardelli, Lindt or Guittard. These are the best for melting into a smooth texture needed for this frosting. Chocolate chips can work too, but they tend to be oilier, as they have a coating on the chocolate chips, whereas the bars do not.  

Nearly all my frosting recipes start with cold butter, which allows you to control the consistency so you don’t have frosting that’s too soft or wilted. However, it’s really important that you spend the time beating the butter for 5-7 minutes at a high speed before adding any additional ingredients. The consistency should be super whipped and fluffy prior to adding any powdered sugar. 

A mini glass jar filled with a chocolate frosting

Can I use this recipe to make a cake?

 Yes, this recipe can be made in 9-inch by 13-inch pan or into a three layer 8-inch cake. See the recipe card for further instructions.

How to freeze cupcakes

I recommend freezing these unfrosted. Flash freeze on a baking sheet for 15 minutes, then transfer to airtight, freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to one month. Defrost to room temperature prior to frosting. 

How to store frosted cupcakes

Store cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 3 days once they are frosted. If you live in a hot and humid environment then I would suggest that you refrigerate cupcakes that are frosted and allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

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Three yellow cupcakes stacked together. These cupcakes are topped with chocolate frosting and sprinkles.

Yellow Cupcake Recipe

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes

Description

This Yellow Cupcake Recipe from scratch is a better-than-cake-mix yellow cake. It’s a classic birthday cupcake.

Ingredients

For the cupcake

  • 1 1/2 cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups (350g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (7.5g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 1 1/3 cup (315ml) buttermilk or milk

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream (or milk)

Instructions

For the cupcakes: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, butter, eggs and egg yolks and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Alternate adding half the dry ingredients and half the buttermilk at a time and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Then add remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk and beat until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.

For the frosting: 

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring each time until the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until butter look light in color. Next, beat the cocoa powder into the butter until well mixed.
  3. Alternate adding 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time with the liquid ingredients: vanilla extract & heavy cream. Ensure the powdered sugar is well combined, and whip for 1-2 minutes before adding more powdered sugar.
  4. Next, pour in the melted chocolate and beat on slow speed until incorporated. Then, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 2-3 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting. Use a large piping bag fitted with a large open star tip to frost the cupcakes. Garnish with sprinkles.

Notes

  • Sour cream substitute: use a plain or Greek yogurt
  • Buttermilk substitute: You can use milk or make homemade buttermilk. To make homemade buttermilk, use 1 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar and then add enough milk to make 1 cup. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes and then stir.
  • Storage suggestions: Whenever possible, cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. If you live in a hot and humid environment, you may want to store this in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.
  • To make a 9×13 inch cake see this yellow cake recipe.
  • To make a layer cake, here is my yellow layer cake.
Nutrition Information:
1 cupcake
423
38g
219mg
23g
52g
1g
3.7g
69mg
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Yellow Cupcakes, Yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting, Birthday Cupcakes, Cupcake recipe, easy cupcakes

 

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2 Responses
  1. Michelle

    Delicious recipe! They were moist, fluffy and full of flavor. I used Greek yogurt and homemade buttermilk. I love the option of making a cake instead of cupcakes. Thank you for the delicious recipe!

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