50 Cupcakes

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How to Make Basic Cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

2. Prepare your batter.

  • Vanilla: Whisk 1 1/3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Beat 1 stick softened butter in a separate bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 1 minute. Add 1 cup sugar and beat until creamy, 4 more minutes. Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time, then 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture in three batches on low speed, alternating with 1/2 cup milk total. Beat on medium-high speed until just combined.
  • Chocolate: Whisk 1 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda and salt in a bowl. Heat 3/4 cup milk until hot but not boiling; pour over 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly. Whisk in 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Whisk in the flour mixture until just combined.
  • Spice: Whisk 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon each baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and allspice in a bowl. Whisk 1 stick melted butter, 1/2 cup each granulated sugar, light brown sugar and sour cream, 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a separate bowl until smooth. Whisk in the flour mixture until just combined.

3. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until the tops spring back, 20 to 25 minutes for vanilla or chocolate cupcakes, and 18 to 20 minutes for spice cupcakes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely.

4. Make your frosting, then pipe or spread on the cupcakes.

  • Vanilla: Beat 1 1/2 sticks softened butter, 3 cups confectioners' sugar and a pinch of salt with a mixer on medium speed until just combined. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until creamy, 3 minutes. Beat in 2 tablespoons milk until fluffy, 1 more minute.
  • Chocolate: Pulse 1 stick softened butter, 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 4 ounces melted semisweet chocolate, 2 tablespoons each unsweetened cocoa powder and milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a food processor until smooth.
  • Cream Cheese: Beat 1/2 stick softened butter, 6 ounces softened cream cheese, 1 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually beat in 2 cups confectioners' sugar on medium-low speed until smooth, then beat on medium high until thick and fluffy, 1 to 2 more minutes.
 
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