The Perfect Yellow Cupcake

Notes about the recipe: I did this for my wedding cake so that cutting would be easy (there's none to do!), sending people home with leftovers[ would be easy, and I could squirrel away a few for us to have back at the hotel after the wedding as well as freeze for our 1 year anniversary. It also made it fun for all the kids there and is quite impressive looking. I pulled lavender sugar tendrils and blew large sugar pearls too to decorate the cupcakes with. That may be a little ambitious for you and for me as the bride was a bit much those last few days of planning a wedding. null There is clear or white vanilla extract if you prefer the butter cream to be vanilla flavored or you can use any extract or alcohol like Grand Marnier for flavoring. For the decorations you can choose a color of ribbon that echoes the colors in the wedding. The cake charms set can be bridal or just reflect the couple's interests.]

Total Time:
3 hr 20 min
Prep:
2 hr 45 min
Cook:
35 min

Yield:
24 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • White Buttercream:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 pound butter, cut up and softened slightly
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • Regular or silver cupcake paper liners
  • Decorate and Assemble:
  • Edible pearlized fondant balls (in 3 sizes)
  • 3 to 6 graduated glass cake stands
  • 12 Victorian cake pull charms
  • Vari-colored ribbons to tie around cup cakes
  • Flowers, for cake top
  • Equipment: Several muffin tins
Directions

Make the White Buttercream: Put the sugar in a saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer and pour the water down the walls of the pan to moisten the sugar without letting sugar crystals wash up on the walls of the pan. Run your finger through the center making an X to allow the water to seep into the sugar if it hasn't already. Bring the sugar to a boil over high heat and continue cooking to the "softball" stage (234 degrees F.).

Meanwhile, in a standing mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites to soft peaks and hold them on low speed until the sugar is ready. When the sugar syrup is has reached the softball stage, turn the mixer up to high and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the mixer. Let it continue to whip to cool down. When it's feeling somewhat cooled but still a little warm, start adding the butter a few pieces at a time until you have a smooth, whipped butter cream. Add the almond extract. Use right away or cover and chill. Re-warm or let sit out to warm up to room temperature to use.

Make the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer with a whip attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to cream. Gradually add the vanilla and eggs and mix in well. Sift together the dry ingredients; then mix into the butter mixture alternating with the milk. Pour batter into cupcake paper-lined muffin tins filling them 3/4 full. Bake until puffed and firm in the center and light golden brown on top, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool. (Freeze at this point, if necessary.)

Decorate and Assemble the Cupcakes: Using a small spatula, frost the tops of the cooled cup cakes with the buttercream. Decorate each with a few pearls of fondant.

Tie the cake pull charms to the ends of the ribbons.

Arrange some of the cupcakes on the largest cake stand, leaving the center empty for the base of the next cake stand. Tuck some of the cake pull charms under some of the cupcakes, dangling the ribbons off the edge of the cake stand. Place the next cake stand in the center and repeat. Make as many tiers as you need. Finish the top with flowers, if you'd like.


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4.2 64
These cupcakes were so dry and tasteless! I even took the time to sift the dry ingredients, which I never do, because I wanted these cupcakes to be perfect. So disappointed in this recipe and these other reviewers. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried the cake recipe itself and didn't bother to try the frosting recipe. I just needed a yellow cupcake recipe. I really liked it. My cupcakes came out fluffy, light and moist. I've used for my maple bacon cupcakes. This recipe is good for basic butter cream cupcakes. You can really get creative with frosting and toppings because the cake is basic enough. Not only did it work great for cupcakes, I also used to make cake pops. Which my friends and family really enjoyed. I do recommend using cake flour because it really does make the cake fluffy. I tried using all purpose flour and i find that it made the cupcakes a bit heavy and corn bread like. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The recipe turned out to taste a lot more like corn bread, rather than anything like a cupcake. Also the buttercream frosting didn't turn out the way i expected it to either. All in all i would try and maybe add more vanilla and possibly more sugar and less butter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these cupcakes yesterday. They look nice, my family enjoyed eating them but they are a little sticky to the cupcakes foil. Can I use this recipe with some chocolate chips? item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was good but no WOW factor. The butter made it a bit dry. It was a little on the sweet side as well. I will just have to look for other yellow cake recipes as I only remake those recipes that I really love. item not reviewed by moderator and published
*my review only on the cupcake itself* I made these cupcakes over the weekend for my friend's birthday. I was looking for a good yellow cupcake recipe and all other recipes were so iffy with reviews and such but I decided to try this one, even though some of these reviews were iffy as well. I have my own chocolate frosting recipe so I used that instead. These cupcakes came out amazing! Everyone loved them. I didnt have cake flour but I made my own and they came out perfect and now everyone is bugging me to make more! hahah! such a great cupcake recipe! Happy Baking! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love baking from scratch, I hate box mixes. I have been searching for a yellow cupcake recipe and this is the one!! Simple and quick to make, Thank you food network! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake was awesome!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this as one of two cakes for my son's wedding reception. Decorations weren't the greatest BUT super duper moist! I would make it again...might just make it now. Wanting something sweet to eat! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is freakin GREAT? I had been looking for a cupcake recipe like forever and each one I tried came out dry. This one has a nice crumb, moist, and flavorable. I added more vanilla than what the recipe called for, but it was still great. I will definitely be keeping this one around. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made those cupcakes today. They came out light, golden brown and fluffy. I didn't have cake flour so I made my own by taking out 2 tbsp of all purpose flour and replacing it by cornstarch. I let the butter and sugar mix for at least 10 min until pale yellow and fluffy. The recipe makes a lot of cupcakes. I did half of it and got 12 cupcakes. Don't fill the tins all the way because they will overflow. My cooking time was 23 minutes. I didn't make the frosting. Good cupcakes, I intend to make them again. A keeper! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am a self proclaimed Cake Snob.....I bake....I decorate....I enjoy. I have tried out many recipes on cakes/cupcakes and I LOVE this recipe. It is very easy and the cupcakes came out very moist and with a great flavor. I did not try out this buttercream recipe because I have one of my own that I swear by. If you are looking for a cupcake recipe.....don't go any further....this one is amazing and I am keeping this in my recipe box. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I recently made these cupcakes, but i decided not to use the frosting recipe due to bad reviews. So, I can only speak on behalf of the cupcake recipe. It was DELICIOUS!!! I added about a 1/2 tsp. more vanilla than the recipe called for to add more flavor to the cake. Since, I did not have unsalted butter I used salted butter and only added 1/4 tsp. of extra salt which also worked great. I am not an everyday baker, so I did not have cake flour, but regular white flour works just as well! It made 29 cupcakes and I used a large muffin scoop to insert the batter into the liner so the batter would not overflow. All in all, this recipe made great cupcakes and I am definitely adding it to my recipe box! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Theses cupcakes are one of the best ones ive ever made!!!!!!! very yummy and delicous.....except used different buttercream: item not reviewed by moderator and published
The cupcakes came out perfectly, They were soft and light unlike pound cake. Putting this one in my recipe box. item not reviewed by moderator and published
i want to make this cup cakes but before i wanna know: why do i have to use a whip attachment to cream the butter.? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great recipe, but no offense to "puffpastry", but EVERY oven, kitchen, etc. is different. Humidty as well. So it's hard to say "23 minutes" is ideal. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made the cupcakes but not the frosting. I used a family recipie insted and it terned out great! I baked them for a kids party so to make them exiting and fun for the kids i added a little color! I split the batter up and dyed them diffrent fun colors! Then put two color batters into the same cupcake cup and swired them with a spoon! This made the hit of the party... TIE-DIE CUPCAKES!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cupcakes are delicious. The texture is very nice as is the flavor, buttery but light. Be careful to follow directions exactly and DON'T overfill the cupcake pans or they will overflow. Yes the tops are flat but that works fine with the buttercream. The buttercream worked very well for me but will not work if the kitchen is too hot, the icing will never firm up. But as long as it's not a blazing hot day, the frosting will come together if it's beaten enough and if all the butter is added. The almond extract is a great touch, a true buttercream like this can be a bit too rich tasting but the almost flavor cuts the richness and you can peak the light buttercream on the flat tops of the cakes. Terrific and very special. I wish Gale Gand still had a show on FN, I miss Sweet Dreams...... item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made the cupcakes a few times, not the frosting as of yet. The cupcakes turned out very light and fluffy. I also like the versatility of the yellow batter cake as you can make any type of frosting and they even worked with the creme filling I made. My family, friends, co workers, church members simply love them. I would continue to make these cupcakes for a long time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made the cupcakes and the frosting, my first 'official' butter cream. I did not have a candy thermometer so I had to improvise with a meat thermometer and do the soft ball test... not easy! I added the syrup to the eggs white and I really thought I was going to fry the eggs so I went really slow. The metal bowl to the stand mixer was pretty hot but the mixture had cooled. Adding the butter was a very slow process and the frosting was not coming together as well as I had hoped until I realized my stand mixer was not yet at full power...it became light and fluffy within seconds! Although I didn't love the taste of this frosting at first it was nice and light to work with...I think I would prefer to use it on a cake rather than cupcakes. Also note that after some time in the fridge the frosting is kind of too butter-like in consistency so I will serve at room temp. Overall the cupcake and the frosting are light and fluffy with nice flavor. item not reviewed by moderator and published
for the best results cook for exactly 23 minutes this will make them soft but thoroughly cooked! item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cupcakes would be better used for breakfast. They tasted like muffins. Grill them up with some butter in the morning and you have a yummy treat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I can only speak on the cake itself as I haven't tried the butter cream. I've been using this yellow cake recipe as a base for a long time, but strangely, I did not get the recipe from Gale. I found it in Martha Day's Encyclopedia of Baking. It is EXACTLY the same recipe, except Day's calls for slightly more vanilla. Anyway, as I prepared to make these, I realized I'd already been doing so every time I made vanilla cupcakes in the past. It really is a perfect recipe (or as close as I've found) for yellow cupcakes. Love it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best cupcake I've ever made. Very light and moist. I used a chocolate butter creme icing and it was delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These are perfect cupcakes! I used to have another recipe for making yellow cupcakes, but this recipe is even better. Will definitely save this one for my files. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I baked around 60 mini cupcakes for my 3 years old birthday party yesterday. I used cream cheese topping instead of buttercream. There was no one left only 10 minutes after we sang happy birthday. And no, I didn't invited 60 kids. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cupcakes make the perfect base for any kind of fun frosting/filling I might come up with! For Thanksgiving, I adapted this recipe to make it lemon flavored (then added a Cranberry concoction as a filling. Yum!). I simply added the zest and juice of one whole lemon and cut out 1/4t of vanilla. They were delicious and everyone just raved about them! item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cupcakes turned out perfectly. I didn't try making the frosting, so I can't speak to that. I topped them with Gale's Quick Vanilla Buttercream, which is really easy to make. I've made these twice this weekend, and everyone at work has raved about them..."best cupcakes ever" is what i've been hearing a lot. =D item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't even like yellow or white cake but these are fantastic! My niece made them for a graduation party and everyone ate them BEFORE dinner. They are moist and rich. The icing is scrumptious. My niece did use vanilla extract instead of the almond extract in the cupcakes...YUM! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made these for my birthday party this weekend, but didn't use the frosting in this recipe (I used Gale Gand's "Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting" instead, and tinted it pink). I am a big fan of Gale Gand and have tried her other stuff, and everything I've baked using her recipes has always been spot on. These cupcakes have a great texture: a little dense, a little moist, and the flavor. Oh my God, to die for. Really rich and buttery. They were a real hit with all my guests, both big and small. I also found that the batter makes a little bit more than 24 cupcakes for me. I only have 2 muffin tins and tried to fit all the batter in them but couldn't; I knew it would cause some overflow. Next time, I need another muffin tin, or I could just halve the recipe. Either way, the cupcakes are just plain DELICIOUS. Enjoy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been using a similar icing recipe for years with no problems, but when I tried to make this icing, it wouldn't come together. The solution is to add more butter. You will be mixing until your arm gets sore, but you will (eventually) see the mixture start to emulsify. At first it looks like icing is separating into curds, but just keep mixing and it will come together. I had to add approximately 1/2-2/3 of a stick of extra butter. Well, actually, I use a combination of Fleishmann's unsalted margarine and Earth Balance, in order to make the icing dairy-free. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This truly is "the perfect yellow cupcake!" I didn't use the buttercream recipe, so I can't speak for that, but the cupcakes are to die for! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this cupcake today trying to find a good yellow cupcake recipe. First batch overflowed all over the pan. Filled the muffin tins 1/2 full second batch sank in the middle. Not sure what I did wrong. I make cupcakes all of the time. They tasted good but I don't think I could serve them to anyone. Does anyone have a fabulous recipe for vanilla cupcakes?? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent recipe!! My husband said he gets fatter just from the smell! I sent a batch to work with him and they were very well-received. Try scooping the mix into a piping bag (or cut a hole in the corner of a ziploc) to pipe into the cups without making a mess. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is so simple, so delicious. My daughter and I ate 2 each before we could get the frosting on! I didn't use the frosting recipe because of the reviews, but the cupcake is fantastic! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made the yellow cupcakes but used a chocolate frosting. Maybe the cakes were too light for a heavier chocolate frosting, so overall I wasn't terribly impressed with the outcome. The cupcakes didn't have a whole lot of taste. However, the batter tasted great! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I consider myself to be an above-average cook. I've made many many cakes and frostings, and never had a frosting turn out so horrendously as this recipe did. The cupcakes were delicious, and thankfully sticky, so when they needed to be trimmed, I could press the cut edges into themselves. I made the frosting using a candy thermometer, but it never firmed up. Ended up having to add a pound of confectioner's sugar to the recipe just so I could get it to thicken. I tinted it lavender afterwards and topped the cupcakes with lavender and white sugar. They looked really pretty, but I'm worried the frosting will soften and melt once they've been at room temperature for a while. My advice is to stick with a tried and true buttercream frosting rather than risk this one. I've also been told by some that there's too much butter in this recipe. I do concede that the flavor of the frosting was out of this world. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe made small yellow hockey pucks in the shape of cupcakes. Quite hard, dense, and ikky. item not reviewed by moderator and published
the cupcake is perfect as well as the icing! Sooo good! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best yellow cupcake recipe I have tried. I halved the recipe, and they came out beautifully! Not to mention that they were delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made the cupcakes for a party. Friends ate more then one. I made a chocolate butter cream frosting instead of the suggested recipe. The cupcakes were moist and easy to make!! I will be making these cupcakes again and they truely are "the perfect yellow cupcake". item not reviewed by moderator and published
I added lemon zest and about 1T of lemon juice to the cake, then used the raspberry curd whipped cream frosting found on Epicurious. Cut both cakes in half, had four pretty layers when cut! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just finished baking the cupcakes--they turned out perfectly, light not cloying...best things, made exactly the amount stated and they were sweet many scratch recipes are not sweet enough these are.., the person who rated these with only 1 star either didnt use the correct measurements or filled them too full... 1/4 cup scoop made exactly 24...a must try...I didnt use buttercream recipe because I love chocolate frosting on yellow cake... item not reviewed by moderator and published
The cupcakes are very good and light, but my main concern was the consistency of the buttercream. Mine was so thin, almost like soup. I beat it for a lot longer and it got a little thicker but it still didn't work out. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is truly the perfect cupcake. I've made them at least 1/2 dozen times now, each time they came out perfect. I do, however, add a little more vanilla to the recipe, as I do all my baking. Thanks for a wonderful cupcake recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great cupcakes...thanks. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these for a super bowl party and they were a hit. I used my favorite chocolate frosting and what a treat! They were super moist and a delicious flavor. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious! The only problem I had was with the shape of the cupcake. I felt that it was a little flat but can definitly be covered up with the frosting. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe's great for regular cakes and actually madeleine's too. For madeleine's, I just added some extra butter. I use this recipe all the time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cupcakes oozed all over my oven. A big waste of time for a school bake sale. item not reviewed by moderator and published
cupcakes and frosting were yummy. i made the frosting a day ahead and when i brought it to room temp. the frosting appeared curdled. the taste was fine but looked unattractive. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these for our neighbor hood picnic and they went over well. They were better then many of the trendy cupcake stores that have been opening in Beverly Hills here (seriously). I will be making these tonight for my one year olds birthday party tomorrow. I did use store bought frosting but topped em off with mini m&ms or coconut. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used my all-purpose cream cheese icing for this cupcake and it was amazing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
these cupcakes are delicious!!! they come out almost like an angel food but just a bit more on the cakey side. i have added them to my recipe box and will make them for years to come! amanda item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cupcakes were very good!! They weren't heavy like some cupcakes are!!! I will keep this receipe in my permanant file to use again!!! Thanks item not reviewed by moderator and published
Quick easy and a real treat! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I found that these got better after you chill them and eat them a day after you bake them. I didnt use the frosting she has. I used a thin layer of simple chocolate frosting as a first layer and then applied a light whipped cream chocolate frosting on top. They were very simple to make and puffed up just right for frosting. The only con with this recipe, it could have tasted a little more buttery. If you are expecting boxed cake you will be dissapointed but if you are looking for an excellent homemade cupcake recipe this one is for you. It is fool proof! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Best cupcake I ever made! They didn't last long in our house. item not reviewed by moderator and published
All of the raves were right on. This recipe couldn't be simpler or taste any better. I made Hershey's Chocolate frosting, but will make these again with the White Buttercream. Thanks Gale! item not reviewed by moderator and published
We are really into cake and very picky. But these were the best cupcakes I have ever made, or that we have ever had! They were so light and fluffy; absolutely delicious. Definitely use the cupcake liners so they don't stick. I thought the silicone pan might be good enough, but the liners would have made it much easier to get them out in one piece. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these cupcakes for a friends birthday party. Everyone raved over them. These cupcakes don't have the heaviness that you may find in other recipes. They just melt in your mouth. Great recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cupcakes were easier to make than I expected. I made them for my mother-in-law's birthday. Everyone loved them. I especially liked the almond flavored buttercream. I was surprised by this because I usually do not like buttercream frosting. All in all this recipe does not disappoint. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen