Here are well over 50 of the best cupcake recipes imaginable. No matter what kind of cake you’re in the mood for, whether it’s fudgy chocolate, some unique flavor, or something with fresh fruit, I’ve got you covered with this list. Updated from the 2007, 2010, and 2015 versions!
Table of Contents
- What’s the Best Cupcake Recipe?
- Cupcakes Are Perfect for Transporting in a School or Work Lunch
- Tips for Perfect Cupcakes Every Time
- How to Make Cupcakes Step by Step
- Addictive Chocolate Cupcakes
- Comforting Spice Cupcakes
- Best Cupcake Recipes with Fruit
- Various Velvets
- Best Cupcake Recipes for Holidays and Celebrations
- Unique Cupcake Flavors
- Tropical Coconut Cupcake Recipes
- Not So Plain Vanilla Cupcakes
- You May Need…
What’s the Best Cupcake Recipe?
Cupcakes have come a long way in the past few years. Plain chocolate and vanilla cupcake recipes have evolved into creative, unique bites of cake in a range of flavors. You can get them filled or unfilled, decorated to look like mermaids, or topped with mile high frosting. No matter how many cupcake recipes we have we eagerly hunt for more!
I am always looking for the my next favorite. The most creative, something with unique flavors…
Still, as soon as I find something I love I am off to look for more. There’s just something about them. Maybe it’s because they are cute? Maybe because they are single serving? Maybe because you can make them a lot of different ways?
Maybe all of the above?
Over three years ago (over 10 years ago now!) I wrote a blog post that made it to the first page of Digg in less than 24 hours. It was phenomenal and continues to be my post with the most traffic to this day… The name? 50 Best Cookie Recipes on the Internet.
These are the ones that made the A-List for me. The most unique, the most delicious, and the most wonderful I could find.
Cupcakes Are Perfect for Transporting in a School or Work Lunch
To me cupcakes are the perfect treat to pack in school lunches.
They are small and yet very popular with the back to school crowd. They show up at almost every classroom party or event. It’s just sort of the cupcake time of year. Look at the amazing variety of flavors and textures represented here!
Cupcakes are quick and easy plus they tavel well, especially if you have a carrier.
Experiment by changing the frosting flavors to come up with your own unique variations. Use different fillings. Add nuts or chocolate chips. Most of all….have a good time with them!
Tips for Perfect Cupcakes Every Time
from left to right – Top: Pink Velvet, Black Forest, Oatmeal Carmelita
Bottom: Rolo Filled Chocolate Cupcakes, Peaches and Cream, French Vanilla
- Use real ingredients. Real butter, real vanilla, real fruit… you get the idea. Real flavors will make your cupcakes taste REAL good. (See what I did there?)
- All ingredients should be at room temperature. This ensures that they will mix smoothly and easily so your cupcake batter is just right.
- Use large eggs. Most recipes are made with these and smaller eggs may leave your cupcakes dry.
- Don’t over mix. When you over mix your batter it develops the gluten — which is great for bread but not for cake! Gluten will make your cake tough and dry. Plus, when you over-mix you break air bubbles. Air bubbles are what keep baked products light. Don’t break the air bubbles!
- Use a scoop so each cupcake is exactly the same size. That way they will bake all the way through all at the same time.
- Fill pans no more than 2/3 of the way full. 1/2 is usually better. This will make them rounded when baked.
- Make sure your oven heats to the right temperature. Some ovens become a couple of degrees off one way or another over time. It’s a good idea to have an oven thermometer and check temperatures often.
- Bake immediately. As they sit the baking powder to lose effectiveness and the air bubbles to deflate. You know that that means, right? Yep. Cupcakes that don’t rise and are tough.
- Put pans in the center of the oven and don’t open the door until it’s almost time for them to be done. This ensures that they will bake evenly.
- Experiment, then make a list of your favorites. Use these as the foundation of your own variations.
How to Make Cupcakes Step by Step
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Cupcakes are so simple that they are usually one of the first things we learn how to bake. Here’s quick step by step instructions in case you need the visual.
- Line Pans
Line cupcake pans with paper liners, silicone liners, or spray well with bakers release spray.
Mix ingredients as directed in the recipe.
- Fill the Cups
Fill the cups just halfway and bake as directed
- To Fill
Once the cupcakes are cool you can remove the centers carefully and fill with fillings.
Add the filling to the cupcake carefully.
- Frost as Desired
Once the cupcakes are cool, and filled if you want to fill them, use your favorite frosting on top!
Here are over 50 of my favorites for you try, from chocolate to vanilla and everything in between. In fact, I’ve added to this page over the years and there are now way more than 50 cupcake recipes of all kinds.
Addictive Chocolate Cupcakes
Is there anyone that doesn’t like a chocolate cupcake? You’ll find that recipes that include cocoa taste more chocolatey than those that use melted chocolate.
- Chocolate Cream Filled Vanilla with Vanilla Bean Frosting
- Chocolate Whiskey and Beer
- Mocha with Espresso Buttercream
- Chipotle Cinnamon Chocolate
- Devil’s Food
- Turtle Brownie
- Death by Chocolate
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Chocolate Rolo with Praline Frosting
- Mexican Hot Chocolate
Comforting Spice Cupcakes
Spice cake remind me of fall! Apples, cinnamon, and pumpkin are warm cozy flavors that make great cupcakes! Cream cheese frosting is great on any of these – for an easy garnish dust with some cinnamon after frosting.
- Gingerbread Hostess Copycat
- Carrot with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- Orange Clove
- Chai Latte
- Pumpkin with Cream Cheese Frosting
Best Cupcake Recipes with Fruit
Fruit gives cupcakes moisture as well as flavor. Follow the instructions carefully or you could end up with a too-wet dough that won’t bake properly. If you’re using pie filling in the center gently press the bottom down on the inside after hollowing it out but before filling it so that it’s compressed. It helps the bottoms not get soggy.
- Apple Pie
- Caramel Apple
- Easy Black Forest
- Strawberry Cream Cheese
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Bananas Foster
- Browned Butter Banana Rum
- Lemon Meringue
- Lychee Rose
- Orange Creamsicle
- Peaches and Cream
- White Chocolate Raspberry
- Vanilla Bean Fig
There was a time when there was only red velvet cupcakes but these days you can find that velvety texture in almost any color imaginable. Most of the time the recipe will call for buttermilk. If you use a paste food color instead of a liquid you’ll get a deeper flavor without that weird chemical food color taste.
- Classic Red Velvet
- Red Velvet and Cheesecake Marbled
- Black Velvet with Orange Filling
- Pink Velvet
- Green Velvet
- Blue Velvet
- White Velvet
Best Cupcake Recipes for Holidays and Celebrations
Cupcakes are perfect for taking to holiday parties or sending to classroom parties at school. Decorating them can be as easy as adding holiday-themed sprinkles.
- EggNog Latte
- Cranberry Bliss
- Vanilla Candy Cane
- Santa’s Hat
- Christmas Lights
- Raspberry Champagne
- High Hat
- White Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing (Wedding cake)
Unique Cupcake Flavors
If you can imagine it someone has probably made it into a cupcake. Use these unique flavors to come up with your own ideas! Be sure to check out the basic cupcake recipe at the end of this post – you can use it as a starting point.
- Chubby Hubby
- Root Beer Float
- Malted Milk
- Bomb Pop
- Dulce de Leche
- Earl Grey with Lemon Buttercream
- Irish Cream with Coffee Frosting
- Cherry Coke Float
Tropical Coconut Cupcake Recipes
Coconut gets it’s own section because, well, coconut. Toasting coconut in the oven or microwave is easy and it adds extra flavor and texture. You can also substitute coconut milk (the thick kind in the can) for milk in the recipes to give them more coconut flavor.
Not So Plain Vanilla Cupcakes
Ever heard the term plain vanilla? Well these cupcakes are anything but plain! If you really like vanilla flavor you can substitute and equal amount of vanilla sugar for the sugar called for in any recipe.
To make vanilla sugar just add a couple of vanilla beans to the sugar canister and let sit for a few days. You can actually do that with all kinds of things like orange zest, lemon zest, lavender… all kinds of things.
- French Vanilla
- Copycat Twinkies (with spongecake, from scratch)
- Black Bottom
- Caramel Macchiato
- Cream Soda
It’s an amazing list of recipes, isn’t it? Which are you going to try first?
You May Need…
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Baking cups are one way to make your cupcakes prettier and more unique. These cute polka dot liners give them a retro look I think.
Wilton 415-2286 300 Count Polka Dots Standard Baking Cups
Remember I said that it’s important to keep the size consistent by making sure each cupcake is made from the exact same amount of batter? Well these scoops from Wilton make it easier than ever.
Wilton 2103-1112 Scoop-It Batter Spoons, Set of 3