Easy yellow cupcakes recipe (butter cupcakes), with chocolate buttercream frosting. They are super fluffy, soft, moist and homemade with simple ingredients.
*This yellow cupcake recipe post is sponsored by FAGE. All images and opinions are my own.*
Today's cupcakes are going to knock your sock off. They are even better than my favorite Vanilla Cupcakes and that says a lot! These ones are rich and buttery and they have an unbelievably soft and tender crumb.
Once they are paired with my silky smooth, creamy chocolate frosting, they go over the top and you just can't stop eating them.
How to make yellow cupcakes from scratch?
- Cream butter and sugar- Until mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add remaining wet ingredients- This includes eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, FAGE Sour Cream, milk.
- Make dry mixture- Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda separately.
- Combine wet and dry mixtures- Until just combined.
- Fill cupcake liners- Halfway through is best.
- Bake- Until center is cooked through.
- Frost cupcakes- With chocolate buttercream.
- Decorate- With sprinkles.
What is the secret to moist cupcakes?
The key ingredient that makes all the difference in the world is SOUR CREAM! I love FAGE Sour Cream. It's rich, thick, creamy and tangy. I have been a huge fan of their yogurt for a long time and after trying their sour cream, I am obsessed. It is equally amazing, all-natural, high quality and made with simple ingredients.
Due to its thick texture, you can add up to 1 cup of it in this recipe without dramatically thinning the cake batter.
It also adds a subtle tanginess that's barely noticeable but enough to cut the intense sweetness.
The high fat content obviously adds a lot of moisture and richness that would not be possible with just using butter or buttermilk.
What frosting to pair with best butter cupcakes?
There are countless options. You can get as creative as you like. Here are some delicious options that compliment the cupcake flavor perfectly:
Color cupcake batter- These are called "yellow cake cupcakes" and I don't see the need to tint them because they already have a beautiful yellow color. However, it would be fun to do that for special events and birthday parties without affecting the flavor, using gel colors.
How to make pretty cupcakes? Check out this post on How to Decorate Cupcakes for more information on using various decorating tips.
Add chocolate chips– Mix mini chocolate chips or white chocolate chips in the cupcake batter.
Make mini cupcakes– Use a mini cupcake pan and mini cupcake liners. Please note that the baking time will obviously be shorter.
Try other extracts- Vanilla extract with a hint of almond extract is the classic choice. However, you can also try other extracts like maple, coconut, mint
Use zests- Mix in some lemon, lime or orange zest.
Birthday yellow cupcakes- Hollow out the center of these cupcakes and fill them with colorful sprinkles and top it off with a swirl of chocolate frosting and decorate with more sprinkles. Every bite will reveal a little sprinkle surprise in the center.
Vanilla bean vs. Vanilla extract- Instead of vanilla extract, you can use vanilla beans, which have a stronger flavor and aroma but that will add little black specks in your cupcakes. You can also use a combination of both for a better flavor profile. Just watch the quantities closely.
Refrigerate- In a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Freeze- Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen in a sealed container for up to 1 month. Let them thaw overnight in the fridge and then frost them and enjoy!
Tips and Techniques
Sour cream is a must! You cannot skip this ingredient. That's what makes these cupcakes so soft and moist. Find FAGE Sour Cream near you by using this link.
Use full fat ingredients- This is with regards to sour cream and milk. The higher the fat content, the richer the flavor.
Use butter- It cannot be replaced with oil because butter has much more flavor than oil. Also, butter helps create the best texture for these cupcakes- soft but firm. They are not going to be so soft to the point of falling apart.
Cake flour vs. All-purpose flour- I highly recommend using cake flour because it creates a wonderful light and airy texture. You can even make it at home and you can check that out in the recipe card below.
Do you need to sift flour? It's not necessary for this recipe. I tried it with and without sifting and the results were almost identical.
How do you know cupcakes are done baking? Insert a toothpick in the center of the cupcake and if it comes out clean, remove from oven immediately.
Don't open oven door during baking- Because that causes the hot air to escape and creates great fluctuations in heat. This can ultimately cause cupcakes to collapse and sink.
Don't overfill cupcake liners- I recommend filling halfway through to allow the batter enough space to rise properly without overflowing.
Cupcakes must be cool before frosting- You cannot frost a warm cupcake because that would cause the icing to melt and make a sticky mess.
Don't over-mix batter- Because that creates a tough and chewy texture due to extra gluten development.
Be careful with almond extract- It adds another layer of flavor, which is lovely. However, it is a very strong flavor and be mindful of the quantity being used. A small amount goes a long way.
Use unsalted butter- Because this prevents the cupcakes from becoming too salty and unpleasant.
All ingredients must be at room temperature– This is very important because it allows all the ingredients to blend together smoothly and evenly.
Scrape sides of bowl with spatula during mixing- This is crucial because it allows the batter to be evenly mixed together.
Measure properly- Use measuring cups and spoons. Don't eyeball anything because baking is science and those measurements matter.
Why are my cupcakes soggy and raw in the middle? They were not baked long enough.
How long should you bake cupcakes at 350 degrees F? Typically, they are baked for 18-20 minutes. If you over-bake them, they become dry and the tops become dark and brownish.
Yellow food coloring is optional- But I highly recommend it because it makes the batter more vibrant and yellow.
More Classic Cupcake Recipes
Easy Yellow Cupcakes
- ¾ cup Butter Unsalted, Room temperature
- 1.5 cups Granulated sugar
- 3 Eggs Large
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Almond extract
- 1 cup Sour cream Full fat
- ¼ cup Milk Preferably whole but 2% can be used
- 1-2 teaspoon Yellow liquid food coloring Adjust according to your preference, Optional
- 2.5 cups Cake flour Can also replace with all-purpose flour but the texture from cake flour is better
- 2 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 4 cups Chocolate buttercream frosting
- 2 tablespoon Sprinkles For decorating
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This takes about 2-4 minutes.
- Add eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, sour cream, milk, yellow food coloring and mix until combined.
- Be sure to scrape the sides with a spatula a few times during mixing to allow all the ingredients to blend together properly.
- In another mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda.
- Add this dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix! A few lumps in the batter are completely fine.
- Be sure to scrape the sides with a spatula at least once during mixing to allow all the ingredients to blend together smoothly.
- Scoop batter into cupcake liners.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center coms out clean.
- While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the chocolate frosting.
- Attach a large star tip to a piping bag and fill it with frosting.
- Once the cupcakes cool completely, pipe swirls of icing on top of each cupcake.
- Toss some sprinkles on top. Enjoy!
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Unfrosted cupcakes can also be frozen in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 1 month and thawed overnight in the fridge.
- If you are planning on making very high frosting swirls on cupcakes, double the chocolate buttercream recipe.