Yellow Cupcakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling
These classic yellow cupcakes are customizable for parties or personal treats.

Updated: Nov. 27, 2023

These tender, moist yellow cupcakes can be frosted and decorated to your heart’s content—or party’s theme! It’s a staple recipe that’s able to handle anything from fruity fillings to rich buttercreams. Read on for our classic yellow cupcake recipe and all our best tips for making them your own.

Yellow Cupcake Ingredients

  • Butter: Room-temperature butter is essential to the success of these yellow cupcakes. If you don’t already keep your butter on the counter, don’t fret; our Test Kitchen has tips on how to soften butter quickly.
  • Eggs: Using room-temperature eggs in this yellow cupcake recipe ensures tender and voluminous results.
  • Vanilla: Vanilla extract creates the heavenly aroma that freshly baked yellow cupcakes are known for. To make your cupcakes special, go with one of our Test Kitchen’s best vanilla extract picks.
  • All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour gives these cupcakes both tenderness and stability—and it’s easy to find at any grocery store.
  • Frosting: Pick and choose whatever frosting you’d like. The cupcake’s subtle vanilla flavor creates the perfect blank canvas for any frosting recipe.

Directions

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Step 1: Prepare the muffin tins

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Step 2: Cream together the butter and sugar

Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl, and cream them together until they’re light and fluffy, five to seven minutes. We like to crank a good hand mixer or stand mixer on high for this job.

Editor’s Tip: This step can be a bit tricky. Our guide on how to cream butter and sugar will help make sure you’ve got it down.

Step 3: Add the eggs and vanilla

Crack in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the vanilla, and beat until everything is fully incorporated.

Step 4: Whisk together the dry ingredients

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Step 5: Alternately add the dry ingredients and milk

Add about half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and beat until just combined. Pour in all the milk, and beat until combined. Finally, add the rest of the dry mixture, and beat just until everything comes together.

Editor’s Tip: Adding the ingredients alternately like this preserves the integrity of the butter mixture and ultimately prevents the cake from becoming tough or dense.

Step 6: Bake the cupcakes

Fill the prepared cupcake liners three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 7: Cool and frost the cupcakes

Cool the cupcakes in the muffin tins for 10 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks. Allow them to cool completely on the wire racks, then spread with frosting.

Yellow Cupcake Recipe Variations

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How to Store Yellow Cupcakes

To store your cupcakes, let them come to room temperature. Store them, unfrosted, in an airtight container at room temperature up to one day before frosting. Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three days.

How to Freeze Yellow Cupcakes

Once your cupcakes have come to room temperature, store them (frosted or unfrosted) in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months. Let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

Yellow Cupcake Recipe Tips

Should cupcakes be golden brown?

The edges of the cupcakes may be golden brown, but for a moist cupcake, only bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a middle cupcake comes out clean. Watch carefully, as all ovens are different.

What is the secret to good cupcakes?

The secret to good cupcakes is not overmixing your cupcake batter. Overmixing develops the gluten too much, resulting in dense and tough cupcakes. Instead, mix the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.

Yellow Cupcakes

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 15 min
Yield 2 dozen.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups 2% milk
  • Frosting of your choice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  3. Fill prepared cups three-fourths full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Spread with frosting.

Nutrition Facts

1 cupcake (calculated without frosting): 163 calories, 6g fat (4g saturated fat), 32mg cholesterol, 138mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.

Nothing is better than homemade cupcakes. This yellow cupcake recipe makes delicious and fluffy treats. To top them, choose whatever frosting you want. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen