This is my current favorite yellow cupcake recipe, but these Ultimate Yellow Cupcakes are giving it some competition.
The recipe is from Stef at The Cupcake Project, and she makes the cupcakes with a fresh vanilla bean. I didn’t have any vanilla beans today, but I did have a few bottles of McCormick Vanilla Butter & Nut Extract which I’d bought while visiting North Carolina. It’s a regionally distributed extract (I can’t find it anywhere here in Austin) which adds a touch of yellow color and an interesting butter flavor that might remind you of boxed yellow cake. You can make Ultimate Yellow Cupcakes without, but I’m still enjoying the novelty of it so I used it today.
Small Batch Cupcakes
Here’s the small batch recipe. You could stretch it to make 12 cupcakes, but they’ll be slightly stubby (like mine), so I recommend making 10 cupcakes or doubling the recipe and making 20 to 22. I also had some issues with the gram amounts given in the original recipe. The gram amounts given for the volume of cake flour and sugar seemed a little off, so I used the recipe’s volume measurements and adjusted the gram amount below to reflect what they were when I weighed them. Are these really the ultimate? I thought they were good, but I have a lot of great yellow cupcake recipes so it’s hard to say. It’s good to have more than one solid recipe, though. For the frosting, I used my favorite chocolate frosting recipe.
Ultimate Yellow Cupcakes
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour 98 grams — Not all-purpose!
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 96 grams
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature (28 grams)
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 3 tablespoons sour cream 42 grams
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon McCormick butternut & vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup whole milk but reduced fat will work in a pinch
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 10 cupcake cups with paper liners.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
- Add butter to the dry ingredients and mash it around with a heavy duty scraper or mixing spoon to coat dry ingredients.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg, sour cream, oil, and both extracts until smooth.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until blended. Slowly add milk and stir until blended.
- With a hand-held electric mixer, beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds to 1 minute or until batter is velvety smooth.
- Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners. Bake for 15 minutes and then test with a toothpick to see if they’re done. They will not appear browned at this point, so it’s hard to tell just by looking. If the toothpick comes out without batter, they’re done.
- When the cupcakes are done, remove the cups from the pan and let cool.
That makes sense.
I always keep a box of cake flour on hand for last minute cake/cupcake baking. But thank you for the heads up. I appreciate all your help with the recipe.
Since I was making a small batch I used a medium size mixing bowl, did everything by hand to avoid flour flying everywhere when the butter was added to the dry mixture, then finished it off with my hand-held electric mixer. If you double it you’ll probably want to go with the stand mixer and paddle, but you could certainly skip the stand mixer even if you doubled it.
It’s a really easy to put together. Just make sure you stick with cake flour and don’t try to substitute all-purpose. I doubt you would, but I’m mentioning it because a lot of people run out of cake flour and think all-purpose will be okay. Sometimes it is, but in this case it would be too heavy and the cupcakes might come out a little rubbery.
Thank you! I will test out the recipe over the weekend. Can everything be mixed in the stand mixer or should I follow the first steps of mixing it by hand like you stated? Only asking to see if you mixed it by hand because of the recipe size or if that gets the best results even if the recipe is doubled. Thanks.
I think you’d like this recipe. The cupcakes aren’t as light and airy as the ones with whipped egg whites folded in, but they are definitely moist. I just made a second batch and got 10 normal size cakes, so I’d go with 10 instead of 12 to test. They might be exactly what you are looking for.
How would you describe the texture? Light, airy? Or more on the dense or substantial side? I love a cupcake more on the moist/dense side. I am making cupcakes for my sons birthday party and still torn on what yellow cupcake recipe to use.
Thanks for trying a ton of great recipes!