Yellow Cupcakes Recipe
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This Yellow Cupcakes Recipe is an old-fashioned, from-scratch butter cake. A classic homemade cupcake for birthday parties, topped with chocolate buttercream (or your other favorite frosting.)
Yellow Cupcakes are a birthday cake classic, especially when topped with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. There’s something about that heavenly combo that has everyone reminiscing about their childhood.
They might even beat out Funfetti Cupcakes, unless you’re a kid, or huge sprinkle lover.
Yellow Cupcakes vs. Vanilla
The difference between yellow cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes is that yellow cupcakes use all (or mostly) butter instead of oil, and more eggs, giving it a richer flavor, and more golden yellow color.
My recipe actually uses mostly butter, with a little oil to help with moisture while keeping the buttery flavor we all love about yellow cupcakes.
It’s easy to make these yellow cupcakes from scratch with everyday ingredients like milk, flour, sugar, and eggs. No need to run to the store if you keep a supply of baking ingredients on hand.
A homemade cupcake deserves a delicious homemade frosting. If chocolate buttercream isn’t your favorite, you can make my chocolate cream cheese frosting, or another favorite instead. (My Vanilla Buttercream or the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting would also be delicious on these cupcakes.)
- Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. “Light” refers to the color as well as the texture. This process takes a good 2-3 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. This helps the eggs emulsify properly with the butter and creates a fluffy cupcake.
- Use buttermilk or whole milk for the best flavor and texture. You can even make buttermilk by placing 1 Tablespoon of white distilled vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup, and then adding enough plain milk to the 1 cup line. Mix it together and let it rest for 5 minutes before using.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. But why? If the butter becomes saturated with liquid, the batter will separate, and the liquid will stay on top. Adding flour to a separated batter will soak up the liquid and result in a heavy, dense cake, because the chemistry is all wrong. Add the flour in thirds and the milk in halves, mixing until just barely (or almost) incorporated. Over-mixing will activate the gluten resulting in a tough cake crumb.
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (stir, spoon, & level)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup oil (canola/vegetable)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk (or whole milk), room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake pans with paper baking cups.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; about 2-3 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the oil and vanilla while the mixer is running on low speed. Mix until just incorporated.
- Alternately add the flour mixture one-third at a time, and milk one-half at a time on low speed, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Only mix each addition until almost, or just barely blended. Do not over-mix!
- Fill baking cups 2/3 full. A #24 scoop is great for this. (About 30 cupcakes.)
- Bake at 350˚F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or the cake springs back when touched. Cool 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans and place onto cooling racks. Cool completely. Frost with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting or other desired frosting.