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Cupcake Baking Guide {50 Recipes}

A collection of 50 traditional and unique cupcake recipes with a baking guide that covers making, filling, frosting, and storing cupcakes.

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I love making and eating cupcakes. They’re just the right size, and there are so many different ways to make them. If you don’t want to make anything complicated, or prefer not to make homemade, there are plenty of recipes that dress up a boxed cake mix! There’s no shame in going semi-homemade!

This is your ultimate guide to baking cupcakes. From making the batter to filling, frosting, and storing, this has you covered. After the baking tips, there are 50 cupcake recipes. Recipes are fruit-based, chocolate, vanilla, boozy, traditional, and unique. The list also includes some dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free options. Recipe photos used with permission.

Making Cupcake Batter

I use a KitchenAid stand mixer. I use the flex edge beater so I don’t have to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl. A hand mixer works just as well, but a mixer is not necessary. You can mix the old fashioned way with a mixing bowl and wooden spoon.

Most recipes call for butter at room temperature for easy mixing. You can soften it in the microwave in a pinch, but be careful not to melt it.

When adding eggs to the batter, I like to crack the eggs into a small bowl one at a time. I do this because it’s much easier to deal with the accidental shell when it’s in a separate bowl than it is when it’s in the whole bowl of cupcake mix! Le Creuset silicone prep bowls are great for this.

Cupcake Tins & Wrappers

I recommend the basic metal muffin/cupcake tin. I’ve tried silicone pans before. While the nonstick quality is great, particles tend to stick to the silicone. Dog hair was especially problematic and always seemed to get stuck in the compartments.

I always keep a lot of cupcake wrappers on hand for all seasons and occasions. I use the traditional paper wrappers. They also make silicone wrappers. While I don’t recommend a cupcake tin that’s entirely silicone, the silicone cupcake wrappers are a good option as long as you store them properly (such as in a box or bag that dust, etc. can’t get into).

I use a cookie scoop to measure the batter for each cupcake. An ice cream scoop can work well for this, too. This ensures the cupcakes are similar in size so they all bake evenly.

Baking Cupcakes

Know your oven. If it has hot spots, consider rotating the cupcake tin halfway through baking. For most recipes, I start checking to see if they’re done about 2 minutes before the time the recipe specifies. Over-baking is one of the primary reasons cupcakes are dry. (Like the ones I accidentally over-baked by 7 minutes last week when I went outside to grill and forgot I had cupcakes in the oven! Oops!)

Filling & Decorating Cupcakes

Let cupcakes cool completely before attempting to fill or frost. Especially with the frosting, a warm cupcake will make the frosting melt and run off the sides.

I use an apple corer to make a hole and remove some of the center of the cupcake. Just push the corer through the top of the cupcake until you almost reach the bottom, and remove.

Cutting board with an apple corer and three cupcakes with holes in the middle for filling

You don’t have to be fancy when you decorate cupcakes. A small spatula or knife will do. But if you want to up your decorating game, use a piping bag. I have a Wilton cake decorating kit that has several different tips for piping frosting. This also comes in handy when making other things, such as deviled eggs or duchess potatoes!

Storing and Transporting Cupcakes

I generally do not recommend storing cupcakes in the refrigerator, as this can cause the cake to get dry. Instead, store in an airtight container. I generally store cupcakes in my cupcake carrier. The one I have is like this one by Prep Works that can carry both cakes and cupcakes. When looking for a cupcake carrier, it’s important to get one with slots, compartments, or ridges to hold the cupcakes in place.

50 Cupcake Recipes

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes
The only vanilla cupcake recipe you will need. Get all the tips you need to make perfect, moist and soft vanilla cupcakes for any occasion. Recipe by The Flavor Bender.
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Buttermilk Cupcakes
These delicious buttermilk cupcakes are filled with vanilla flavor and a slight tang. Perfect to serve with any frosting and a family favorite! Recipe by One Sweet Appetite.
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Light and Fluffy Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes
These Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes don’t need frosting to taste amazing! They’re a joy to make too. Check out the step-by-step video. Recipe by The Unlikely Baker.
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Yellow Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
Super Moist Yellow Cupcakes topped with a thick and creamy Raspberry Buttercream. A super easy and decadent dessert! Recipe by Chef Savvy.
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Blackberry Lime Cupcakes
Soft and moist cupcakes with whole blackberries, and lime juice and zest, and pillowy buttercream with blackberry purée and lime zest for massive flavor in each bite. Recipe by My Kitchen Love.
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Key Lime Cupcakes
Take a tropical vacation with these delicious and moist Key Lime Cupcakes topped with a key lime buttercream frosting and graham cracker crumbs! Recipe by House of Nash Eats.
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Vegan Key Lime Cupcakes
These key lime cupcakes are the perfect mix of sweetness and tartness. The perfect summery treat. Recipe by Ethically Living.
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Lemon Cupcakes with Mojito Buttercream
Perfectly tender, moist and zesty lemon cupcakes get topped with the smoothest and most delicious mojito flavored buttercream. Recipe by Grandbaby Cakes.
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Lemon Meringue Cupcakes Recipe
A soft cupcake base, sweet-tangy lemon filling & fluffy meringue, these lemon curd cupcakes are everything you love about lemon meringue pie, in cake form! Recipe by The Cooking Collective.
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Small Batch Double Lemon Cupcakes
This recipe makes only 6 cupcakes. Perfect for individual desserts or when you only want a few. Recipe by Family Around The Table.
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Persian Love Cupcakes with Lemon, Rose & Saffron
These Persian Love Cupcakes will enchant you with their looks & flavor. Simply, yet effectively decorated, these little cakes are bursting with flavor. Recipe by Little Sugar Snaps.
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Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
Topped with a cream cheese icing and made with simple ingredients, these Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes are the perfect dessert for a warm, summer day! Recipe by Jar of Lemons.
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Cupcakes
Strawberries & Cream Filled Cupcakes
Semi-homemade cupcakes with a creamy strawberry filling made with fresh strawberries. A great way to dress up boxed cake mix!
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3 cupcakes
Easy Mini Cheesecake Cupcakes Recipe
Super Easy Mini Cheesecake Cupcakes. Layered with a graham cracker crust and creamy tangy cheesecake. Top with salted caramel sauce or strawberry sauce! Recipe by Chef Savvy.
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Jam Filled Cupcakes
Soft and fluffy strawberry jam filled cupcakes. To scoop out the centers of the cupcakes either use a cupcake corer or a spoon, and fill them with tasty jam. Recipe by Little Sunny Kitchen.
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Shirley Temple Cupcakes
Cherry chip cupcakes spiked with lemon-lime soda, filled with a marshmallowy fluff, topped with vanilla butter cream frosting and garnished with a cherry. Recipe by Bitz & Giggles.
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Cupcakes in front of a pitcher of Shirley Temple drink
Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
These moist banana cupcakes are super simple to make! Paired with homemade cream cheese frosting, it’s a guarantee that you will love these. Recipe by Cooked by Julie.
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Tropical Mango Vanilla Cupcakes
These tropical mango vanilla cupcakes are moist, buttery, and have a hint of coconut. The buttercream tastes fresh, sweet, and is bursting with mango flavor. Recipe by Little Sweet Baker.
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Pina Colada Cupcakes
Pina Colada Cupcakes transport you to a tropical island with your first bite! Pina colada cupcakes are super fast and easy thanks to a cake mix! Recipe by Binky’s Culinary Carnival.
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Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes {Vegan, Dairy-Free}
Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes are made with fresh pineapple and shredded coconut, and topped with a sweetened coconut whip. Recipe by Crumb Top Baking.
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Coconut Cream Pie Cupcakes
Think Coconut Cream Pie but in a cupcake form. They have a pie crust, sweet coconut cupcake filled with a coconut cream pie pudding and topped with a beautiful coconut buttercream frosting. Recipe by Simply Stacie.
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Flourless Orange and Almond Cakes
Flourless Orange and Almond Cakes are a great gluten free dessert option. These orange almond cupcakes are light and moist with just the right amount of sweetness. Serve as is, or sprinkle some icing or powdered sugar on top. Recipe by Cook It Real Good.
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Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Bring the fair to your kitchen with these caramel apple cupcakes. Take a bite out of a soft, fluffy apple cupcake donned with thick caramel frosting. Recipe by Love In My Oven.
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Easy Vanilla Malt Cupcakes
Oh so simple Vanilla Malt Cupcakes with vanilla malt frosting. They’re basically a milkshake in cake form. Just add malt balls for an extra splash of fun. Recipe by Little Sugar Snaps.
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Tres Leches Cupcakes Recipe
Tres Leches Cupcakes are the meltiest, spongiest, fluffiest little cupcakes ever. Top with whipped cream and strawberries for an afternoon indulgence. Recipe by Wandercooks.
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Pink Champagne Cupcakes
Easy recipe for decadent Pink Champagne Cupcakes – perfect for showers, NYE and girl’s night! These pretty cupcakes look and taste like Petit Fours without the effort! Recipe by Julie Blanner.
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Bourbon Spice Cupcakes
Bourbon Spice Cupcakes topped with vanilla bourbon buttercream are moist, decadent, and deliciously indulgent. These bourbon cupcakes are a perfect way to enjoy dessert and bourbon cocktail, all in one. Recipe by Recipes From A Pantry.
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Cupcake with glass of bourbon
Eggnog Cupcakes With Cinnamon & Nutmeg Cream Cheese Frosting
This festive boxed cake mix hack is perfect for the holidays. The cake has a hint of eggnog that pairs perfectly with the cinnamon and nutmeg cream cheese frosting.
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Three cupcakes on a plate
Beer and Sauerkraut Cupcakes Recipe
Sounds weird, tastes great!! This unusual chocolate cupcake is so, so good. The cocoa, beer, and sauerkraut combination makes for an exquisite pairing you have simply must try! Easy to make, this beer cupcake recipe is unique and fabulous. Recipe by Ann’s Entitled Life.
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Biscoff Cupcakes
Delicious Biscoff cupcakes (made with both Biscoff biscuits and spread to really pack in the flavour) topped with smooth Biscoff buttercream and finished with a crunchy Biscoff Biscuit. Recipe by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen.
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Spice Cupcakes with Apple Pie Filling and Cinnamon Buttercream
Dress up cupcakes from a boxed spice cake mix with homemade apple pie filling and a cinnamon buttercream. This is a perfect dessert for fall or Thanksgiving!
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Cupcake on a plate
Cannoli Cupcakes
Delicious homemade cupcakes with a quick and easy Italian cannoli cream frosting with mini chocolate chips. Delish! Recipe by Snappy Gourmet.
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Cupcake with a cherry on top
Simple Tiramisu Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting
Simple Tiramisu Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting. Yummy coffee cupcakes with a fluffy and creamy frosting. The best part… they are so easy to make. Recipe by Cook This Again, Mom!
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One Bowl Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
These snickerdoodle cupcakes are EASY to make and you need just one bowl to make them. They’re fluffy, cinnamon-y, and totally addictive. Recipe by The Itsy-Bitsy Kitchen.
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Earl Grey Cupcakes with Matcha Buttercream Frosting Recipe
These Earl Grey cupcakes are super light and fluffy and topped with an amazing matcha buttercream frosting. A perfect way to combine two popular teas to elevate a popular dessert! Recipe by The Mini Chef.
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Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes
These one bowl chocolate cupcakes are easy to make, foolproof and absolutely delicious! Deep chocolate flavor, and perfectly sweet. Recipe by The Flavor Bender.
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Nutella Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream
Filled with Nutella and topped with rich, creamy Nutella buttercream, these Nutella cupcakes are the ultimate indulgence! Recipe by The Itsy-Bitsy Kitchen.
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Chocolate Cupcakes with Oreo Frosting
A dozen chocolate cupcakes topped with a creamy, whipped Oreo frosting may be just the thing you need to…celebrate anything! Recipe by Worn Slap Out.
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Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Moist, raspberry sauce filled chocolate cupcake, chocolate ganache, and creme cheese frosting. This is such a delicious combination, you will love them! Recipe by Pretty Sweet.
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Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
These refined sugar free, gluten free chocolate cupcakes are perfect for special occasions. They’re sweetened with date paste and taste amazing! Recipe by A Sweet Alternative.
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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Matcha Cashew Frosting
These vegan chocolate matcha cupcakes are a healthy and unique twist on an everyday treat. Matcha tea adds a beautiful green hue and deep flavor to a cashew-based frosting. This recipe is also low in refined sugar, high in fiber, yet tastes really dreamy. Recipe by BAKED.
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Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
Hot chocolate cupcakes are a unique chocolate cupcake with a chocolate marshmallow buttercream frosting.
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Hot chocolate cupcake
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
Moist chocolate cupcake, gooey salted caramel filling, whipped caramel milk chocolate, pretzel butterflies and chocolate coated almonds are the ingredients for this amazing cupcake and with satisfy any chocolate lover! Recipe by Pretty Sweet.
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Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe with Pumpkin Whipped Frosting
Moist and fluffy marbled cupcakes topped off with a delectable, creamy spiced pumpkin frosting. Recipe by Sunday Supper Movement.
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Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes
These hot fudge sundae cupcakes have whipped cream frosting, chocolate syrup, celebratory sprinkles, and a cherry on top! Recipe by Worn Slap Out.
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S’mores Cupcakes with Graham Cracker Frosting
Topped with a uniquely wonderful graham cracker cream cheese frosting, toasted marshmallows, extra Hershey’s chocolate bar and pieces of graham cracker, these S’mores Cupcakes with Graham Cracker Frosting bring back memories of summertime, camping, and campfires in all of us! Recipe by House of Nash Eats.
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Turtle Chocolate Cupcakes
These Turtle Chocolate Cupcakes feature a moist and fudgy chocolate cupcake that’s filled with pecan caramel sauce and topped with the most heavenly caramel cream cheese frosting! Multiple easy recipes come together to create cupcake perfection! Recipe by Queenslee Appétit.
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting {Vegan, Dairy-Free}
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes – Chocolate and Peanut Butter is classic combination. Topped with fluffy peanut butter frosting, these cupcakes are delicious! Recipe by Veggie Inspired.
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Gluten Free Cupcakes
It’s like a Reese’s cup, turned into a cupcake! These Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes are the best gluten free cupcakes ever! Recipe by Whitney Bond.
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Peanut Butter Cupcakes With Salted Caramel
Chocolate and peanut butter lovers, rejoice! This peanut butter cupcakes recipe is topped with a rich dark chocolate ganache, crushed nuts and caramel. Recipe by The Cooking Collective.
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Collage of cupcakes with text that says cupcake baking guide 50 recipes
Cupcake Baking Guide {50 Recipes}

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