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Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes

Two types of flour contribute to these cupcakes' singular texture: Cake flour makes for a delicate crumb, while all-purpose flour keeps them from being too tender.

  • Yield: Makes 36
Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes

Source: Martha Stewart Cupcakes, June 2009


  • 3 cups cake flour, (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add yolks, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.

  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

Cook's Note

Freeze up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Reviews (8)

  • Nicola25 26 Feb, 2015

    This is one of our favorite, go-to cupcake recipes! Delicious and relatively easy to make. Cupcakes also freeze week for frosting later.

    Does anyone know if this recipe can be made into a large sheet cake? What temp & time would you bake it for? I need to make a birthday cake this week and would love to use this recipe.

  • Bridy 3 Aug, 2014

    lovely recipe!
    I ended up getting 38 full size cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes. Not sure how I managed that, but that was a big bonus as I can use all of these for both of my kids Birthday parties which are only two weeks apart.
    The addition of buttermilk in any backed good is essential, any recipe that calls for milk, I always use buttermilk instead, it just makes everything taste so much nicer.

  • Maycie 20 Sep, 2011

    @Yojoani I found cake flour at toom Markt, it is called Weizenmehl Type 550. Your "mounting" cupcakes indicate that the dough was too firm. Alternatively do not use starch to subsitute the cake flour. For 1 cup cake flour use 1 cup minus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour.

  • Katteriet 9 Sep, 2011

    Very tasty cupcakes! I love them.
    I need some practice to make them perfectly though.

  • Yojoani 4 Jun, 2011

    I had to substitute the cake flower (I didn't find it in Germany) with regular flower (#405) and cornstarch. They formed peaks, which made it hard to decorate it as lady bug cupcakes. What am I doing wrong? I thought they would be turn out rather flat for the "frosting". Can you tell me what I'm doing wrong? Thanks for your help!

  • cakeandshoes 18 Feb, 2011

    @JB3 and hkthomas - try substituing canola or vegetable oil for the butter. You will get a much moister cupcake every time.

  • JB3 21 Sep, 2010

    Not sure what my friend and I did wrong, but we made these last night and they taste like (and have the consistency of) cornbread. Too bad, because the ingredients cost about $50 and they are going to go to waste. I too would like to know the secret to a moister cake.

  • hkthomas 7 Aug, 2010

    I made these tonight and they were on the dry side, any suggestions to make them more moist?

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