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Yellow Cupcakes

These classic back-to-school treats will surely be best-sellers.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 12
Yellow Cupcakes

Source: Everyday Food, September 2006

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Sprinkles, for decorating

For the Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line the cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a liquid-measuring cup, mix milk and vanilla; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add half of dry ingredients, followed by milk-vanilla mixture, then remaining dry ingredients. Do not overmix.

  3. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (a 2-ounce or 1/4-cup ice-cream scoop is good for this).

  4. Place tin on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes 5 minutes in tin, then remove and cool completely on a rack before frosting.

  5. Prepare frosting: In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Mix in up to 1/2 cup more sugar or a few more teaspoons of milk as necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency. Makes enough for 12 cupcakes.

  6. Frost cupcakes; decorate with sprinkles before frosting dries to ensure that they stick. The frosted cupcakes are best eaten within 1 day.

Reviews (55)

  • Nicoleleslie 19 Apr, 2014

    The recipe was good, but add a teaspoon of vanilla pudding to make the cake more moist.

  • kate452 17 Apr, 2014

    I was very upset with how these cupcakes turned out. They werent sweet at all. reminded me of the texture of cornbread. great if you want a muffin. terrible if you wanted to make a cupcake.

  • Reema Shahana 27 Feb, 2014

    I made it, cup cake was good but the icing wasn't...

  • Ldlamb 20 Sep, 2013

    So disappointing!!!! Do not use this recipe, I agree with every bad comment on here.

  • Shelby Miles 5 Jul, 2013

    How do you know what ingredients are for the cupcakes, and which ones are for the icing? Since both require vanilla and milk, which one goes with which?

  • Ohmymama 18 Mar, 2013

    I agree with Erin. Must have whipped too much air into the batter because they rose with a mound. Very dense and not what I was expecting out of a Martha Stewart recipe. Icing was awful, will stick to the awesome Wilton recipe and never use this again.

  • Erin garcia25 1 Mar, 2013

    I made this recipe for an office potluck. The cupcakes were more like a muffin than a cupcake, and even though I made therm the night before they tasted stale. Bite down, you get a mouthful of weird textures that quickly turn to an unswallowable wad of glue. I was not impressed to say the least. If you could offer some suggestions on how to make these more moist and fluffy, that would be appreciated.

  • ashleyann1 14 Jan, 2013

    I made this as a cake instead of cupcakes. Easy recipe and tasted wonderfully!

  • just a mom 27 Oct, 2012

    Made these for my daughters birthday at school. They turned out perfect. The children and the teachers raved about them. The cake was moist and dense enough to hold the frosting.

  • Grossfood 13 Jun, 2012

    It was so gross I threw up and I know I did everything right. Don't make this horrible cupcake. It's garbage in a cupcake liner.

  • Jessie1023 3 Jun, 2012

    Just made these cupcakes yesterday and they are divine! I am a big chocolate fan but decided to make some yellow cupcakes for my honey and these are phenomenal! I added a half cup of white chips to the batter but kept everything else the same. I highly recommend this recipe. Very quick and simple to make too. :)

  • LolaGrace 22 Jan, 2012

    This recipe works well with Gluten-Free Flour: in order to balance the dense texture of the GF flour, I added an additional 1/2 tsp. of Vanilla and 1/2 cup of sugar. Definitely worth a try!

  • monsieurjesse 16 Dec, 2011

    These cupcakes were amazing! I didn't change anything in the recipe and they came out just fine. I used whole milk for the cake and icing and had no problems with dryness (of the cake) or consistency (of the frosting). With regards to the icing, I gradually added the milk to make sure I got the consistency I wanted. Overall, this recipe was a huge success. I would make these again any day, no questions asked. =)

  • lindseymcenery 18 Nov, 2011

    YUM! I added 1/4 cup cream and a hand full of chocolate chips. These are AMAZING!!!! Moist and fluffy.

  • FRANDIA 21 Oct, 2011

    I have to put more milk because it seem dry, and maybe it was the best because they taste very good and were soft.

    Also I do another type of frosting with confectioners sugar, corn syrup, banana extract and milk. It was very good!

  • Gibby39 5 Oct, 2011

    This is my "Go To" cupcake recipe. It's been a hit at family gatherings and work functions. Like some other posters said, substituting cream for milk makes the buttercream icing great. If the icing is melting, cool it in the fridge for a bit first, or spread it on your cooled cupcakes and then place then in the fridge afterwards. I love this recipe!

  • pietheorem 22 Sep, 2011

    Unlike quite a lot of people, I had success with this recipe - even despite not having a proper cupcake/muffin tin in which to bake them.
    My cupcakes came out moist and perfectly sweet.
    I did change the frosting - I just used butter and sugar, plus about 50g of chocolate nesquik. They came out super. :)

  • Rachelle79 30 Aug, 2011

    Just finished wasting my time with these cupcakes. Like everyone else, they were dryer than I'd expected. They were a little dense, and overall very plain and the butter made them quite heavy.
    It reminded me of a BASIC butter cake, tasting of butter, neither sweet or flavorful. I even increased the vanilla only to find I could barely taste anything intriguing.
    I will not make this one again, and the icing was WAY to sweet. Reminded me of the icing glossed on sugar cookies. Very disappointing

  • dtalgoz 21 Aug, 2011

    I have no idea what you all are talking about. These cupcakes were amazing! They were the perfect balance of everything. I topped them with charred coconut and it was a very nice touch. To jazz them up for a party I also put on mini drink umbrellas. Great recipe!

  • BrielleF 14 Aug, 2011

    These were very dry and hard with not very good flavor. I even substituted cake flour for the all purpose flour and even that didn't ease up on the dryness. I won't use this recipe again.

  • CupcakeKatie 14 Jul, 2011

    These cupcakes were dry. Not what I would expect from Martha Stewart!! I threw the recipe in the garbage.

  • cakemakingkat 5 Jun, 2011

    this was a good recipe
    the cupcakes seemed a bit tough and dry
    they were good
    these cupcakes were so easy and took a very short amount of time to make

  • sweet2th 20 May, 2011

    Tastey yellow cupcakes. Only made about 15 cupcakes.

  • Emma_Doo 17 Apr, 2011

    These were really dense & not very sweet, everyone else liked them though!

  • mousie_04 10 Apr, 2011

    These have a similar texture to cornbread almost. Very dense. I probably won't be making them again.

  • Shadowplay 6 Mar, 2011

    I agree that they taste similar to a sugar cookie. Not that it didn't taste good but not what I expect out of a yellow cupcake.

    I wish I had used a hand mixer because I had to scrape the bowl a million times with my stand mixer. It was hard to incorporate the sugar/butter mixture completely.

    While they did taste good they were just not the type of yellow cake I looking for and do not plan on using this recipe again.

  • bigmomma64 26 Jan, 2011

    The recipe was a very good one. I got great comments on the cupcake, I made for my Grandson party. thanks Martha

  • melkalk 11 Jul, 2010

    I've had better. They were the density I was looking for but they were kind of dry and tasted like a sugar cookie in cake form. I'm sure they will taste better once they are filled and frosted- just letting them cool for now.

  • smacky192 18 Jun, 2010

    The cupcakes were delicious but the frosting was nasty- it was way too runny and tasted like eating confectioner's sugar straight from the bag. The cupcakes themselves though were moist, not too sweet, and just filling enough.

  • madilee43 20 May, 2010

    Cupcakes weren't great. or good, not very moist. I've definately made better..

  • agoldberg 12 Apr, 2010

    I made the yellow cupcakes for a baby shower and just made different chocolate frosting. The mom-to-be loved them and they were devoured pretty quickly.

  • stacy80 8 Apr, 2010

    didn't like the frosting and the cupcakes were not moist at all. definitly looking for another recipe.

  • marialinda 6 Apr, 2010

    hi all - the way i have always made this type of classic "american" buttercream is this- use heavy cream- slightly heated, melted butter and double the vanilla (as long as you do not need a very white frosting). you will not be disapointed. with these small adjustments you will have a very creamy and rich frosting that even adults will rave over- trust me!

  • casey94 28 Mar, 2010

    to make them moist, use whole milk and 3/4 cup. i did that and they were more moist.

  • shonak 15 Feb, 2010

    The WORST frosting I have ever made - straight into the garbage. A complete waste of time and ingredients.

    The cupcakes were very good and I'll make them again with a Nigella Lawson icing.

  • holleyhb 3 Nov, 2009

    I made these (without the frosting) for my daughter's first birthday. They were unbelievably delicious the day I made them, but the recipe is right about them not keeping well. They were dry by the next day.

  • LPMS 18 Sep, 2009

    I added 1 box of vanilla pudding mix to the dry ingredients and the cupcakes came out really moist and fluffy.

  • DebraN 6 Apr, 2009

    These cupcakes were a bit on the dense side. I like more light and fluffy cupcakes.

  • ParisPastry 2 Apr, 2009

    I baked the yellow cupcakes (without frosting) and they came out very well. Nice flavor, didn't overfloat or sink. I did have to add 1/4 cup more milk because they had not much of a dropping consistency otherwise. It's harder than it seems to find a decent plain cupcake recipe. I'd give it 4 out of 5!

  • ParisPastry 2 Apr, 2009

    I baked the yellow cupcakes (without frosting) and they came out very well. Nice flavor, didn't overfloat or sink. I did have to add 1/4 cup more milk because they had not much of a dropping consistency otherwise. It's harder than it seems to find a decent plain cupcake recipe. I'd give it 4 out of 5!

  • isabelhorta 16 Mar, 2009

    the frosting was a disaster, it was runny and just plain messy.
    the cupcakes were tasteless and honestly not good.
    DONT USE THIS RECIPE.

  • cnatgoby 5 Mar, 2009

    The cupcake turned out beautiful! I used a caramel buttercream recipe, found on this website instead...they were delish! Thank you!

  • gardening_eden 26 Feb, 2009

    I have made this frosting before, and in my experience the issue is in the type of milk you use. When I made the frosting with whole milk, it turned out beautifully, and was one of the best frostings I've ever had. When I made it with skim milk, it was a soupy disaster that never set up. I don't think the typo is in the amount, I think they need to specify WHOLE milk.

  • jimsonly 19 Feb, 2009

    Whoever edits recipes at Martha's should be fired. More than once the wrong measurements or wrong ingredient is listed. I don't allow for any typo's either when coming to recipes, it's too costly to waste my $

  • baw90066 16 Jan, 2009

    This is the WORST frosting EVER! I frosted my son's daycare bday party cupcake with this frosting this morning. It was horrible. They were a total mess. I had to scrape all the frosting off this morning and start all over again with the recipe on the sugar box...that recipe was great. This may be my last Martha recipe...

  • janvier 11 Oct, 2008

    with confectioners'' frosting, heat some milk, and add it gradually, one tablespoon at a time, until you find the consistency that makes you happy. This is the only true solution.

  • OlivetoCreate 19 Sep, 2008

    I completely agree the cupcakes were good, but the frosting didn't turn out. The milk portion has to be a typo, the frosting turned out runny and there was a lot leftover...plus it never set-up, it stayed soft. I would def adjust the frosting like the others recommended.

  • OlivetoCreate 19 Sep, 2008

    I completely agree the cupcakes were good, but the frosting didn't turn out. The milk portion has to be a typo, the frosting turned out runny and there was a lot leftover...plus it never set-up, it stayed soft. I would def adjust the frosting like the others recommended.

  • sweetsugarjunkies 8 Sep, 2008

    the cupcakes were good.and I just added more confectioner's sugar until I liked the consistancy and instead of vanilla I added a few teaspoon's of caramel sauce and it was great(:

  • sweetsugarjunkies 8 Sep, 2008

    the cupcakes were good.and I just added more confectioner's sugar until I liked the consistancy and instead of vanilla I added a few teaspoon's of caramel sauce and it was great(:

  • PinkAlligator 1 Jul, 2008

    Lovely yellow cupcakes. YUM! Be sure not to overfill them or they become dense. I didn't even bother with this frosting since the comments were unfavorable.

  • DonnaBilko 13 Apr, 2008

    The cakes themselves were great, the frosting recipe calls for way too much milk, if any should be added at all. I should have known better but added the milk anyway and the frosting was ruined. Next time, I'll only add, at the end, enough milk to achieve the proper consistency.

  • rvasquez 4 Apr, 2008

    After looking at the recipe for the frosting Martha Stewart has almost the exact same recipe for Vanilla Frosting on this same web-site and the milk called for 2 tbsp. So it must be a typo.

  • starstrukd26 20 Mar, 2008

    Made these cupcakes, I found that there was WAY too much milk in the frosting, should have been 1-2 tbsp I feel. I had to throw it out because I almost used a whole bag of sugar to try and stiffen it up with no success and ended up making the icing from the recipe on the bag.

  • grannydancer 22 Feb, 2008

    Why put a muffin tin on a baking sheet? Does it have to do with the bottoms browning?

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