Small-Batch Celebration Cupcakes

celebration cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles
Photo: David Malosh
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 10 mins

Who needs a reason for cupcakes? Commemorate getting to Wednesday with a mini-batch of these cream-cheese-frosted cupcakes. For optimum lift, bake them in a full-size pan, skipping every other cup to allow for extra air circulation.



  • ¼ cup whole milk, room temperature

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • cup granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (we use Diamond Crystal)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (¼ cup), melted and cooled


  • 2 ounces cream cheese (¼ cup), softened

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (¼ cup), room temperature

  • teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • Sprinkles, for decorating


  1. For the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 6 hollows of a standard muffin tin with paper baking cups, skipping every other cup to allow for extra air circulation. Whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt until well combined.

  2. Drizzle in butter and beat until crumbly. Slowly beat in milk mixture, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Divide evenly among baking cups, filling each about two-thirds full.

  3. Bake until light golden and a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then remove from tin and let cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.

  4. For the Frosting: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and salt and continue to beat until completely incorporated and frosting is smooth and creamy. Frost cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles; enjoy the same day they're made.

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