Rating: 3.59 stars
709 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 153
  • 4 star values: 256
  • 3 star values: 185
  • 2 star values: 86
  • 1 star values: 29

These classic back-to-school treats will surely be big hits.

Everyday Food, September 2006

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Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
total:
40 mins
Yield:
Makes 12
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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Reviews (61)

709 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 153
  • 4 star values: 256
  • 3 star values: 185
  • 2 star values: 86
  • 1 star values: 29
Rating: 2 stars
01/21/2018
I don't leave negative reviews lightly, but would definitely not make these again. I agree with lots of other people who say this is more like a muffin than a cupcake recipe. They were not at all fluffy- very dense and not very cake like. I suspected they would turn out that way by the looks of the very thick batter. A cupcake batter should be more wet.
Rating: 1 stars
06/10/2016
They're the worst cupcakes I've ever had. They tasted like cornbread and were way too sweet. Never making these again and strongly advise anyone else not to make them.
Rating: Unrated
01/06/2016
Question: pastry sleeve can be used with THIS frosting? Or is it too creamy?
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Rating: Unrated
11/24/2015
I should have cake sale at school, thought to make cupcakesene at home and bring the frosting to school and frost it there . and wondered if something happens to frost if it is in a bag or bowl for a few hours
Rating: Unrated
03/25/2015
Just made these for the second time. Great recipe. Icing is perfect. I separated the icing into 3 bowls and added a little food coloring to each. Delicious!
Rating: 2 stars
02/01/2015
Cake had a cornbread taste and texture to it. I'm so disappointed in the cake batter of this recipe. I bake all of the time, this was by far the worst yellow cake recipe I've tried. It's more of a muffin/corn bread texture with no flavor. So disappointing. Icing is great, I've used something similar before. It does melt upon application so be ready.
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Rating: Unrated
04/19/2014
The recipe was good, but add a teaspoon of vanilla pudding to make the cake more moist.
Rating: Unrated
04/17/2014
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.
Rating: Unrated
02/27/2014
I made it, cup cake was good but the icing wasn't...
Rating: Unrated
09/20/2013
So disappointing!!!! Do not use this recipe, I agree with every bad comment on here.
Rating: Unrated
07/05/2013
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?
Rating: Unrated
03/18/2013
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.
Rating: Unrated
03/01/2013
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.
Rating: Unrated
01/14/2013
I made this as a cake instead of cupcakes. Easy recipe and tasted wonderfully!
Rating: 5 stars
10/27/2012
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.
Rating: Unrated
06/13/2012
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.
Rating: Unrated
06/03/2012
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. :)
Rating: Unrated
01/22/2012
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!
Rating: Unrated
12/16/2011
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. =)
Rating: Unrated
11/18/2011
YUM! I added 1/4 cup cream and a hand full of chocolate chips. These are AMAZING!!!! Moist and fluffy.
Rating: 4 stars
10/21/2011
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!
Rating: 5 stars
10/05/2011
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!
Rating: Unrated
09/22/2011
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. :)
Rating: Unrated
08/30/2011
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
Rating: Unrated
08/21/2011
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!
Rating: Unrated
08/14/2011
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.
Rating: Unrated
07/14/2011
These cupcakes were dry. Not what I would expect from Martha Stewart!! I threw the recipe in the garbage.
Rating: Unrated
06/05/2011
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
Rating: Unrated
05/20/2011
Tastey yellow cupcakes. Only made about 15 cupcakes.
Rating: Unrated
04/17/2011
These were really dense & not very sweet, everyone else liked them though!
Rating: Unrated
04/10/2011
These have a similar texture to cornbread almost. Very dense. I probably won't be making them again.
Rating: Unrated
03/06/2011
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.
Rating: Unrated
01/26/2011
The recipe was a very good one. I got great comments on the cupcake, I made for my Grandson party. thanks Martha
Rating: Unrated
07/11/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
06/18/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
05/20/2010
Cupcakes weren't great. or good, not very moist. I've definately made better..
Rating: Unrated
04/12/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
04/08/2010
didn't like the frosting and the cupcakes were not moist at all. definitly looking for another recipe.
Rating: Unrated
04/06/2010
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!
Rating: Unrated
03/28/2010
to make them moist, use whole milk and 3/4 cup. i did that and they were more moist.
Rating: Unrated
02/15/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
11/03/2009
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.
Rating: Unrated
09/18/2009
I added 1 box of vanilla pudding mix to the dry ingredients and the cupcakes came out really moist and fluffy.
Rating: Unrated
04/06/2009
These cupcakes were a bit on the dense side. I like more light and fluffy cupcakes.
Rating: Unrated
04/02/2009
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!
Rating: Unrated
04/02/2009
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!
Rating: Unrated
03/16/2009
the frosting was a disaster, it was runny and just plain messy. the cupcakes were tasteless and honestly not good. DONT USE THIS RECIPE.
Rating: Unrated
03/05/2009
The cupcake turned out beautiful! I used a caramel buttercream recipe, found on this website instead...they were delish! Thank you!
Rating: Unrated
02/26/2009
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.
Rating: Unrated
02/19/2009
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 $
Rating: Unrated
01/16/2009
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...
Rating: Unrated
10/11/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
09/19/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
09/19/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
09/08/2008
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(:
Rating: Unrated
09/08/2008
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(:
Rating: Unrated
07/01/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
04/13/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
04/04/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
03/20/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
02/22/2008
Why put a muffin tin on a baking sheet? Does it have to do with the bottoms browning?
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