Recipe: Yellow Cupcakes with Homemade Frosting (better than the box!)

CupcakesBoth of my daughters typically request yellow birthday cake over chocolate, which consistently leaves me wondering if there was a mix up at birth. Almost every year we have the same conversation where I ask, “What kind of cake do you want for your birthday…chocolate or yellow?” and the answer I get is “yellow.” Then I immediately follow up with, “Are you sure? You don’t want chocolate???” But no matter how hard I try I can’t win them over, although one year I did get my older daughter to agree to a yellow AND chocolate marbled cake, which turned out to be a win-win for everyone. :)

So as promised (on Facebook a couple weeks ago), below is the yellow cupcake/cake recipe we’ve been using. And while this recipe below (originally from Joy of Cooking) contains sugar and some white flour – both against our real food rules – I recognize this is WAY better than the store bought boxed version that many have relied on for years and that unfortunately contains a lot of unwanted additives (like hydrogenated oils)! And for the homemade frosting I even used all natural beet juice for the pretty pink color you see in the photos. For a less girly look feel free to experiment with small amounts of other colored juices as well (I froze the leftover juice in an ice cube tray since it didn’t take much). So for those occasions which are truly special – like birthdays! – we hope you enjoy this homemade treat with your loved ones.

I am admittedly horrible at decorating cakes so here are some links to the supplies that helped me pull these together:

Icing Cupcakes

 

4.7 from 10 reviews
Yellow Cupcakes (better than the box!)
Serves: About 20 Cupcakes
 
Adapted from Joy of Cooking.
Click here for two frosting recipes to choose from...yes, just pick one!
Ingredients
  • 1⅔ cup white cake flour
  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour (100% whole-grain flour)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter, at room temp
  • 1 ¼ cups + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
Instructions
  1. Line a cupcake pan with 20 paper liners and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl combine the milk, egg yolks, and vanilla.
  3. In a large mixing bowl use an electric whisk to beat the butter and 1¼ cups sugar together until creamy. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add both the flour mixture and milk mixture in small batches (and alternating) while the mixer is still going. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
  4. Again using an electric mixer whip the egg whites along with 1 tablespoon sugar until they are light and fluffy and peaks begin to form. Do not overmix because the mixture will become dry. Using a rubber spatula carefully fold the egg whites into the cake batter until it is combined thoroughly (again be careful not to overmix).
  5. Equally divide the batter into the 20 cupcake liners and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes clean, about 22 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely before adding frosting.
Notes
Cupcakes can be frozen unfrosted.

Click for the frosting recipes.

Cupcakes Lit

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

Comments

  1. Lauren |

    My birthday is coming up in December and I am facing a dilemma. My absolute favorite birthday cake is Red Velvet Cupcakes. I love them, a lot, but my recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of red food coloring. I am assuming the kind I have been using is petroleum based. I don’t want to put that in my body, but I still want Red Velvet for my birthday cake. Could I substitute beet juice for the food dye? Any other suggestions? Thank you!

  2. Confused |

    What is cake flour? Is that just regular flour? Sorry, I’m new to cooking so I have no idea, explain it like you would to a child ;)

    • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

      Hi there. Cake flour is a very fine flour with a lower protein content than all purpose flour. It gives cakes a fine texture. :)

  3. |

    This recipie calls for sugar, I assume white granulated sugar? Also could you sub with maple syrup or applesauce?

    • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

      Hi Sherri. Yes, this is one of the rare exceptions to Lisa’s recipes where she uses white sugar. We’ve not subbed with maple or applesauce. ~Amy

  4. Erin westervelt |

    I want to make these for my daughters’ preschool Valentine’s parties but one student has a milk allergy (just milk not butter) is there something I can substitute? Btw I use pomegranate juice to dye my frosting instead of beet juice – much easier!

    • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

      Hi Erin. You can sub with almond or coconut milk.

  5. Brittany |

    My daughter’s birthday is coming up and she has a friend that can’t have dairy. I was planning on subbing the milk with almond milk. What about the butter? Will coconut oil work? Also, any suggestions on a tried dairy free, whole food frosting? Can find some but with things I usually don’t bake with like soy margarine and I’m sure they aren’t whole food.
    Btw, have made this as written in cupcake and cake form and it is a great recipe!
    Thanks for any help!
    Brittany

      • Brittany |

        Thanks for replying. That sounds like a perfect solution. Sounds safe to make the night before, throw in fridge and take out 30 minutes before serving so not too hard? What’s your experience with it overnight? Thanks again!

        • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

          Hey again. I’ve not made it the day before so I can’t say how well it will hold up.

  6. natasha |

    Could this be made into a cake and if so how would the temp/time be affected?
    Thanks!

  7. Kristin |

    I have always wanted to try coloring my homemade buttercream with beet juice, but was afraid the frosting would be too runny to pipe. Thanks for the recipe! My girl will be so excited to have PINK frosting on their birthday.

1 9 10 11

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (optional):