Cupcakes have long been a popular dessert item in the United States, where they originated back in the early 19th century. They can be made with various types of batter, but are usually baked in small cups so that they rise higher and have more surface area on top to frost. If you love cupcakes, learn how to make cupcakes at home with these cupcake recipes! These recipes range from easy to difficult, so whether you’re new to baking or an expert chef, there’s something here for you!
The basic cupcake recipe is made of just a few simple ingredients: flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and egg. Using these basic ingredients in different combinations will give you dozens of options for cupcakes. For example, adding lemon zest or vanilla extract will add flavors that are complementary to sweet frosting.
It’s up to you whether you want your cupcakes filled or unfilled. If you don’t have a specific filling in mind, vanilla is a great option for its sweet flavor and vanilla beans are easy enough to find at any grocery store. Chocolate, on the other hand, is even sweeter so it requires more cake mix than vanilla does for balance; add about 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and some water if necessary. Canned fruit has long been a favorite of amateur bakers but be sure that what you're using was packed in water or juice (not syrup) and drain it well before adding it to your batter. You can also try mashing up fresh fruit with sugar or sugar substitutes.
Buttercream frosting is a classic topping, which can transform any cupcake into something absolutely delicious. For buttercream frosting, you’ll need: 1 cup of powdered sugar (sifted), 2-3 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add all three ingredients into a bowl and mix on low speed until well combined; add in more powdered sugar if needed to reach your desired consistency. If you want your frosting sweeter, add more powdered sugar until it tastes just right.
How much you do with your cupcakes is up to you, but it doesn’t hurt to add some flair. To make your cupcakes look their best before they go into the oven, use a butter knife or offset spatula to spread on a thin layer of frosting and/or sprinkle on sugar. Then bake them as directed below. Once cool, put aside some time for frosting and decorating. There are three main ways of topping cupcakes: spreading frosting with an offset spatula (just like icing a cake), piping on frosting using a pastry bag fitted with tips (the star tip is our favorite), or cutting into small wedges and garnishing each slice individually.