Perfect Yellow Cupcakes {with amazing Chocolate Buttercream}

filed under: Cupcakes on September 28, 2015

These Ultimate Yellow Cupcakes paired with an amazing Whipped Chocolate Buttercream are the perfect way to enjoy your favorite flavor of cake! I love sharing desserts with you, so after you have saved this recipe be sure to check out my Cheesecake Recipe, Snickerdoodle Recipe, and Cookie Recipes!

Yellow Cupcake Recipe

Yellow cupcakes should not be this hard!

This is what I have said to myself many times over the last 3 weeks. I have tested a LOT of cupcake recipes, and none of them seemed to be up to par. They were too much like cornbread, or had no flavor, or had a weird texture, or even just failed to ever rise! And yes, even though I have made no less than 37,541 cupcakes in my life, there is nothing quite like the disappointment of opening the oven only to see a sunken mess within.

Thankfully I did land upon a recipe that was family approved, church lady approved, and best of all… approved by me! (arguably the toughest critic) I have paired it with a luscious Whipped Chocolate Buttercream because that is what makes sense in this crazy world.

The Perfect Yellow Cupcake with a delicious Whipped Chocolate Buttercream!

How to Bake Perfect Cupcakes

Do not skip in the sifting of the dry ingredients. Lumps are not your friend.

I know the almond extract is going to be concerning to some folks… but just try the recipe written as is before you decide to leave it out. If you are allergic to nuts you can use Imitation Almond Extract.

I tried my very hardest to find a recipe that does not use cake flour, but ultimately they just did not hold up as well to my strict criteria. If you cannot buy cake flour you can make it.

The Perfect Yellow Cupcake with a delicious Whipped Chocolate Buttercream!

Once you have added your leavening ingredients and flour is when you want to pay attention to mixing. Not over-mixing this batter is important! If you don’t mind a little elbow grease, you can mix all of the dry ingredients by hand.

I am not kidding when I tell you that I have tested, re-tested, and then re-re-tested this recipe as well as many others.

How to Quickly Get Eggs Up to Room Temperature!

Quick Room Temperature Eggs

Room temperature ingredients are important here. To quickly get your sour cream and eggs to room temp you can place them in a bowl of hot water for 1-2 minutes. (make sure the sour cream container is tightly sealed)

Testing Recipes for the Perfect Yellow Cupcake

(and this is just one week’s worth!)

What I like about the winning recipe shared above is the texture, the buttery flavor, and the beautiful little dome these cupcakes achieve.

The Perfect Yellow Cupcake with a delicious Whipped Chocolate Buttercream!

If quality matters to you, then this is the time to take your baking seriously. To take the time to find quality ingredients and recipes that are destined to make you succeed. To be rewarded with a beautiful, perfect cupcake after taking the time to bake it with love.

After all, you can’t be sad when holding the perfect yellow cupcake!

These tips are perfect, every time!

5 from 16 votes
The Perfect Yellow Cupcake with a delicious Whipped Chocolate Buttercream!
Perfect Yellow Cupcakes and Whipped Chocolate Buttercream
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
16 mins
Total Time
36 mins

These Ultimate Yellow Cupcakes paired with an amazing Whipped Chocolate Buttercream are the perfect way to enjoy your favorite flavor of cake!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Perfect Yellow Cupcakes {with amazing Chocolate Buttercream}
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Author: Amanda Rettke
Yellow Cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 169g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 3 Eggs, (3/4 cup, 180g, or 6ounces) room temperature
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cup (287g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (312g) cake flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Chocolate Buttercream
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups (500g) powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup (94g) cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp. (60ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch table salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.

  3. With mixer on medium-low, add the eggs 1 at a time, allowing them to incorporate before adding next.
  4. With mixer off, add the vanilla, almond extract, and sour cream. Turn mixer on low until incorporated then high for about 1 minute.

  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift at least 2 times.
  6. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

  7. Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop or a measuring cup, divide batter into cupcake pans.
  8. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until cupcake springs back when pressed in the center.
  9. Chocolate Buttercream
  10. In a the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk butter and sugar on medium-high speed until very pale and fluffy, or about five minutes.

  11. Be sure to stop at least once and scrape the bowl.
  12. With the mixer off, add in cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt.
  13. Turn mixer on low and blend for about 30 seconds.
  14. One tablespoon at a time, add in heavy cream.
  15. Once all cream has been added and mixture is mostly combined, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  16. Now turn the mixer onto medium-high to high and whisk for 3-5 minutes or until mixture is light and
  17. fluffy. The frosting will be shiny and seem to have many large air bubbles throughout and this is exactly what we are going for. (You can smooth those out on the cake if so desired.)

  18. Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting.
  19. Recipe makes about 24-30 cupcakes.


Because I adore you all so much I am going to give you my three TRIED&TESTED tips for perfect cupcakes:

  1. Room temperature ingredients.
  2. Oven Placement- try to make sure pans never touch each other or the sides of the oven
  3. Oven Temperature- try decreasing temperature by 25 degrees after you place cupcakes in oven.

By doing these things in conjunction with a reliable recipe, you are guaranteed cupcake success!

Perfect Yellow Cupcakes- This recipe is no-fail!

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  • Tena W. says:

    Does this work as a layer cake? Or 9 x 13?


    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Tena! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You can definitely make these cupcakes as a layer cake or in a 9×13-inch baking pan, but you will have to adjust the baking times. Have a great day!

  • Marla says:

    I am making these for a grad party for a co-worker. Will the buttercream withstand being outside? It’s to be 80 degrees out! Yikes! Thank you!!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      No! I would recommend an ALL shortening based recipe for temperatures like that! Think of buttercream like you would butter… if butter will melt at 80°F so will the frosting!

  • Elianna Mizrachi says:

    Hi there ~ I’d like to make these for my sister who has a dairy allergy. Do you have any recommendations for dairy free alternatives for the sour cream, et cetera?
    Thanks, Elianna 🙂

  • Chaitali Verma says:

    Can substitute sour cream with buttermilk? And if so in what quantities?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Chaitali! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have not tried using buttermilk in place of the sour cream in this recipe, so I can’t say how that would affect the taste and texture.

  • Sonya says:

    Any eggless vanilla cake recipe, which can give the same taste and texture. Pls. Thank you

  • Leah says:

    I’m not a baker at all. I haven’t baked anything that wasn’t from a box. I followed this recipe and baked the most perfect cupcakes. My only reservation is that I can taste the almond extract So much 🙁 I’m bummed about that because I’m not crazy about the taste and I don’t think yellow cupcakes should straight up taste like almond extract :(. Next time I make them I’ll reduce the almond extract to 1/2 tsp. But if I’m not happy w that I’ll fully remove the almond extract.

  • Beth says:

    I would give 10 stars if I could!!! I have been trying to find a go-to vanilla cupcake recipe for YEARS, and every blogger promises their recipe makes the best cupcakes ever, but I’ve always been disappointed…whether they’re too dry, too dense, have a weird taste, or sink after cooling. But these cupcakes are PERFECT. They rise to a cute little dome, are moist, delicious, and everything else I’ve always wanted in a cupcake. THANK YOU AMANDA!!!!! I will now be trying all of your other recipes too 🙂

  • Maisie says:

    they came out perfect and tasted amazing. I saw that a lot of you are asking about the dairy free alternative. I’m not the baker but I looked some up and it said that soy, coconut milk, and even cashews are ok.


    Just bought a coffee shop and am the baker. Is this recipe already adjusted for high altitude or do I need to adjust? Thanks!

  • Alyssa says:

    These are phonemenal cupcakes. The texture *chefs kiss* is light and airy and the taste is wonderfully buttery with a hint of almond that is such a lovely flavor profile. I’ve baked a lot of cupcakes and these by far are the best I’ve made. My only other comment is that I didn’t get quite the dome I expected on most of the cupcakes. Only one looked as perfect as the pictures. Thoughts on what might have caused this?

  • Val says:

    What kind of cocoa powder did you use? I used 100% cocoa but my frosting looked nothing like yours.

  • Shanay says:

    Would have to agree with above commenters that the almond extract is much too strong. Will likely omit and/or use vanilla extract instead.

  • Jaden says:

    Hi, I had a question before using this recipe, so would I use the self rising cake flour or the flour and what’s the difference?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Jaden! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Using cake flour does make a difference. Here is a recipe for making your own homemade cake flour to use in the recipe. Have a great day!

  • Shirley says:

    Can I successfully half this recipe?

  • Monique says:

    I NEVER EVER leave reviews but OMG I am amazed on how good and moist these cupcakes are!! I highly recommend this recipe! I’ve tried so many cupcake recipes trying to find a vanilla/yello cupcake and all of them came out dry but this cupcake omg so moist! I’m glad I didn’t give up and kept searching ☺️

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yay! Thrilled you loved them! Thank you!

  • Jennifer says:

    Turns out that if you take a bowl of liquid and turn the mixer in high for a minute, you get cake batter all over the kitchen! Cover with a tea towel first…

  • Kathleen says:

    Have you ever tried adding mini chocolate chips to batter? Was wondering if the batter is thick enough to suspend choc chips? Maybe coat them in flour as well?

  • Teri Golembeski says:

    What size cupcake tins do you use?

  • Donna Wilson-Singleton says:

    Can I use a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer?

    • Amanda Rettke says: