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 10 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 3/4 cup, 180g, or 6ounces Eggs, 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 (1 1/2 sticks or 169g) 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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  • Karen says:

    These yellow cupcakes look wonderful. I also have tried many yellow cupcake recipes and was not happy with the outcome. I will be trying these soon. Thanks Amanda.

  • Monica says:

    I keep thinking you just have a magical way with buttercream (and cake, and everything…) but I see that you are clearly also a very hardworker and meticulous in getting things perfect! How lucky are we that you’re so generous to share with us! I love it!

  • Mindy says:

    So you would preheat the oven to whatever the recipe calls for, but then immediately drop the temperature when they go in the oven, so it is decreasing and the cupcakes spend most of their time baking at 25 degrees lower than originally called for?

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, that is it exactly!

  • Nazreen says:

    Is there a substitute for sour cream? Something like fresh cream or curd

    • Amanda says:

      Yogurt works well!

  • Jenelle Samuels says:

    Thank you for this! I just want to know the exact amount of batter to fill the cupcake holder before baking?

    • Amanda says:

      It varies! I have done as little as 1/2 of the way up and all the way up to 3/4 of the way up.

  • Marichú Velasco says:

    85 gr butter? 1 stick is 110 gr or 1/2 cup and the recipe say 1 and 1/2 sticks

    • Rina says:

      Also are we referring to the cupcake or frosting recipe? I would like to try out this recipe. Please list cupcake batter XXg of butter and frosting XXg of butter? Thanks. Much appreciated.

    • Helen Sigcha says:

      I’m making these cupcakes today, what is the right amount of butter I should use? Please help!

      Thank you.

      • Amanda says:

        The recipe is written correctly. Enjoy your cupcakes! 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      1 1/2 sticks is 3/4 cup
      1 stick of butter is 113 g
      1 stick of butter (113g) PLUS 1/2 stick of butter (56g) = 169g of butter
      Hope that helps.

      • Shawna Martinez says:

        In the icing you don’t say if it’s salted or unsalted butter. Can you please help with that?

        • Amanda says:

          I usually bake with unsalted.

  • Maria says:

    These look wonderful!! Are these frosted using ice cream scoop?

  • Yun Li says:

    Is Sour Cream absolutely essential? Where I live, it’s hard to come across sour cream, so I was wondering if I could leave it out, or if there was a substitute I could use. 🙂

  • Jody says:

    Hi ???? Are these better than your yellow cake mix? I made it last week, but it was a little ‘stodgy’. Oh well I might just have to test one more recipe…

  • Ilsa Serrano says:

    I would like to know if I can use this recipe in 2 8×8 inch pan instead of cupcakes. Thank you.

  • Julie says:

    Hi! Just found this recipie. I would like to use this recipie for a cake. How long should I cook it for?

  • Aneesa says:

    Oh my i really can’tcwait to try this recipe!! Too bad it’s almost 10pm here in the UK and I have an early start tomorrow otgerwise i’d be in the kitchen right now!! I too am a perfectionist and I have tried sooooooooooo many vanilla cupcake recipes that i was starting to think it was impossible to find an amazing one. This one looks great! Thank you. Will be giving it a go very soon!!

  • Beth says:

    I LOVE using your recipes! Your chocolate buttercream frosting is the BEST frosting I have ever had, and I don’t even like chocolate that much!
    This recipe for the yellow cupcakes I have a question about though. Do you have to use the almond extract? If not should it be replaced with something else and if so, what?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      You can simply omit it. 🙂

      • Kenny Wolf says:

        I made these with an extra tsp of vanilla since I didn’t have almond extract, worked great!

  • Kate says:

    I’m wondering if you, or anyone else, has tried this as a cake ? Two 9″ pans ?

  • Catherine Heras says:

    I made this buttercream and it is so DELICIOUS!!! Mine was not as dark as yours thought. What brand of cocoa powder do you use? Thank you.

  • Helen Sigcha says:

    How far in advance can you make this cupcakes.

  • Lori Schrank says:

    So far this cupcake recipe is the best. I don’t care for cupcakes made with oil, so this is truly the best even though my daughter tells me too much almond extract.
    We’ll see what my co-workers have to say. They’re my guinea pigs.

  • Eliza says:

    Just found this recipe. If I want to halve the recipe and just make 12, can I half everything and use 2 large eggs?

    • Cindy says:

      I would like to do the same!!!! Can I cut in half?? There’s only 2 of us! Thanks

  • Kenny Wolf says:

    These were so amazingly light and fluffy., thank you so much for the recipe! You made my daughter very happy on her sixth birthday. 🙂

  • Dineshi says:

    Can I use reverse creaming method to make these cupcakes?

  • Jada Semidey says:

    Can you use a mini cupcake pan with this recipe?

  • David says:

    I see that sugar is not sifted in the buttercream, or is it? Wouldnt it be better?

  • sharon nor says:

    YIKES – made these exact to recipe and when I pulled them out of the oven they had almost exploded something frothing or bubbling up. Clueless

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