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Erin McDowell’s 8 Best Cupcake Recipes for an Extra-Special, Extra-Fun Dessert

Cupcakes are a constant for me, not a baking trend. As someone who bakes a lot, I never tire of making them – they’re easy to make, and I always get excited about eating them. They are also a lot of fun to dress up, get creative with, and make extra special. I find that I’m not alone in my love for cupcakes, too— I have elicited my fair share of gasps and smiles walking into a room carrying a colorful box of cupcakes. (Seriously – move over bouquet of flowers—give me a box o’ cupcakes.) And if cupcakes are meant to be baked, gifted, and/or eaten by the dozen, I’m coming in hot with a bunch of recipes to keep you in tiny cakes for all occasions. My newest episode of Bake it Up a Notch dives deep into all things cupcakes—from super simple to over-the-top, I’ve got your cupcake to-bake list covered.

1. Basic Vanilla & Chocolate Cupcakes

These are my go-to cupcakes: an easy base recipe that can be made in vanilla or chocolate. These rise a “just-right” amount, to get a beautiful little cakey dome with a super moist crumb that’s a perfect match for any frosting or other finishes you can dream up! Be sure to check out this article I wrote back in 2015 about cupcakes, too—it has lots of ideas and techniques for making your best, plus creative ideas for making them look super beautiful, too. What’s that? Super in-depth coverage on cupcakes from me over five years ago on this same site? Just a perfect example of the cupcake constant.


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