Moist Yellow Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting.

These super moist yellow cupcakes with milk chocolate frosting reign supreme in the dessert world. Soft, fluffy, and bursting with buttery flavor. Homemade tastes 1,000x better than a box!

Super-moist Yellow Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Finally the perfect homemade yellow cupcake recipe!

It’s been a few years since I made classic yellow cupcakes. If you click over, you will see that I clearly used an iPhone in the first few months of my blog’s life. My eyes hurt.

Nothing, and I mean nothing beats a classic yellow cupcake topped with milk chocolate frosting. And I know I’m pretty biased because sprinkles is my middle name (not really but it should be), but yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting taste 1,000x better when there are rainbow sprinkles on top. Am I right or amIright?

Super-moist Yellow Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Finally the perfect homemade yellow cupcake recipe!

To celebrate the wedding getting sooo close, I set out to make a brand new recipe for yellow cupcakes. Though my original recipe is quite impressive, sometimes change is a good thing. And I clearly need some updated photos.

Yellow cupcakes are about as classic as apple pie. As iconic as chocolate chip cookies and as supreme as chocolate cake. I can’t remember a single birthday without a yellow cupcake covered in creamy chocolate frosting.

The homemade yellow cupcakes I remember from growing up are rich, tender, moist little versions of yellow sheet cake. Covered with mounds of whipped, luscious chocolate frosting. Each bite seemed to completely melt in my mouth – though most of it ended up on my face and fingers. All good desserts are messy.

Super-moist Yellow Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Finally the perfect homemade yellow cupcake recipe!

(The return of my fave polka dot plates.)

Before you go reaching for boxed mixes and canned frosting (eww), take 2 seconds to read this sentence: NOTHING beats the flavor of a homemade yellow cupcake. If you’re shaking your head doubting your cupcake baking skills, let me tell you that it is not impossible to make a buttery, rich, moist yellow cake from scratch! And you can do it with everyday ingredients like milk, flour, sugar, and eggs. You can! You can.

These yellow cupcakes taste quite similar to my very vanilla cupcakes, but have a fluffier texture. Less vanilla flavor, more buttery flavor. They’re darker in color and richer in taste (thanks to the egg yolks). My yellow cupcakes require a little more patience and a few more steps, but once you take that first bite – it is soooo worth it.

Let’s dive in. ↓

Homemade Milk Chocolate Frosting - smooth, velvety, and rich! Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Sally's Baking Addiction Classic Yellow Cupcakes - 100x better than a box mix!

A few things I urge you to read before beginning:

(1) The butter and sugar are creamed together. I find this creates a cakier tasting cupcake with a lighter crumb. Make sure you beat the butter and sugar together until they are nice and fluffy. At least 3 minutes. It seems like a long time, but trust me. You are beating air into the mixture which produces a lighter textured cake.

(2) Separate the eggs. I tested a few methods these past few weeks and went through nearly 1 dozen eggs in my yellow cupcake mission. I found the fluffiest texture is produced when the egg yolks are mixed with the creamed butter/sugar. And the egg whites are whipped to a foamy, thick texture and then folded into the batter right before baking.

See photo of whipped egg whites below the recipe for a visual.

(3) Use whole milk. Not skim, almond, coconut, 1%, 2%, etc. If you want a rich taste and a moist texture, whole milk will get you there. I rarely have whole milk, so I know it’s annoying to go out and buy it for one recipe. But luckily you can use extras to make these pancakes, this quiche, this cake, and this french toast. If you want your cupcakes to taste like mine, use whole milk. **Buttermilk would be the only other acceptable liquid.

(4) This milk chocolate frosting is a reader favorite. It makes several appearances in my cookbook and is one of my personal favorites. Plus, it’s so easy to make. I give some suggestions for other frostings you may use in the recipe notes, so take a peek.

No piping tip for these cupcakes, just a simple swirl of milk chocolate frosting using a knife. I suggest this cupcake icing knife. Inexpensive and easy to use.

Super-moist Yellow Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Finally the perfect homemade yellow cupcake recipe!

In addition to the 4 notes above, I wrote lots of helpful notes for you at the bottom of the recipe. Be sure to read them before beginning. I want your cupcakes to be a huge success! I also took a few step-by-step photos for you as a guide. See them below the recipe.

Enjoy, cupcake lovers.

 

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Moist Yellow Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Yield: 16-18 cupcakes

These super moist yellow cupcakes with milk chocolate frosting reign supreme in the dessert world. Soft, fluffy, and bursting with buttery flavor. Homemade tastes 1,000x better than a box!

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature and separated
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (280g) sifted all-purpose flour1
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (180g) unsalted butter, softened too room temperature2
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, room temperature3

 Milk Chocolate Frosting4

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature2
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup (45g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream or milk
  • rainbow sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. This recipe only makes 16-18 cupcakes, so you will have 4-6 cupcakes to bake in a 2nd batch. Please read notes about mini cupcakes.
  2. Make the cupcakes: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat 2 egg whites on high speed in a medium bowl until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. See photo at the bottom of this post for a visual. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy - about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add two egg yolks and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the whole milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. Fold whipped egg whites into cupcake batter. The batter will be smooth, velvety, and slightly thick.
  5. Spoon batter into cupcake liners filling halfway full. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake; your cupcakes will dry out. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  6. Make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy - about 2 full minutes. This creates a creamy base for the frosting. Turn speed to low and slowly add 3 cups of confectioners' sugar, the cocoa powder, and salt. Beat until sugar/cocoa are absorbed into the butter, about 2 minutes. Turn mixer to medium speed and add the vanilla and cream. Once added, turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add the last 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar if you'd like to increase the frosting's thickness. Pipe or spread the frosting onto cooled cupcakes. I used this cupcake icing knife. Decorate with sprinkles.
  7. Make ahead tip: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Decorate/assemble cupcakes immediately before serving. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3 days. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Additional Notes:

  1. Readers have asked if cake flour can be used instead of all-purpose flour. Yes, absolutely! I recommend 2 and 1/3 cups sifted cake flour (you'll need a little more than if you were using all-purpose).
  2. Do not try speeding up the process of allowing your butter to come to room temperature by microwaving. I never suggest doing this! Butter must be softened, but not melty in the slightest. You should be able to press your finger into the stick of butter and make an indent easily, without your finger sliding anywhere. Firm, but not cold. Like this. Simply set out 1 hour before beginning.
  3. If you want your cupcakes to taste like mine, use whole milk. Not skim, 1%, 2%, almond, soy, etc. Buttermilk would be the only other acceptable liquid.
  4. Instead of milk chocolate frosting, try my dark chocolate frosting, coconut frosting, vanilla frosting, Nutella frosting, peanut butter frosting, or chocolate peanut butter swirl frosting.

Layer cake: You can easily turn this into a yellow layer cake. Simply pour batter into two greased and (lightly) floured 9-inch cake pans and bake for 27-35 minutes. Cakes are done when toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Frost as desired.

Mini cupcakes: For around 40 mini cupcakes, line mini cupcake pans with liners or spray with nonstick spray. Prepare cupcakes and frosting as directed. Bake mini cupcakes for 12-13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

Make sure your egg whites are thick and foamy after beating and before folding into the cupcake batter. Like this:

How to make Homemade Yellow Cupcakes

 

The cupcake batter is smooth, velvety, and slightly thick. It is very easy to spoon into the cupcake liners.

How to make Homemade Yellow Cupcakes

 

The yellow cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and when the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently touched.

Yellow Cupcakes Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

Finally, the perfect yellow cupcake recipe!

Super-moist Yellow Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Finally the perfect homemade yellow cupcake recipe!

 

 

   

219 Responses to “Moist Yellow Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting.”

  1. #
    121
    Angelposted February 26, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I have made several of your recipes ..they are all very good but I always get more cupcakes than you do ..I got 24 from this one and could have probably gotten 30 because my cupcakes still bubbled up a pretty good bit over the wrapper. Wonder why my number is different than yours ?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 26th, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      I’m unsure. Perhaps your muffin pans are smaller?

      Reply

  2. #
    122
    Rebecca Kahnposted February 28, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Hot dam, these are good. I used a different frosting (essentially whipped chocolate ganache made with heavy cream and dark chocolate), but followed the cake recipe exactly and they were perfect. Moist, perfectly puffed, nice toasty crispety edge where it spread over the top. Made exactly 16. Thank you!

    Reply

  3. #
    123
    Katieposted March 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I found that it makes a lot more than 16. Not sure if I had the wrong size pans or something but I ended up with 16 cupcakes that were overflowing like crazy! Regardless, these taste great! The Icing is really tasty, too! Next time I’ll make sure I don’t put too much in the cups, because I’ll definitely be trying these again! :)

    Reply

  4. #
    124
    Rhondaposted March 4, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Could this recipe be used to make a 13 x 9 inch sheet cake? If so, would the baking temperature and time be different?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 4th, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Absolutely! I’m unsure of the bake time. Same oven temperature.

      Reply

  5. #
    125
    Cindyposted March 7, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    These were absolutely the most moist, best tasting yellow cupcakes I have ever had, but mine turned out a little crumbly. Any ideas on what I might have done wrong?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 8th, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      I’m so glad you love them. As for the crumbly texture… do you think you may have overmeasured the flour at all Cindy? That could be a culprit. You can reduce the flour by 1-2 Tablespoons if you try the cupcakes again.

      Reply

  6. #
    126
    Redposted March 10, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Your recipes are amazing! I made some of them and my officemates and i loved it! God bless you, Miss Sally! Love from the Philippines <3

    Reply

  7. #
    127
    Julieposted March 11, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    I’m so sad, my attempt did not turN out. My cupcakes crumble when you try to remove them from the paper. They simply fall apart. They taste great! I have no idea what I could have done wrong, I make cupcakes all the time. Regardless, they taste yummy, and I’ll try again. Love your recipes :-)

    Reply

  8. #
    128
    Aliceposted March 14, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    I was so happy to find a recipe so detailed as yours. Most recipes I tested ended up dry, or heavy, or both. But I managed to ruin your lovely recipe by opening the oven too soon (to take a tray of chocolate cupcake off)… I literally saw my cupcakes sinking one by one… :( So sad and frustrating….
    I’ll try again this wweek, but let my mistake be an example by other clumsy cooks :P

    Reply

  9. #
    129
    Laurenposted March 15, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Can I use Caster Sugar rather than Granulated? Thank You

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 15th, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      For these cupcakes, that should be OK.

      Reply

  10. #
    130
    Bowserposted March 16, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    how come my turned out very pail? Please help

    Reply

  11. #
    131
    Bowserposted March 16, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Sorry i meant pale……. I was thinking of buckets

    Reply

  12. #
    132
    Kimieposted March 19, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Hi Sally,

    I tried making this into a cake last night and failed =( The cake looked and tasted amazing but stuck to the bottom of my pans and when I tried to take them out just turned into a mess; I sprayed them thoroughly with Pam so I’m not sure what else to do. I want to try again tonight; do you have any suggestions on how to prevent my cake from sticking?

    Thanks!!
    -Kimie

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 19th, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Hi Kimie. I would spray with Pam and lightly dust the inside of the pans with flour. This should help.

      Reply

  13. #
    133
    Qaizaposted March 21, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Can i know what is the standard size of a cupcake sheet?…

    Reply

  14. #
    134
    Brittposted March 22, 2015 at 8:54 am

    I made these last night as mini-cupcakes for a party and they were absolutely delicious. Followed the recipe to a T. Had no problem with sticking (make sure not to overbake!). Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

  15. #
    135
    Rawanposted March 23, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Thank you so much sally for this great cupcakes .. Their taste was awesome

    Reply

  16. #
    136
    Angieposted March 29, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    These cupcakes were AMAZING! I made them for my church’s youth group…and they were a hit! I even heard one boy ask “Whoever made those cupcakes, will you be my wife?” I found that to be hilarious… I also did some with both vanilla and chocoate icing so they looked like yin and yang cupcakes. Very cute and yummy! This recipe is definitely a keeper! :)

    Reply

  17. #
    137
    gabrielleposted April 1, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    I have been looking for a yellow cupcake recipe from scratch and am so happy I found this one! I normally would have followed the recipe to a T but after my butter had softened I realized I was almost out of all purpose flour, so I subbed one cup whole wheat flour and they still turned out so amazing! I also only had 2% milk so I subbed it with a half heavy cream/ half half & half (that’s alot of halves lol) mix. I don’t know why I thought that would be ok but they are delicious so it worked! I can’t wait to make them again the way the recipe calls for. Thank you a million times for this recipe!

    Reply

  18. #
    138
    Ellenposted April 5, 2015 at 10:42 am

    This recipe is absolutely fabulous. I have never had a good chocolate buttercream. You have renewed my faith! Thank you so much!

    Reply

  19. #
    139
    Stephanieposted April 6, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Sally! I have been obsessed with your recipes for a while now. I want to make all of them! But i have only made your famous chocolate chip cookies and these yellow cupcakes so far. I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe! At my school, we have a Culinary Arts class and we made yellow cupcakes from a different recipe, but ours turned out dry and crispy on the edges, it was terrible. So I wanted to try out your recipe at home and they were tasty and easy to make! I cannot stop making cupcakes now, haha. Again, thank you! :)

    Reply

  20. #
    140
    Joyanneposted April 6, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Sally, I love your recipes. I’ve tried your triple layer chocolate cake, your scones, dark chocolate cupcakes and even the chicken pot pie recipe. All of them have come out beautifully. Thank you! I tried the yellow cupcake recipe today and it isn’t coming out. The texture is tough, and not fluffy like the dark chocolate cupcakes. It seemed as if there was too much flour. What did I do wrong?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 8th, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Joyanne, try sifting the flour first then use 2 and 1/4 cups of sifted flour. This should help!

      Reply

  21. #
    141
    Jennifer at Baked For Youposted April 12, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    Would you have any concerns or advice in tripling the recipe? I know some baking recipes require a little bit of tweaking. I need a good yellow cupcake for a charity event this weekend. Thanks. -Baked For You

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 13th, 2015 at 9:42 am

      For cupcakes, I usually recommend making separate batches. Working with smaller portions of batter helps avoid the chance of overmixing (dense cupcakes).

      Reply

  22. #
    142
    Cherylposted April 16, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Can i freeze the frosting?

    Reply

  23. #
    143
    Lynnetteposted April 16, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Hi Sally, I just tried these cupcakes and they are amazing. I am a very popular gal now both at work and at home. I have started a blog to practice my photography, writing and baking. I would love for you to check out how my version of your cupcakes turned out :) The cupcake batter is a winner! thank you again. x

    Reply

  24. #
    144
    Amberposted April 18, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Delicious! Mine turned out great except they weren’t as yellow as yours…but they taste good and I love the frosting!

    Reply

  25. #
    145
    Treneeposted April 20, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Can cake flour be used instead of all purpose?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 20th, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Yep! See my recipe notes.

      Reply

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