“Life is short, eat dessert first!” – Author Unknown
Perhaps you are like me and have an unyielding sweet tooth. It seems like I am always craving a sweet treat. My favorite sweet treat to create are cupcakes! In this post, I am going to walk with you through how to make a great cupcake, and then a surprising secret on how you too can make amazing cupcakes on your own! That’s right, you can make your very own bakery-style Cupcake Collection all on your own!
Bakery Style Cupcakes
I have always loved, walking into a bakery, or the bakery inside a grocery store to admire their fancy cakes and cupcakes. When I was pretty young, my sister started showing me how to decorate cakes. Then when I was around 7th or 8th grade, I had the opportunity to take a class on cake decorating. I love making and decorating cupcakes and cakes.
Still to this day, I love drooling over fancy cupcakes on display and trying to figure out how I can create a similar cupcake collections, only with my own flair. You will be surprised at just how easy it is to make your own cupcakes at home, and have them look fantastic and taste delicious!
When I was young, I was responsible for making dinner one night a week for our family. Let’s just say, some meals were better than others. I caught on to baking faster than cooking, because what kid doesn’t enjoy some fresh chocolate chip cookies?!
What started with cookies, turned into cakes and cupcakes. I love trying out a new recipe, or design! Eventually, I gained a reputation amongst friends and family for being a good cook, and even better baker.
Long after I graduated from college and started a new career path, I was told of my new department’s tradition of the newbie bringing in chocolate cake for everyone. My first thought – I’ve got this! After that, I became the go-to person for cakes and cupcakes for office potlucks.
While cakes are suitable for many occasions, cupcakes have so many more opportunities that they can be perfect center of attention! I believe there is a cupcake for every occasion imaginable. Let’s begin by taking a look at some of my favorite cupcake combinations.
Cupcake Collection Flavor Combinations
When you’re preparing to make cupcakes there are all kinds of flavor combinations to consider. From traditional flavors like vanilla frosting with vanilla cake, or chocolate frosting and chocolate cake. To more, non-traditional mixtures, such as bacon-flavored cake, topped with maple frosting, or chocolate cupcakes, with marshmallow fluff frosting. Below are a few of my favorite cake bases to use:
After choosing what flavoring you’d like to use in your base, consider whether it would be appropriate to add a filling to this flavor of the cake. Oftentimes, a vanilla cake can be paired with filling and a flavored frosting.
Cupcake Collection Add-In Fillings
Cupcake fillings often add a nice pop of flavor to your cupcake but are not a requirement. If you are pressed for time, you might consider leaving the filling out, or adding a simple filling to your cake batter, such as chocolate chips. Below are some filling ideas:
Lemon pie filling
Strawberry pie filling
Raspberry pie filling
Orange pie filling
Cupcake Collection Frosting Flavors
For a lot of people, especially kids, frosting is the best and most desirable part. Some of my favorite frosting flavors are listed below. They are mostly all based on a base point recipe, and then have their feature flavor added.
Cupcake Collection Toppings
Toppings on our cupcake collection add a bit of a pop but are not always required. When you make your own cupcakes, keep the occasion you are making them for in mind. This will help you determine a good way to top off your cupcakes. For example, if you are making cupcakes for a birthday, then some simple colored sprinkles will add a nice element. Here are some topping suggestions:
Piece of fruit
Slice of citrus
Piece of candy
Large pieces of sugar
Pie filling drizzle
Melted peanut butter drizzle
Everyone Can Make The Perfect Cupcakes!
Many people are under the impression that you must be a master baker or have gone to culinary school to be able to make an amazing cupcake. While these thoughts are good, there is no reason why you my friend, cannot make the perfect cupcake today! Here’s what you need to know, and the steps to follow that will show you how to make your very own, bakery-worthy cupcakes!
Scratch vs Box Mix Cupcakes
There are two ways you can start making your cake batter. The first is by making your cake batter from scratch, which oftentimes works well. However, for less experienced bakers, making your own cake batter from scratch is not essential.
The problem that can often be found with cakes made from scratch is that they don’t have that light and fluffy texture, or that they are dry. If you feel adventurous, then by all means, try making your cupcakes from scratch! I have a couple of good recipes for you, that will work well.
If this is not for you. And you prefer to have guaranteed results then I would recommend you start by using a box cake mix. There are many benefits to using a box mix, including, having your cake turn out moist. Also, the cost for a box mix does not have to cost an arm and a leg. Any cake mix will work. If I am baking using a box cake mix, I will often buy the ones that are less than $1.00.
If you are making a box cake mix, it is extremely important that you mix your batter up by hand. Follow the ingredients listed on the back of the box, along with the baking instructions. When you mix the ingredients together, do not use a mixer. Use a spoon or spatula in a large bowl and mix it together until most of your lumps are mixed in.
After your batter is made, line your cupcake baking tray with papers and spray with cooking spray. Scoop your batter into the baking pan, and fill each space 2/3 of the way full. This will allow you to leave room for the cake to expand as it bakes.
Bake according to recipe or box instructions. To determine when your cupcakes are fully cooked, you can remove them from the oven and gently pat the center of the top with your finger. If the cupcake springs back, then it is finished baking. You can also insert a toothpick into the center of your cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, then the cake is done. Set the cake aside and allow for them to fully cool to room temperature before you begin to frost. That’s right, frosting comes next! What’s a cupcake without the best frosting?!
The Secret To The Perfect Frosting
While your cupcakes are cooling, it is time to get started on your frosting. You will want to be sure to make your own frosting from scratch for your cupcakes to turn out amazing like they were made by a bakery! Follow the frosting recipe below for exact measurements.
To make the perfect base buttercream, you are going to start with room-temperature butter. You can also throw your butter into the microwave for about 15 seconds, just until it is soft. If your butter melts, it is not a huge deal, but soft butter is best.
One of the secrets to making your own buttercream is to not be afraid to make it thick. Think of that container of frosting you can buy from the store. To make bakery cupcakes, you will want your frosting about double that thickness. To make it thick, don’t be afraid to add more powdered sugar.
Another secret is to vigorously whisk your frosting. When you think you are done mixing it, give it another mix at a high speed for a few seconds.
If your frosting does not appear very thick, don’t be afraid to add more powdered sugar. If you accidentally add too much powdered sugar, you can add a little more milk to fix it.
The buttercream recipe we are sharing with you below can be used as a base recipe. Once you have that created, you can add additional flavorings to adapt it to fit the desired taste combination. For example, if you would like peppermint frosting, after creating buttercream following the recipe, you can then add peppermint extract until it has the desired taste. No matter the flavor you choose to add, start off with less than you anticipate needing, and add more. Taste as you go so that it does not become too strong.
Assembling Your Cupcakes
You have each of the pieces for your cupcake collection made, now it is time to assemble them! Double check to be sure your cupcakes are cooled enough. You can test this, by taking a little bit of frosting and placing it on top of one cupcake. If it does not melt after a few minutes, you are good to move ahead.
There are a few different ways you can fill your cupcakes. The best ways are by using a large storage bag or piping bag, placing the tip down into the center of your cupcake, and squeezing out the filling, as you pull up. Another way is by carefully cutting out the center of your cupcake and inserting the filling. However, you choose to fill your cupcakes, make sure you are inserting the filling from the top down, not up from the bottom.
How To Spread Frosting
When spreading your buttercream on top of cupcakes, it is best to avoid using a knife. A knife will not give you the desired outcome. For the best result, try using a piping bag. You can find these at your local craft store, some grocery stores, or even online. If you are not able to find a piping bag, the next best option is to use a gallon sized Ziploc bag with the corner cut out. To go along with the piping bag, or plastic storage bag, use a tip, to give a pretty texture to your frosting. Below are the two I prefer using to create swirls.
You can use a plain piping bag or plastic bag with no tip if needed. This will give a smooth look to your cupcakes. To gain a more elegant effect, try using a tip with your bag.
Once you have added your frosting, place sprinkles on right away. If you wait a little while, your frosting will dry slightly, and this will not allow the sprinkles to stick. You can also drizzle anything you wish over the top, add a cherry topping or candy for topping after the frosting has been added. Keep in mind, if you are not serving your cupcakes right away, you may want to hold off adding toppings that could go bad quickly.
Store Cupcakes In The Freezer
Cupcakes can be frozen in airtight containers if you need to save leftovers, or even if you need to make your cupcakes a day or two in advance. As long as they are frozen in airtight containers, they will maintain their freshness for a little while.
On occasion, when I make cupcakes in advance, I place them in the freezer for a day or two. This allows me to have them prepared in time, and also freezes them which makes them so much easier to transport while frozen!
For cupcakes that are prepared and intended to be served while fresh, I recommend freezing no more than three days. Left-over cake can be sealed in an airtight container, or securely wrapped in plastic wrap and be stored in your freezer for two to three months.
Now that you know all of the secrets to make the perfect cupcake, it is time to try it today!
¾ cup butter softened
2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- In a bowl combine, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set dry ingredient mixture to the side.
- In a mixing bowl, add butter and beat until creamy. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until mixed in. Turn off the mixer.
- With your mixer off, add in your dry ingredient mixture, and whole milk. Once all are added, turn your mixer on low speed, and stir until combined. Do not mix more than necessary.
- Spray baking pan and line with cupcake papers. Fill cupcake pan 2/3 full of cake batter.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow cupcakes to cool to room temperature before frosting.
Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Makes enough for 12 cupcakes
1 cup Crisco (All Vegetable)
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Stick Butter
1 Tbsp Milk
1 lb powdered sugar
- In a mixing bowl, add vegetable Crisco and butter. Mix on high, until your mixture gets creamy.
- Add in vanilla and milk and mix together.
- Carefully add powdered sugar and mix in about half, then add the remaining half. If not thick enough, add more powdered sugar.
Each of these recipes can be adapted to specific flavoring combinations. For example, if you desire chocolate cake, simply add 2/3 cup chocolate-flavored syrup to the batter. Additionally, they can have extract flavoring added if desired.
I am so excited for you to try these recipes and tips out today to make your very own Cupcake Collection! Please write to Sarah and I here at CookThink, and let us know how it goes making your very own Cupcake Collection! We love to hear from you!
If you like sweets, you should definitely try out this cheesecake recipe, in Just Say Cheesecake! For an easy, yet delicious dinner recipe, be sure to try out this recipe in Easy Rolled Chicken Tacos Recipe: Taco Bell! The most important meal of the day is breakfast, so get your day started out right, with this Blueberry Morning Oatmeal Bake recipe! These are all so good, you for sure don’t want to miss out on any of them!
5 thoughts on “Cupcake Collection: Easy Homemade Professional Cupcakes”
Greetings from California! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check
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Thanks for your interest and for taking the time to read. We’re grateful!
Thanks for the kind words and for taking the time to read CookThink.
I was wondering why you recommend mixing cake mix by hand instead of using a mixer. Does it make a lot of difference in how they bake. I have always used a mixer.
That is a good question! It is not a big deal if you choose to use a mixer. The main difference between using a mixer and mixing a cake mix by hand is that a mixer aerates your cake batter, which can sometimes make the cake turn out more like an angel food cake-like texture if it is mixed too much. When mixing it by hand you don’t have to worry about it, and you end up with a nice cake texture. 🙂 I hope this helps! Thank you so much for your comment! -Faith