Cupcakes are perfectly-sized bites of cake, just right when you don’t feel like eating a whole slice but still want a little something sweet. I’ve rounded up my favorite easy cupcake recipes for times when you want to whip up a quick batch of treats. You’re sure to find something to please!
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Easy Cupcake Recipes You’ll Love
Cupcakes are one of my favorite desserts—everyone loves them, especially kids! You can dress them up with a pile of luscious fruit-flavored buttercream frosting like I do in these beautiful and delicious Easy Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes. Or add in cozy seasonal spices and pumpkin in my recipe for Easy Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes.
You’ll notice that the main theme here is “easy”! And whether you choose a batch of s’mores-inspired cupcakes or red velvet cupcakes, you’ll be able to put these recipes together without any fuss. Which means you’ll have more time to enjoy eating them!
1. Lemon Cupcakes
Bright bursts of lemon infuse every bite of these fluffy lemon cupcakes, which are so simple to make with a boxed cake mix. You’ll add lemon juice to the mix for flavor, and top the cupcakes with a lemony homemade buttercream frosting with, you guessed it, more lemon juice. These cupcakes are nice in springtime, but they’re so good you could serve them all year round!
2. Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes
A fluffy lemon cake is toped with pretty in pink strawberry buttercream for a tasty and beautiful cupcake. I love the combination of sweet strawberry and tart lemon, and it works so well in this cupcake recipe!
3. Coconut Cream Cupcakes with Homemade Buttercream Frosting
Take coconut cake and add more coconut! If you love coconut, you will love these coconut-infused cupcakes. It’s so easy to make this recipe since you’ll use a cake mix as your base and then toss in some add-ins. Homemade buttercream frosting topped with shredded coconut will delight coconut fans of all ages.
4. Lemon Drop Cupcakes
Here’s a simple from-scratch recipe for cupcakes that’s inspired by the Lemon Drop Martini! You don’t have to serve a martini with your cupcakes, but I highly recommend it! Lots of bright lemon flavor is the standout in this recipe.
5. Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Classic carrot cake is always a winner, and I love to bake carrot cake into cupcakes. This is another easy from-scratch recipe that’s full of carrots and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle each cupcake with toasted nuts for extra crunch and flavor.
6. Red Velvet Cupcakes
Red velvet cupcakes are so simple to make you’ll probably never buy them from a bakery again! I love how the buttermilk in the cake recipe keeps the cupcakes light and fluffy, and they have an absolutely irresistible cream cheese frosting on top. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes so they’re perfect for sharing or bringing to a class party.
7. Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Pumpkin desserts are a must during the fall months, and this recipe for pumpkin spice cupcakes is beyond perfect for the season. I top the cupcakes with a decadent cream cheese frosting—pumpkin and cream cheese just go so well together!
8. Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting
Another version of pumpkin cupcakes, this easy cupcake recipe is topped with a delicious whipped cream cheese frosting that’s full of warming fall spices.
9. S’mores Cupcakes
Who says s’mores should be saved just for camping? When you make these s’mores cupcakes you can enjoy the fun of s’mores anytime you want, no campfire required. Dark chocolate cupcakes—made from a box mix for easy prep—are baked on a graham cracker crust and topped with a marshmallow cream frosting for all the familiar s’mores flavors you love.
10. Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes
I love to serve these chocolate cupcakes topped with candy canes around the holidays! The contrast of the rich chocolate and cool crunchy peppermint candy is amazing, and these will disappear quickly at holiday parties! You’ll use a box cake mix plus homemade frosting to make this special recipe.
Cupcake Recipe FAQs
Cupcakes should generally be baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, but this depends on the recipe you’re making. It’s always best to follow the recipe instructions!
Moisture is key for a delicious cupcake! To keep your cupcakes moist, be sure to use the right ingredients and avoid overbaking them. Also, adding some extra fat (such as oil or butter) to the recipe can help create a moister cupcake.
The type of frosting you use for cupcakes will depend on the flavor and style you’re aiming to achieve. For a classic look, go with buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Other popular options include ganache, meringue, and fondant. Whichever type of frosting you choose, make sure it pairs well with the flavors in your cupcakes!
The answer to this depends on personal preference and time constraints. If you have more time and want complete control over ingredients, making cupcakes from scratch can yield great results. However, if you’re short on time and want an easy way to make cupcakes, box mixes are a great option. Or try a doctored cake mix for the best of both worlds!
The shelf life of cupcakes will vary depending on the type of frosting they have. Unfrosted cupcakes can last up to 3 days at room temperature, while those with a buttercream or cream cheese frosting can last up to 5 days. If you’d like your cupcakes to last longer, try storing them in the fridge.
Yes, cupcakes can definitely be frozen! To freeze your cupcakes, let them cool completely and then wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped cupcakes in a freezer-safe container or bag, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy your cupcakes, allow them to thaw at room temperature before serving.