Get this recipe for the best yellow cupcakes. Fluffy and moist, this is the only recipe you need for perfect from-scratch yellow cupcakes!

So, cupcakes. Let’s talk.

You need a really great yellow cupcake recipe. Whether you know it or not. One you can turn to when yellow cupcakes pop up in your immediate future. Funny how often that happens. Or is that just me?


A yellow cupcake with pink frosting and sprinkles on a small white dish. The cupcake has a bite taken out.

Anyhow, these yellow cupcakes are fantastic.

Light and fluffy and really perfection in a yellow cupcake. The merits: the recipe uses all-purpose flour which is nice when you don’t have cake flour laying around (and the cupcakes are still moist and tender) and the recipe yields 12 so you won’t have cupcakes coming out of your ears if you don’t want to (huh?) but easily doubles if you do and, finally, they are just completely delicious.

I will always love these Buttermilk Vanilla cupcakes; consider this yellow version…simply a better classic yellow cupcake.

As a little teaser, Friday I’ll be sharing with you the simplest, best chocolate buttercream frosting ever.

Friday can’t come soon enough.

And, I haven’t really publicized this because it furthers the fact that I have no life, but I’m in the midst of perfecting recipe on the planet.

Yellow cupcakes with pink frosting and sprinkles on a white platter.

I’ve been searching my whole life for The One. I’m not kidding, I’ve made it no less than 15 times over the last few weeks (that is no exaggeration; my kids kind of sigh when they see another yellow cake on the counter) and I am this close to it being perfect enough to share with you.

So these yellow cupcakes are the preface to the ultimate yellow cake (funny enough, cupcakes and cakes don’t always translate into the same batter which is why I’m still working on the cake).

Phew! Lots to look forward to…

A yellow cupcake with pink frosting and sprinkles sitting in a white ramekin.

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Light and Fluffy Yellow Cupcakes

4.40 stars (69 ratings)


  • 1 ½ cups (213 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (212 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113 g) salted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream, light or regular
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure an oven rack is positioned in the middle of the oven. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer). Add the butter, sour cream, egg, egg yolks and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until the batter is smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix for a few more seconds, if needed, until no more dry pockets of flour remain. The batter will be thick – don’t be alarmed!
  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 18-22 minutes (adding time, if needed) until the tops of the cupcakes spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. As always, don’t overbake or the cupcakes will be dry.
  • Gently lift out the cupcakes from the muffin tin onto a cooling rack to let cool completely. Frost as desired!


Quantity: this recipe is easily doubled.
Frosting: this quick and easy buttercream is an excellent frosting solution if you need something simple. This magical frosting? A bit more work but completely unreal.
Calories: 223kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 183mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g

Recipe Source: barely adapted from Cook’s Illustrated (decreased salt, used light sour cream)