Our Best Cupcake Recipes | Midwest Living

Our Best Cupcake Recipes

These 35 cupcake recipes offer something for everyone, whether you want an easy fix-up for a box mix or a creative made-from-scratch treat.

Islands Banana Foster Cupcakes

Top coconut cupcakes with bananas, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon for a tropical-flavor treat.

Islands Banana Foster Cupcakes

Malt Shop Special Cupcakes

As cheerfully cute as an ice cream sundae, these showstopper cupcakes have a luscious and oh-so-easy frosting made of whipping cream, pudding mix and malted milk powder. The recipe comes from Designer Desserts Bakery in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Malt Shop Special Cupcakes

Chai Cupcakes

Put some heart in your baking and fragrance in your kitchen with our easy, cake-mix cupcakes seasoned with chai spice. They mix up in 20 minutes. Can't find chai blend? Use 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice with 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom.

Chai Cupcakes

Brownie Cupcakes

A surprise candy-bar center awaits those who bite into these fudgy delights. Based on a box of brownie mix, they're super-simple to bake--and easy to tote to potluck or tailgate parties.

Brownie Cupcakes

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

White cake mix and crushed chocolate sandwich cookies go together quickly for these scrumptious cupcakes.

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Vanilla cream oozes out of vanilla cupcakes. Top it all off with a rich chocolate ganache.

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Buttermilk Cupcakes with Sour Cream Frosting

Swirls of sour cream frosting and sugar flowers decorate tender buttermilk cupcakes. You can add a dab of jam below the frosting, if you like. Look for sugar flowers among baking ingredients at the grocery store or at baking supply stores.

Buttermilk Cupcakes With Sour Cream Frosting

German Chocolate Cupcakes

Creamy chocolate-pecan ice cream, caramel sauce and toasted coconut top these showstopping cupcakes. For a shortcut, start with bakery cupcakes or use a cake mix.

German Chocolate Cupcakes

The BMC 2

This sweet-salty bacon-topped cupcake was one of 11 finalists in our first Best of the Midwest® Recipe Contest. Its creator, pharmacist Jill Drury of Chicago, used a scientific-formula approach to name her cupcake based on its ingredients: bacon, maple syrup and cinnamon (squared).

The BMC 2

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

A chocolate-covered peanut butter cup tucks inside each of these treats. The tops will sink a bit as the cupcakes cool--creating a perfect spot for a dollop of jam.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Fun Flower Cupcakes

Silicon flower-shape baking cups (such as Wilton's Fun Cups) and miniature candy-coated milk chocolate candies transform cupcakes into a flower bouquet. Marzipan bees add another fun touch. For edible stems, try green shoestring licorice.

Fun Flower Cupcakes

Islands Banana Foster Cupcakes

Top coconut cupcakes with bananas, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon for a tropical-flavor treat.

Islands Banana Foster Cupcakes

Kansas Sunflower Cupcakes

The Sunflower State's wheat crops and native state flower inspired this cupcake. Frosting piped into petals turns the individual Kansas Sunflower Cupcakes into pretty treats, while wheat germ adds a hearty touch to the buttermilk-vanilla cakes.

Kansas Sunflower Cupcakes

Cupcake Sundaes

Bake vanilla cupcake batter in cones, then top them with a scoop of ice cream, a dab of whipped cream and a cherry for an easy sundae treat.

Cupcake Sundaes

Cream Soda Toffee Cupcakes

These moist cupcakes feature old-fashioned cream soda, a browned butter frosting and a crunchy toffee topping.

Cream Soda Toffee Cupcakes

Catch-a-Baseball Cupcakes

Put together this cute cupcake and cookie combo with cake mix, refrigerated sugar cookie dough and canned frosting. For another shortcut, use red shoestring licorice for decoration instead of piped red frosting.

Catch-a-Baseball Cupcakes

Carrot-Zucchini Party Cupcakes

Shredded carrots and zucchini get equal billing in this cupcake. We added raisins, crystallized ginger and pecans for extra flavor and texture; fluffy cream cheese frosting tops it off.

Carrot-Zucchini Party Cupcakes

Fresh Rosemary & Lemon Cupcakes

Italian flavors inspired this cupcake with its refreshing blend of fresh rosemary and lemon and topping of lemon glaze.

Fresh Rosemary & Lemon Cupcakes

Ebony and Ivory Cupcakes

Drizzle this chocolate cupcake with Powdered Sugar Glaze and then rolled in chocolate shavings if you want it to look like ours. Or top the glaze with nuts, hard candies, chopped chocolate or colored sugar.

Ebony and Ivory Cupcakes

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Crown these cinnamon-spiced cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a curl of finely shredded orange peel.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Meringue-Topped Raspberry Cupcakes

Raspberry juice or raspberry liqueur flavors these cupcakes, while meringue adds a so-light topping. Press a raspberry into the meringue for a final touch.

Meringue-Topped Raspberry Cupcakes

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Crumbled macaroon cookies, chopped macadamia nuts, pineapple preserves and coconut frosting give tropical flair to these cupcakes.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Filling and Mascarpone Frosting

These special-occasion cupcakes have decadent white chocolate whipped cream centers and a rich mascarpone frosting.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Filling and Mascarpone Frosting

Mochaccino Cupcakes

Swirl coffee buttercream frosting on chocolate-coffee cupcakes; add a cream-filled cookie "straw" for a pretty finishing touch.

Mochaccino Cupcakes

Dark Chocolate-Raspberry Cupcakes

Turn raspberry-filled cupcakes upside down before drizzling with a rich chocolate truffle icing.

Dark Chocolate-Raspberry Cupcakes

Orange Cream Pop Cupcakes

For this party-special cupcake, combine white cake mix, orange-flavor gelatin, orange juice, and cheesecake-flavor instant pudding and pie filling mix. Cream cheese frosting gets a flavor punch from orange gelatin and shredded orange peel.

Orange Cream Pop Cupcakes

Firecracker-Red Cupcakes with Coconut Filling

A red, white and blue dessert stars at any patriotic potluck. Red velvet cake mix makes our moist and gooey Firecracker-Red Cupcakes extra easy to prepare.

Firecracker-Red Cupcakes with Coconut Filling

Blueberry Cupcakes

Fresh blueberries get baked into these vanilla-flavored cupcakes and scattered on top.

Blueberry Cupcakes

Delicious Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon frosting tops a cupcake flavored with shredded lemon peel.

Delicious Lemon Cupcakes

Easy Berry Cheesecakes

Transform vanilla cupcakes into a patriotic treat with a swirl of cream cheese frosting and a topping of fresh berries.

Easy Berry Cheesecakes

Black Tie Cupcakes

You can get creative with the finishing touches on these cupcakes, which are topped with seedless red raspberry or blackberry preserves, chocolate ganache, decorative icing and small decorative candies.

Black Tie Cupcakes

Easy Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

You decide how easy you want these to be! We're partial to our homemade Pumpkin Cupcakes with Sweetened Whipped Cream Frosting, but you can substitute purchased plain cupcakes or purchased whipped white frosting to make this recipe even simpler.

Easy Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Coconut-Tangerine Snowball Cupcakes

Add seasonal color to the coconut topper by tossing coconut with liquid food coloring.

Coconut-Tangerine Snowball Cupcakes

Layered pudding cupcakes

A super-simple cupcake fix-up: Bake your favorite flavor of cupcake, slice cupcakes into thirds or halves, layer with pudding, frost.

Easy cupcake makeovers

Click to our slideshow to see easy ways to add pizzazz to your cupcakes!

Easy Cake and Brownie Mix Makeovers

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