Fluffy Yellow Cupcakes

Birthday Cupcakes

So, my husband turned 29 last week. The big 2-9. I always joke around with him that he robbed the cradle (I’m 27), and now I can joke with him that he’s turning 30 next year bwahaha! 😛 (No offense to those of you over the age of 30…I really don’t think 30 is old!)

Every year, I offer to make him a cake, but usually, we meet up with his parents and they get him a cake from his favorite bakery. Double the cake just isn’t necessary. However, this year, we won’t be celebrating his birthday for a couple of weeks with his parents, so the opportunity opened for this baking addict to make him some birthday cake! I asked him what he would like, and my husband is very simple…he wanted a yellow cake with either lemon or pineapple filling.

So, the search for a good yellow cake was on. Of course, I had to refer to The Way the Cookie Crumbles first. Bridget posts these awesome recipe comparisons that take all of the guess work out of wondering which recipe would be the best, and thankfully, she already did the work of comparing yellow cake recipes!

I ended up making the recipe from Cooks Illustrated. I have to say, this cake came out great! It had a great, buttery flavor and were, as the recipe claims, very fluffy. It was also fairly easy to make, and I really think the whipped egg whites lend to the light texture that the cupcakes had. After they cooled, I filled them with lemon curd using the cone method and frosted them with easy vanilla buttercream.

Oh, and pardon the cupcake pictures. I made these cupcakes late at night, and the foil I wrapped them lightly in (or so I thought) ended up messing up the tops. Oh well..still yummy!

Fluffy Yellow Cupcakes
Source: Cooks Illustrated, found on The Way the Cookie Crumbles


  • 2½ cups (10 ounces) cake flour, plus extra for dusting pans
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt
  • 1¾ cups (12.25 ounces) sugar
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg yolks plus 3 large egg whites, at room temperature


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake papers in the cupcake pan.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1½ cups (10.5 ounces) sugar together in a large bowl. In a 4-cup liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and yolks.
  3. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. With the machine running, gradually add the remaining ¼ cup (1.75 ounces) sugar; continue to beat until stiff peaks just form, 30 to 60 seconds (whites should hold peak but mixture should appear moist). Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the now-empty mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. With the mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in the butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (a few streaks of dry flour will remain), about 15 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape the whisk and sides of the bowl. Return the mixer to medium-low speed and beat until smooth and fully incorporated, 10 to 15 seconds.
  5. Using rubber spatula, stir ⅓ of the whites into the batter to lighten, then add the remaining whites and gently fold into the batter until no white streaks remain. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Lightly tap the pans against the counter 2 or 3 times to dislodge any large air bubbles.
  6. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly.. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack until cooled.


  1. Yum, there’s something just so comforting about a traditional yellow cake. Happy birthday to your hubby!

  2. So glad to be of service! :) I love the way you frosted these, despite their slight smooshage. You’re lucky you got to bake cake for your husband this year! I always have to make mine pie for his birthday, which just isn’t as fun.

  3. I am a chocoholic. I will eat it all day if I am allowed. BUT my favorite cupcakes are yellow cake cupcakes! Okay, generally I prefer them with the chocolate buttercream, but yellow cupcakes are like… childhood in a fluted cup. Love. Happy Belated birthday to the hubs!

  4. Chi Chi says:

    Actually, I LOVE the way the frosting looks. It’s the reason I clicked on the post! Nice job…

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