Help me make the best cupcakes ever.
August 2, 2008 11:24 PM   Subscribe

What are the best cupcakes you've ever ever had? How can I make them?

I'm looking to bake the best, most delicious, wonderful cupcakes ever. Like, cupcakes that would win awards. So please, share with me your tips, tricks, and recipes, and maybe i'll send you a few. okay, probably not really.
also, bonus points for a really really good cream cheese frosting.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 125 users marked this as a favorite
Dark chocolate pumpkin! Pumpkin bread recipe, dark chocolate chunks, cupcake pan. Nom nom nom. I don't need the cupcakes, but would take a share of the prize money from the award.
posted by whatzit at 12:00 AM on August 3, 2008

Guinness Cupcakes - these are pretty fantastic, they stay very moist. I wasn't too sure about the icing though, I ignored the instructions somewhat and mine turned out far too sweet.
posted by kg at 3:37 AM on August 3, 2008 [2 favorites]

Every single one of this woman's cupcakes I have ever made is magnificent. I am particularly fond of the three vanilla cupcake with sea salt.

These chocolate ones are also quite tasty, although I have never prepared them as she suggests (filling with chocolate-mint ganache) because I never want to bother filling cupcakes and I don't like mint with my chocolate.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:39 AM on August 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh, her cream cheese frosting is, of course, listed with her red velvet cupcakes. Smitten Kitchen, who can usually be trusted to pick only really good recipes to share, offers this cream cheese frosting, which are not that different from each other.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:44 AM on August 3, 2008

Buttermilk cupcakes with chocolate frosting, AND stuffed with cream cheese and lemon fillings. OMG. They were amazing. Sorry I don't have a recipe, but what indulgence.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:14 AM on August 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

I made these apple-caramel cupcakes from that woman's cupcake blog, and they were amazing and not too hard. But I would use applesauce instead of coring and mashing apples -- and I used whole-wheat flour to make them somewhat healthy (meaning it was like a whole wheat apple muffin smeared in ooey frosting and then covered in buttery homemade caramel.)
posted by melodykramer at 7:18 AM on August 3, 2008

Seconding the Guinness cupcakes. I got the frosting down. You take cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, butter, and a wee bit of Guinness, and mix them to the desired consistency. The butter's essential, as you may have noted from the other recipes.

I've had to make these suckers more times than I can count. Also used Harp instead of Guinness once for the frosting, to make black-and-tan cupcakes.
posted by landedjentry at 7:19 AM on August 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

I have to say I really love Hostess cupcakes. The creamy insides, the sheet of icing. Nothing like 'em. However, for the best homemade cupcake recipe source I've ever found, you can't beat Baking Bites. (which actually also has a recipe for a giant Hostess cupcake, but it's a full-size cake.)
posted by nax at 10:29 AM on August 3, 2008

The darkest chocolate cupcake recipe you can find, with a dollop of cheesecake batter and a maraschino cherry dropped into the center of each before baking. For extra goodness, stir tiny chocolate chips into the cheesecake batter first. The cherry and cheesecake sink into the middle of the cupcake for an insanely delicious filling. I like dark chocolate frosting on these, but I bet cream cheese frosting would be good, too. (They're also good without frosting, but less pretty that way.)
posted by vytae at 11:40 AM on August 3, 2008

This is nostalgia talking, but my Mum used to make little white cupcakes with lemon chiffon pie filling that I still crave. She just used plain old Duncan Hines white cake mix, cut out a little divot of cupcake from each after they cooled, spooned in chiffon made with Sheriff's Lemon Pie Filling mix, replaced the divot, and sprinkled a little icing sugar on top.

But while looking for similar recipes, I found this neat variation, devoid of insta-ingredients, which might be worth trying out.
posted by maudlin at 12:24 PM on August 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

I am not by any means a vegan, but I am a cupcake-an, and every single recipe I have tried from the book "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World!" has been absolutely delicious. Particularly the pumpkin chocolate chip, but the mint chocolate, lime coconut, mucho margarita, spiced chocolate, tiramisu, s'mores...I could go on. Definitely worth checking out.

For true cupcake porn:
posted by ilana at 1:49 PM on August 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

Fauxstess cupcakes, also by the author of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I like them so much better than actual Hostess cupcakes.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:01 PM on August 3, 2008

I want to contribute a tip, just as an expansion of what maudlin said. Whichever recipe you choose, once you have the cooled, cupcakes and frosting in front of you, and are poised to frost, take a small, sharp knife and cut a deep cone out of the top of the cake. Keep the "divot" aside, and put a heaped teaspoon of frosting into the centre. Now, cut a little of the bottom of your cone "divot" off, and put it back onto the cupcake, like a lid.

Frost the cakes like nothing happened.

Surprise extra frosting is the result - every time I make cupcakes like this, usually with carrot cakes and cream cheese frosting, a kind of awed hush goes around the room as people chew blissfully in delight and examine the cakes to try and figure out how the frosting got all the way in there. So much simple yielding so many compliments.
posted by lottie at 3:34 PM on August 3, 2008 [6 favorites]

If you slather enough cream cheese frosting on any cupcake, it will taste like the best cupcake ever. I like to add lemon or orange zest to most cupcake recipes.
posted by HotPatatta at 11:20 AM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

I just had a tres leche cupcake. It was yum. Wasn't that recipe but that blog looks fun to peruse for cupcake goodness.
posted by dog food sugar at 11:44 AM on August 5, 2008

Lemon cupcakes with ricotta frosting and berries.

I made them, but I would substitue a more solid mascarpone/cream cheese frosting next time. (Use this recipe) Then you have yourself the perfect summer cupcake.
posted by lester the unlikely at 7:51 PM on August 6, 2008

Nthing just about anything from Chockylit's blog.

Makers Mark Caramel Vanilla Cupcakes. = the best I've ever made. The simple trick to heavenly cupcakes (beyond reliable recipes see The Cake Bible and high quality ingredients) seems to be an extra layer of goodness (either a sublime ganache wedged in between cupcake and frosting, or filling the cupcake with a creamy dollop of fruit curd, caramel, etc.)

I use Joy the Baker's Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting when needed.
posted by rosebengal at 1:46 PM on August 7, 2008

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