Top 10 List: Favorite Cupcake Recipes

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes |

[We continue to update the “Top 10” series of posts with cupcakes!]

Cupcakes have taken on a life of their own over the last five years or so. Chic little shops have popped up everywhere, there are numerous TV shows based on the handheld confections, and the flavor combinations seem endless. Aside from one cupcake shop (Baked & Wired in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC), I have yet to be blown away by any cupcake from any of those chic little shops. Most times I find the cupcakes to be rather dry and the frosting just okay.

As a result, I revel in making cupcakes at home. All kinds of cupcakes – chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin, red velvet, boozy – it’s all fair game. Below is an updated list of my 10 favorite cupcake recipes… Enjoy!

1. Coconut Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Frosting

Coconut Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Frosting |

2. Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting |

3. Guinness, Whiskey and Irish Cream Cupcakes

Guinness, Whiskey & Irish Cream Cupcakes |

4. Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes |

5. Margarita Cupcakes

Margarita Cupcakes |

6. Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Frosting

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting |

7. Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting |

8. Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes |

9. Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes |

10. Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes - The best moist chocolate cupcakes recipe made from scratch! |

What’s your favorite cupcake recipe??


150 Responses to “Top 10 List: Favorite Cupcake Recipes”

Comment Pages 1 2 3
  1. Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) on May 23, 2011 at 12:12 am

    They all look wonderful but I really want to try the Irish Car Bombs..anything w/ choc and bailey’s is an automatic winner!


    • Ian Franklin on October 21st, 2013 at 7:43 am

      It is very sad that you are tasteless enough to call this cupcake an ‘Irish bomb’. Many of us lost friends and relatives to the Irish bombing campaign. Very sad. Utterly tasteless.


      • Veronika on November 6th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

        You need to chill out. She isn’t tasteless. Have you ever heard of the drink the Irish Car Bomb? It’s common in the United States. I’m sure she didn’t refer to the historical events.


        • J Combs on November 8th, 2013 at 12:36 am

          The shot is a “bomb shot,” but it is also named after the many bombings that took place in (mainly) Northern Ireland during the Troubles. The shot is only available in the U. S. and many Irish-native or ancestral bartenders refuse to serve it. I wouldn’t ask for it in N. Ireland, Ireland, or Europe unless you are into fisticuffs.


        • J Combs on November 8th, 2013 at 12:37 am

          That said, she is just naming it after the shot. I doubt she knows the history of the name and its controversy.


        • Linda Kluth on June 28th, 2014 at 5:40 pm

          You need to wake up Veronica! I wonder if you’re one of many insensitive US surbanites who have no clue what other parts of the world really live on day to day basis. I am ashamed of you. Naming a cupcake or drink after events that hurt and destroy the lives of others is heartless to say the LEAST.


          • Jackson on November 30th, 2014 at 9:38 pm

            I agree. It was originally a terrible and tasteless name for a shot–there is no reason to replicate it on a cupcake. (think of a “9/11 cupcake” if you need a similar reference). I notice that the name has been changed, thankfully. Just a heads up–the picture caption has not been changed, and still comes up .


            • thegrrrr8est on April 4th, 2015 at 1:16 pm

              Oh, for Christ’s sake. It’s a freaking CUPCAKE. Want to be outraged? How about getting your panties in a knot over child sexual slavery? Or the fact that people are being beheaded and burned alive by savages? Or the impending extinction of so many animals in the world? But, a cupcake? Get a frigging grip.

          • Angela on April 6th, 2015 at 7:17 pm

            She didn’t name the shot herself, and forgive her for not knowing, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t know every fact about American history if you weren’t born or raised here…and maybe not even if you were. Jesus people are crazy, back off! It’s what’s it’s commonly referred to in certain parts and though it may be a sensitive subject to you, being a total jerk about it is NOT the way to “spread awareness.” You’re just going to make more enemies.


            • tracie on August 14th, 2015 at 10:05 pm

              Can not believe all this drama is on a cupcake website. What is wrong with people? Who wakes up, gets on a cupcake site and gets offended by the name of what sounds like an incredible cupcake? Rocky Road cupcakes offend anyone? Cause it offends the heck out of me. Was once walking on a rocky road when a truck past me and I felt the sting of a rock being propelled by the tire and hitting my bare leg. How about the famous Hurricane cupcake? Survived a hurricane as a child that cupcake just might put me in therapy. Turtle cupcakes. Aren’t some species of turtles becoming extinct? How dare they tarnish the name of turtles with a caramel chocolate nutty pastry. Screwdriver infused cupcake. Remember back in the 80s when screwdrivers killed all those people at the hardware store. Tragic! Last but not least the Christmas cupcake. Looks like a winter wonderland and tastes amazing but since its referencing to a holiday that not all people agree with then lets abolish it.

      • Stephanie on February 21st, 2014 at 9:47 pm

        These are the best I’ve ever made!! Everyone who doesn’t like them has no taste in cupcakes! They are delicious in every way and I’ve got taste, so there!!! 😀


      • twy zeebyrd on February 27th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

        Oh good grief, give it a rest with the political correctness BS lady. This lady had no intent of offending your delicate sensibilities with a recipe named car bomb. I lost people in the twin towers. If somebody names a cupcake a twin tower cupcake I wont get my panties all in a twist and be all offended and bent out of shape. You progressive liberals need to grow up a little bit. Have you never heard of freedom of speech? I fully expect you to cuss me out now, for that is what politically correct types like you do……. but frankly, I could care less if you rant and rave.


        • Mira on June 18th, 2014 at 11:35 pm

          Couldn’t have said it better ….liberals are like babies, everything they say and feel should be tolerated by others while others can’t say anything!


          • Dean on December 27th, 2015 at 2:13 pm

            Why do you have to bring politics in to this? What purpose does that serve??

            I am liberal to the point of considering myself a Social Democrat (that’s democracy with a heavy dose of socialism, FYI). I’m a feminist, in that I think there should be gender equality across the board. I’m a humanist in that I believe religions are more dangerous to the future of this planet than anything else out there.

            That all being said, I’m not offended by the name, and am four-square against the overly PC culture that is being cultivated here in the US.

            Maybe (rather then blaming X on whatever group the media has convinced you are your enemies) you can take a moment to realize that these are individuals with individual problems with the name, since is references a tragedy that may have affected them directly.

            Not everything is politically polarized, and your insistence on posting things like this on the internet only illustrates how easily you’ve allowed yourself to be manipulated by those who profit on distracted masses.


    • pago on November 20th, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      same here i want to try it to


  2. Mohana on May 23, 2011 at 12:25 am

    I love your red velvet cupcakes recipe and the tiramisu are also my favorites!. From other blogs I love Annie’s Eats “Triple Chocolate Cupcakes”


  3. linda on May 23, 2011 at 5:59 am

    all your cupcakes look fabulous but, the mocha cupcakes are calling me! love the contrast of cake to frosting!
    quick q: do you ever use non-stick baking spray inside the liners?
    i am always concerned about the baked cupcakes sticking to the liners…but, i do not like the “greasy” appearance when sprayed.


    • Michelle on May 23rd, 2011 at 9:00 am

      Hi Linda, I never spray the pan for cupcakes, I always use liners. I just think they’re easier/less messy (plus cuter!) to pick up and eat with liners. I do sometimes just spray and omit the liners for muffins though.


    • Sarahbeth on March 5th, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      I have been spraying the inside of the liners lately and it works wonderfully to decrease the amount of cupcake lost to paper. If you are using colored liners, however, the spray may contribute to color fade!


  4. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on May 23, 2011 at 6:14 am

    This just reminded me that I don’t make cupcakes often enough! So many delicious variations to choose from:-)


  5. Hezzi-D on May 23, 2011 at 6:18 am

    I’ve made the tiramisu ones and they are out of this world! I’m looking forward to trying the margarita ones this summer-they look perfect for an outdoor BBQ!


  6. Claire @ Claire K Creations on May 23, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Oooh chocolate with peanut butter icing sounds amazing!


  7. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen on May 23, 2011 at 7:09 am

    I can vouch for the deliciousness of your chocolate peanut butter cupcakes and red velvet! I’ve made both, to rave reviews. I really want to try the tiramisu ones!


  8. corinne on May 23, 2011 at 7:53 am

    it’s nuts to me that Baked and Wired is virtually unknown, but two blocks away another cupcake shop has a tv show and lines out the door. as far as i can tell they only won the popularity contest because they’re on the main street, NOT because their cupcakes are better.


  9. Evan on May 23, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I love me some cupcake roundups. Love this post! Those Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes look particularly tantalizing…they’ve been added to my baking bucket list.

    My favorite cupcake? That’s a toughie. But I’m going to have to go with carrot cupcakes. With ginger-cream cheese frosting. mmmm!


  10. Tricia on May 23, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I always have cupcakes on the brain. I especially like any that have cookies or candy in the batter. I’m making chocolate salted caramel cupcakes for a party this week and I know just from the name that I will love them. Also, cupcakes that have a filling piped in…yum.


  11. The Café Sucré Farine on May 23, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I think I’ll have one of each! It would be a hard call to pick a favorite,I love so many different varieties and yours all lookincredible! I guess if you twisted my arm I would say my favorite is a vanilla cupcake with raspberry filling and buttercream icing with a touch of almond extract and vanilla beans, okay I did it!


  12. Melissa on May 23, 2011 at 8:54 am

    This is awful, but I’m a sucker for a good funfetti cupcake with rainbow chip frosting . . . *hangs head in foodie shame* 😉


    • samantha on December 12th, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      I understand. I call them ghetto cupcakes. I can make these wonderful creations, but for some reason those still still are wonderful to me…


  13. Jenny Flake on May 23, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Wow, not even sure which ones I would choose first! They all look so delicious!


  14. Amber @ Caleigh's Kitchen on May 23, 2011 at 9:26 am

    My absolute favorite are these that I made about a month or two ago… Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cupcakes! YUMMMMMM!


  15. Karla on May 23, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I’ve made your mocha cupcakes with espresso frosting….oh-my-goodness-amayzingness!!! I seriously could eat the frosting a la carte! :)


  16. Lori Lange on May 23, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I’ll take one of each please! They all look so delicious!


  17. Maria on May 23, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I don’t bake cupcakes enough. I need to try all of these!


  18. Erin on May 23, 2011 at 10:03 am

    The tiramisu cupcakes are gorgeous! My favorite cupcake that I’ve made is probably red velvet with cream cheese frosting


  19. Jennifer @ Raisin Questions on May 23, 2011 at 10:06 am

    You could open your own chic little cupcake boutique with these darlings! I was wowed the first time you posted your margarita cupcake! I haven’t done much cupcake baking before, but this list is inspiring!


  20. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on May 23, 2011 at 10:12 am

    That’s a fun list! It’s a toss up for my fav depending on the day – spice or white, both with vanilla frosting. Mmm mmm.


  21. Francesca on May 23, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Have you ever tried Georgetown Cupcakes? They have 2 locations–1 in Georgetown (Washington D.C.) and one in Bethesda, Maryland. I’ve only been to the one in Bethesda.

    They.are.AMAZING.period. The BEST cupcake I’ve ever devoured.


    • Michelle on May 23rd, 2011 at 10:32 am

      Hi Francesca, I have been to Georgetown Cupcakes (their Georgetown location), actually on the same day we went to Baked & Wired, so it made for a good comparison. I thought their cupcakes were average to good – not bad but not terribly special either. In my opinion, Baked & Wired blew them out of the water.


      • Cortney on March 13th, 2013 at 10:28 am

        I actually JUST went to Georgetown cupcakes last week and was so terribly underwhelmed. Expensive and just not very good. Dry and flavorless cake paired with sub par frostings. I’ve made many of your cupcake recipies and they are so much better.


        • Ayesha on December 25th, 2013 at 4:16 am

          for a Arabian Travel Market Exhbition in Dubai they floe the chefs all the way to Dubai to try out DC cupcakes… Was a big fan the girls show but not so much after I got the chance to try thier cupcakes its avarage cupcakes with nothing special.


        • Erica on February 1st, 2014 at 3:29 pm

          Are Georgetown cupcakes that bad?


          • Kerry on February 10th, 2014 at 7:42 am

            They’re not *bad*, but they aren’t amazing, and they aren’t worth the price or the hype, in my opinion. I’ve had them on several occasions, and I found the cake to be dry and the frosting to be overly sweet. I’ve actually never had a moist cupcake from there before.


  22. Holly on May 23, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I’ve made your recipes for the mocha, red velvet and vanilla. They’re all just wonderful. Thanks for the wonderful recipes, Michelle!


  23. Cookin' Canuck on May 23, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I have to make those tiramisu cupcakes. They are absolutely gorgeous and packed with some of my favorite flavors. As for the gourmet cupcake shops, I agree with you completely about the dryness of the cupcakes.


  24. sherri lynn on May 23, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I love cupcakes! So thanks for sharing all of these that look absolutely delicious!


  25. Athena R. on May 23, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Yummy! The dark chocolate with peanut butter frosting would be my favorite ones.


  26. kandyce on May 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    guinness chocolate cupcakes (or cake!) with whipcream/ cream cheese frosting are my all time favorite. the guinness lends a very unique, though subtle, extra something to the cake.

    design sponge has the recipe i use. it’s my go-to for anyone requesting a chocolate cake!


  27. NanaBread on May 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    My favorite cupcake comes from a silver Airstream trailer on South Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas. The place is called Hey, Cupcake! Their 24-Karat cupcake is a revelation! It’s a world-class carrot cake confection with cream cheese frosting. For a few pennies extra, they’ll put a whipped cream “shot” right down into the middle of it. Have mercy, it’s fantastic!


    • Erin on August 7th, 2011 at 11:10 am

      Hey Cupcake is the best! I can’t wait to try some of these recipes myself today. I love Brown Eyed Baker’s sugar cookies with royal icing. Taught me how step by step-thank you! Made the cookies for a bachelorette party this weekend that were not only cute, but everyone thought they tasted fantastic! Thanks Brown Eyed Baker!


      • Marla on March 11th, 2015 at 2:40 pm

        I’ve always been a huge fan of Hey Cupcake! Once I left Austin I had to start learning how to bake cupcakes myself cause I missed them so much. We have Trailercakes up here in Dallas, and they have some really delightful flavors and combos. Their PB&J cupcake is amazing, and their Carmel Eileen is out of this world.

        I’ve made nearly every cupcake she has on this site, and have to say the Margarita and the Guinness/Baileys/Jameson ones are my favs, and always go over so well.


  28. Hester aka The Chef Doc on May 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Your cupcake making skills are absolutely BOMB DIGGITY! How beautiful they all are! I’d have to say that my favorite would probably have to be my Annabelle Carrot Cupcakes: They’re soooo flavorful and moist, the perfect couple of bites. Plus, they have a bittersweet story behind them.


  29. Katrina on May 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Plain vanilla has always been my favorite! Great selection!


  30. Beth on May 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I agree with you. I haven’t had any cupcakes at all these little shops that have blown me away. Always dry.

    Can’t wait to try making the dark chocolate peanut butter recipe!


  31. Tina From Pa on May 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I’ll have one of each ,please! They all are beautiful!


  32. Liz on May 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Hmmmmmm…which to make first? They all look and sound delightful! I think vanilla with vanilla may be first up :)


  33. Julie on May 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    OMG, I think I may have to work my way through baking all of these!


  34. Feast on the Cheap on May 23, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Love the look of those Lemoncello Cupcakes. My all-time favorites are pretty basic: Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes. They get me every time…


  35. Heather at FarmgirlGourmet on May 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I’ll have one of each thank you! :) They all look great especially the Irish Car Bomb cupcakes. Yum!


  36. Candace on May 23, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    The tiramisu and pumpkin are calling me!! And I totally agree with you…most specialty cupcake places aren’t worth what they charge. Much better to make them at home. Can’t wait to try these!!! Thank you!


  37. Happy When Not Hungry on May 23, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    All your cupcakes are gorgeous, but I especially love those lemon limoncello ones. Yum!


  38. Tracy on May 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    These all sound delicious! Especially the ones with liquor, hehe. 😉


  39. Jennifer on May 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I made the Irish Car Bomb cupcakes and they are AMAZING! I’m working on Almond Joy and Samoa ones as well…


  40. Kelly on May 25, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Your cupcake recipes are always awesome! I was wondering though, have you ever tried putting heavy cream into the icing to make it fluffier? If so, how did it work out and how would it correspond with your existing buttercream icing recipes?


    • Michelle on May 25th, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      Hi Kelly, Yes, I have used heavy cream in my peanut butter frosting as well as a vanilla buttercream. It makes it silky smooth! You could add it a tablespoon at a time and see how you like it!


  41. ScullyPA on August 15, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I completely agree with you about the cupcake shops. It did not surprise me to see “Dozen” close its doors — I could not believe how dry the cake was, and thought the same thing you did — mine taste so much better!


  42. Laura K on October 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    I have seen those gals on Foodnetwork put the hot cupcakes in the fridge to cool them off faster. My mother always told me the cakes get dried out doing that. Could that be why these professional bakeries are getting dry cupcakes?


    • Michelle on October 10th, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Laura – That might be it! I never refrigerate baked goods either for that exact reason. I didn’t know “pro” folks were doing it!


      • Pat G on March 2nd, 2013 at 1:39 pm

        When I bake cakes for decorating I always put the cake directly into the freezer after removing from pan. I remove the cake the next day and skim coat with icing while frozen to reduce crumbs mixing with icing. My cakes are super moist and I believe it is from freezing them while still warm. Perhaps if cakes or cupcakes were in the freezer for more than 2 days they might become dry? I wait until the cake completely cools in freezer before wrapping with plastic wrap and foil. My favorite cake recipe ever is a banana cake that I found on which is baked at 275 degrees and directions say to freeze cake right from the oven. It is delicious!


        • Michelle on March 3rd, 2013 at 10:34 pm

          Hi Pat, Thanks so much for sharing, I am going to give this trick a try the next time I make a cake!


        • Donna Smythe on February 6th, 2016 at 11:59 am

          Hi Pat: Good trick, but what banana recipe on Allrecipes @ 275, which one is it, never seen one baked at that temp. Can you provide more information.


  43. Laura K on October 10, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Michele – Your blog is just wonderful! I just noticed all the pumpkin recipes! Also, I am waiting for my ice cream attachment for my Kitchen Aid from Amazon any day now. My college kids and their friends will think I am the bomb. Thanks so much for sharing so many good things!


  44. Marissa on October 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    These cupcakes look so good. They were perfect because they were just what I was looking for. The Pumpkin ones looked so cute, and perfect for fall. Especially if you put them on a candy-corn platter. :) All I can say is Mmmm!


  45. Marissa on October 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Oh, and by the way do you have any tricks to make cupcakes extra moist, but not watery? Thank you so much!


    • Michelle on October 16th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      Hi Marissa, No tricks really, but I think you’ll find that all the recipes here stay very moist. I do make sure to store them at room temperature in an airtight container, which helps retain moisture.


  46. Betty on November 19, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Wow! These all look delicious! My personal favorite is red velvet. A few weeks ago, I made some amazing red velvet cupcakes for a party. Someone said that they were comparable to D.C. Cupcakes! Although they were really flat and ugly without the icing, my daughters made some chocolate toppings to go with the cream cheese frosting. They were really good. I think I will have to experiment with the dark chocolate cupcakes with the peanut butter frosting! They look great and addicting! :)


  47. jojo on November 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    this is something magnificent i might have to right about it on my blog p.s. im dying to try those chocolate peanut butter frosting cupcakes p.p.s. can you upload a recipe for veal pasta soup


    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Thank you! I’ve never made (or eaten) veal pasta soup, but if you have a recipe you’d like to share, please send it along!


  48. E Collins on November 29, 2012 at 6:32 am

    The name ‘Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes’ is bigoted and highly offensive.


  49. Laura @ Read Dream Relax on December 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Oh wow, these all look amazing! I am so going to have to go shopping tomorrow and experiment!


  50. Rika gatackic on December 29, 2012 at 2:35 am

    I’ve tried the peanut butter, banana & coffee espresso from your recipes. Its Niiice & really Thank You for sharing it. But i did a bit modification therefore the cake become softer & not cracking. I shared few of my cupcake recipe & photos in facebook for my friends…..LoL


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