White Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting (For a Crowd!)

Believe it or not, I don’t really enjoy eating cake all that much.  I know, it’s crazy… And, I sure do bake my share of them. It’s just not really my thing.  I’ll take a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie over a slice of cake any day.

However, I have recently found a cake recipe that I do like… In moderation. Granted, I would still prefer a brownie, but in their absence, I’d happily eat a slice of this white cake with buttercream frosting.

My friends and family seem to be fans of the cake, too.  In the last few months, I’ve made it on three separate occasions (including this graduation cake), and it’s been a big hit every single time. In fact, it’s always such a big hit that I just mix up a double batch of the batter and make a few extra cupcakes for the hubby and I to snack on. That way, he’s less likely to get upset with me for baking a cake for someone else’s event and not making anything for him!

Technically, this is a recipe for white cake… But, mine isn’t usually all that white. That’s because I like to bake with butter instead of shortening. Can you blame me? I’d much rather have the nice, rich butter flavor than have a snowy white cake made with shortening. Call me crazy. The same goes for the buttercream.  There are ways to make perfectly white “butter”-cream with shortening, but I’m not a fan of that, either. I can tell you, though, that no one has ever criticized the color of my white cake. They’re all too busy eating it. That’s a sign of a good cake!

So, since I’ve been making it over and over again, I thought it was only fair that I share the recipe with you.  As I mentioned earlier, it is a double recipe… But, it turns out well. And, it freezes well.  So, you can bake a double batch and freeze a cake for later. You’ll want more later.  From this double batch, I usually get a two-layer 8-inch square cake and about 10. cupcakes. You could also bake about two 9 by 13-inch cakes or a whole lot (I’m guessing about 3 1/2 – 4 dozen) cupcakes.

White Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
Double batch, makes about 4 dozen cupcakes
(Adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 scant teaspoon lemon extract
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 2/3 cups lowfat buttermilk
  • Fruit filling (I recommend strawberry or raspberry), if desired
  • Double batch of buttercream frosting (see notes below recipe)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers (or grease, flour, and line cake cans with parchment paper). Set aside.

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, until the ingredients are well creamed and very light and fluffy. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition to make sure the egg whites are well incorporated into the creamed mixture.  Add the vanilla extract and lemon extract, and beat for an additional minute.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Be sure to start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix just enough to incorporate all of the dry ingredients into the batter.  Do not over mix.

Scoop approximately 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake wrapper. (If you are baking 8-inch square cake layers, pour 4 cups of batter into each prepared pan.)  Bake the cupcakes for about 15 – 18 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. (The 8-inch square cake layers will need to bake for about 35 – 40 minutes.)  Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you are filling the cupcakes, use a paring knife to cut a small hole out of the top of each cupcake.  Pipe fruit filling into the holes.  Then, pipe buttercream frosting on the top of each cupcake.

Buttercream Frosting

When I make buttercream frosting, I just wing it.  Here are the basics…

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • Dash (or two) vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • Powdered sugar (6 – 8 cups)
  • Milk or cream (if necessary)

Begin by beating the butter, vanilla, and salt until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time.  Beat well after each addition, and continue adding powdered sugar until the icing reaches the consistency you’d like.  If it gets too thick, add about a tablespoon of milk or cream and beat until well incorporated.

Please Note – The link to The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook provided in this post is an Amazon affiliate link.  If you purchase this cookbook (or another item) after clicking on my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale price, which helps to keep My Kitchen Addiction up and running. Thanks!

9 Responses to White Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting (For a Crowd!)

  1. Butter is my buddy and I love baking and cooking with it. Your cupcakes look delicious, love that you filled them. This is a cake recipe that I will definitely try and I’m happy to know that it freezes well. Thanks Jen.

  2. I agree these look great, but I had hoped that someone actually tried the recipe, so I could get an idea of what they tasted like and then make it myself.

  3. Finally, a real recipe! Took me forever to find one that didn’t list a box of cake mix as the first ingredient.

  4. […] Vanilla Cupcakes and Birthday Cake – These were almost a disaster. If you follow me on Instagram, you know what I’m talking about. The recipe I used didn’t scale too well for cupcakes (or the double batch that I whipped up). If you want a good one, try this one from my archives. […]

  5. Just thought I would comment since I actually DID try the recipe and let me tell you it is absolutely fantastic. I made these for my residents while I was a cook at an assisted living and they were still talking about them months later. I opted for a cream cheese frosting but its really the cake that makes them. Its like a step above traditional white cake, I find myself cutting this recipe in half all the time to make cake for my family and everyone loves it. If you haven’t tried this recipe you definitely should, its delicious.