This may be just about the easiest and most delicious cupcake you’ll make that gets rave reviews from EVERYONE, these shortcut cupcakes are the ultimate in baking. The sour cream frosting will win you over in one bite!
I love cupcakes. If you browse my blog for any length of time, there’s no denying I’m having a real love affair with these miniature cakes. And that’s because they are perfect for all sorts of occasions, from fancy to dressed down. I even make them to have around the house for my kids, and myself when that sweet tooth hits. And these cupcakes which I’m about to show you how to make are some of my favorites.
I love how almond adds its own unique sweetness, and sour cream adds a tang that goes brilliantly with it. These two ingredients work together and balance one another out, giving your taste buds an enjoyable experience.
If you’re a fan of my blog, then you may recognize this recipe. It’s adapted from my layered cake, but this time I’m giving it to you in its handheld version. Plus, I’ve added in the option to fill these cupcakes with whatever your heart may desire! One of my favorites is my chocolate ganache piped into the cupcakes. Also fantastic, is lemon curd, for a tangy, yet sweet, addition. But really, you can fill it with whatever you’re in the mood for, or just keep them plain for a simple version that’s still packed with flavor. Fresh made jam, add a scoop of sprinkles for a fun confetti style surprise.
And if almond isn’t your thing, no worries there! Add in your favorite, lemon, maple, or just use all vanilla. I have loads of amazing cupcake recipes. I also have lots of decorating tips if you feel like getting fancy and adding some flair to the tops of your cupcakes. Or if you like to mix and match flavors, here are some great frosting alternatives!
Okay before we get started, let me go over a few tips for you:
If you like light and fluffy cake, don’t refrigerate. Refrigerating a cake makes a much more dense dessert because of the moisture in the fridge. However, if you like a denser cake that feels closer to homemade, then this could be a great option for you!
For filling your cupcakes, I use cupcake corer, an apple corer tool, or the back of a large piping tip to remove some cake from the center of the cupcakes. I then replace the small piece of cake so the frosting sits evenly on top of the cake.
These cupcakes can be served with this sour cream frosting recipe or take a look at my other frosting recipes to select another variety.
As far as the filling goes, there are lots of options but chocolate and lemon are true winners…. chocolate ganache or lemon curd, other great options are strawberry curd, blueberry curd, or just fill some sprinkles for a fun confetti style surprise inside.
Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Not all liners are created equal, I use glassine liners that don’t stick to the cake.
In the bowl of a mixer add the cake mix, along with flour, sugar, and salt. Mix slowly to combine. If you mix too fast, you’ll have a flour cloud on your hands, very messy!
Slowly add in the water, the beaten egg whites, melted butter, sour cream, oil, and extracts.
Once again, mix on low to combine, then turn the speed to medium and mix for 1 minute,
Turn off and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Be sure the ingredients on the bottom are completely blended. Mix for another 30 seconds or until completely combined. You can increase to medium-high speed for this portion.
Now prep your muffin tins. When ready, place 3 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner.
Bake for 18 minutes, then test with a toothpick. They’re done when it comes out clean. If they need to bake more, add small increments of time – a minute or two – to ensure you don’t burn them.
Allow cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then remove them from the pan and let them cool completely on a cooling rack.
Use the opposite end of a piping tip, cupcake corer, or apple corer to remove a small amount of cake. Add filling. Then replace the small piece of cake and frost as desired. If you’re skipping the filling, then just frost the cupcakes.
Here are some common questions when it comes to baking:
Can I forego the cupcake liners and just use a baking spray?
Yes, a nice baking spray will allow the tiny cakes to remove from the pan easily. Butter will burn, so that is not a great option. A light coating of shortening will work, put a small amount of flour to coat each cupcake portion well. Just be sure your pan is high quality as it does make a difference in how they’ll turn out. I like liners not only for their ease of prep, but because they make the cupcake more handle-friendly.
I’m out of sour cream, can I use a substitute?
Yes again! Yogurt can be used in place of sour cream, I would use thick Greek yogurt like Fage, you don’t want a sweet plain yogurt it won’t offer the flavor balance that sour cream or plain Greek yogurt will.
- 1 box white cake mix (Duncan Hines) do not follow the directions on the package
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 4 egg whites, from large eggs (use the egg yolks for another recipe like lemon curd)
- 4 oz (½ cup) butter, melted
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons oil (I use avocado oil, vegetable or canola would work as well)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325°
- Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners (I use glassine liners that don't stick to the cake)
- In the bowl of a mixer add the cake mix, along with flour, sugar, and salt, and mix to combine.
- Add in the water, egg whites, melted butter, sour cream, oil, and extracts.
- Mix in low to combine, then turn the speed to medium to mix completely for 1 minute,
- Turn off and scrape down the sides and be sure the ingredients on the bottom are completely blended. Mix for another 30 seconds or until well mixed, can increase to medium-high speed for the last 30 seconds.
- Place 3 tablespoons into each cupcake liner.
- Bake for 18 minutes then test with a toothpick until it comes out clean.
- Allow cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Add filling or frosting as desired.
- If you prefer fluffy cupcakes no need to refrigerate them, if you prefer the cupcakes to be denser than fluffy, refrigerate them, and the result will have a more homemade texture.