This White Cupcakes recipe gives you cupcakes that are light and airy, living up to bakery-quality standards! And while some may find vanilla cupcakes to be plain or unexciting, let me assure you that these White Cupcakes are nothing less than mouth-watering, providing a great base for almost any occasion, party theme, or celebration.
The somewhat unusual addition of sour cream adds a generous amount of moisture to the cupcake batter, resulting in tender cupcakes that won’t leave your mouth dry while also packing loads of buttery flavor.
Every time I make a batch of these cupcakes, I always end up with golden brown tops, making them ever so crispy and chewy – a bit of caramelized sugar heaven for sure!
Some of these cupcakes make it all the way to frosting while others don’t (if you know what I mean!). Either way, I know you are going to love them. If you do, be sure to also try my Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes and German Chocolate Cupcakes.
You can use this recipe as a base for many of my recipes that use a cake mix like these Raspberry Cupcakes.
What are White Cupcakes?
These white cupcakes are cakey and super moist thanks to the use of sour cream in the cupcake batter. They’re topped with a vanilla frosting. While these white cupcakes may appear simple, they’re incredibly delicious and are stunning treats that can easily be adapted.
Variations and Substitutions
- Decorate your cupcakes with your choice of sprinkles while the frosting is still setting. You could even decorate these white cupcakes with a particular holiday in mind. A white cupcake base is always a great idea if you plan on making a showpiece of your frosting or decoration as I did with these beautiful Rose Cupcakes.
- Make your white cupcakes even more gourmet by adding in a decadent white chocolate frosting filling, or a caramel buttercream filling like these Filled German Chocolate Cupcakes With Caramel Buttercream.
- Ditch the vanilla frosting if you like and instead consider adding Strawberry Marshmallow Buttercream, Peppermint Marshmallow Frosting, Cherry Buttercream Frosting, Peanut Butter Buttercream, or Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting.
- Transform the look of these white cupcakes with decorative cupcake toppers that you can easily source from local baking supply stores or online depending on your theme and the occasion.
- Make mini cupcakes by using mini cupcake liners and reduce the baking time to 10-12 minutes at 350℉. Again, make sure to only fill the mini cupcake liners ½ -⅔ of the way.
- The cupcake batter quantity can easily be used to make a 3-layer 9” round cake instead.
- Use this white cake batter recipe and turn it into all kinds of treats like our red white and blue marble cake or a 4th of July poke cake.
These white cupcakes can be stored for up to 3-4 days at room temperature in an airtight container or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
These White Cupcakes can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months, with or without the frosting.
To freeze unfrosted cupcakes: first allow them to cool completely and then wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap, storing them in an airtight container.
To freeze frosted cupcakes: First flash freeze the frosted cupcakes on a baking sheet and then transfer them to an airtight container to be stored in the freezer. The flash freezing will help to keep the frosting intact during storage.
If you’ve stored your cupcakes in the refrigerator or freezer, it’s always best to allow them to reach room temperature before serving since they taste best at room temperature.
Pro Storage Tip: Using cupcake liners in your muffin tins is another great way of preventing your leftover cupcakes from drying out and going stale during storage.
If you’re trying to save yourself some time, making these white cupcakes in advance is a great option.
Whether you intend to make your cupcakes 1-2 days ahead of time or longer through freezer storage, I always prefer to leave the frosting off till just prior to serving. This allows me to wrap the cupcakes tightly in plastic wrap or aluminium foil to lock in moisture. I also prefer the taste of freshly made frosting.
Making the frosting just prior to serving your cupcakes won’t take up much of your time at all and is totally worth it from a taste and presentation point of view.
While I opted to line my muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray this time around, you could also opt to use cupcake liners instead. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll want to make sure that you never overfill your cupcake/muffin tin.
Overfilling with batter will result in mushroom tops and the risk of the center of your cupcakes sinking and not cooking through entirely.
To prevent this, make sure to only fill your cupcake tin or liners ½ – ⅔ full. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and only fill halfway.
- While I’ve made these white cupcakes with milk, you could use buttermilk instead for a more dense cupcake. Just note though that this recipe does call for the use of sour cream which already does a brilliant job of making these cupcakes moist so adding buttermilk on top of that may be a bit of an overkill.
- Always use a shiny cupcake/muffin pan instead of a dark one as dark pans will absorb more heat from the oven and you run the risk of having your cupcakes browning on the edges and top while still being undercooked on the inside. This will also result in dryer cupcakes. If you only have a darker pan on hand then I suggest lining it with cupcake liners.
- A small amount of salt added to your cupcake batter enhances the flavors and shouldn’t be overlooked.
- For a smooth batter consistency, make sure that all the refrigerated ingredients used for making the cupcake batter are at room temperature before mixing them together. This includes your egg whites, butter and cream.
- I’ve used both butter and oil in this cupcake recipe which keeps the cupcake base light and moist while also adding that irresistible butter flavor!
- Use egg whites instead of whole eggs to achieve a very light and airy cupcake base.
- Measuring the flour in this recipe is very important as too much can result in dense and tough cupcakes. It’s best to first sift the flour and then measure it using the spoon and level method.
- I prefer using cake flour over all-purpose flour since the cake flour makes the cupcakes light and airy while all-purpose flour tends to create a more dense and chewy cupcake.
- An easy way to frost your cupcakes is straight from the cupcake/muffin tin, otherwise, if you want to hold the cupcakes while frosting them then consider freezing them for about 20 minutes so that they harden, making them less “fragile” for handling.
If you’re planning on transporting your cupcakes then you may want to consider something like this cupcake carrier.
White Cupcake Recipe
- 3 ½ cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 6 large egg whites room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- Sift the cake flour into a large bowl and THEN measure out exactly 3 ½ cups from the sifted flour. Measure by spooning the sifted flour into a measuring cup and then use the flat side of a knife to level off the top of the measuring cup.
- Place measured flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add in salt and baking powder and whisk together,
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together egg whites, milk, vegetable oil, sour cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Whisk until no lumps remain.
- Beat the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer or with a handheld mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the sugar while continuing to mix.
- Add the wet and dry ingredients to the butter mixture: beginning and ending with the wet ingredients, mix in ⅓ of the milk mixture, then ½ of the flour mixture, another ⅓ of the milk mixture, the remaining flour mixture, and finally the remaining mix mixture.
- Spoon the cupcake batter into each muffin cavity, filling ⅔ of the way full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. The cupcakes will brown slightly on the top and should spring back when pressed gently with your finger.
- Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.
- The use of both butter and oil in this recipe keep the cake light and moist while also adding the delicious flavor of butter.
- Traditional white cakes use egg whites, not whole eggs. This makes the cake very light and airy, even springy.
- Measuring the flour correctly is really important. If you have lumps or packed flour, you may end up adding too much flour, resulting in a dense tough cake. Sift the flour first, then measure using the spoon and level method.
- Cake flour is soft and very airy. It works so well to keep this white cake tasting just like a professional cake straight from the bakery. You can use all-purpose flour in this recipe, but the texture will be a bit chewier and dense.
- The browned top of the cupcakes is just a tiny bit crispy and chewy – a bit of caramelized sugar heaven. It really adds a delicious dimension to the cake.
- You can cook this into a cake also – the batter will make a 3-layer 9” round cake.
- Sour cream is a bit of a unique addition to a traditional white cake recipe, but it adds so much moisture and really makes a delicious crumb.
- These are soft and airy. They are easy to frost right in the muffin tin. If you want to hold the cupcakes in your hand while frosting or decorating, you may want to pop them in the freezer for 20 minutes or so to harden, making them less “fragile” for handling.