32 Best Cupcake Recipes You Need To Try

Cupcakes challenge bakers to get artistic with flavors and decorations, and here you'll encounter recipes that get your creative juices flowing. You'll love whipping up these sweet treats for holidays — there are cupcakes for Halloween, Christmas, and Easter. Others, like the rainbow or peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, will be all the rage at your child's next birthday party. Of course, there are cupcakes to enjoy solely amongst adults, as well — the famous berry margarita cupcake, for example, or the red wine.

Before you get started or even pick a recipe, though, take a moment to savor the anticipation of what you're about to create. Picture the bowl and spoon you'll use to get the batter ready. Think about the soothing rhythm of a spinning mixer. Then, the aroma wafts from the oven and fills your home. Take a deep breath and enjoy it because it only lasts a few minutes. When the timer has dinged and the little cakes have cooled, squeeze the decorating sleeve, pushing frosting out of the nozzle and onto the tops in little curly cues. Finally, set the plate out on the table and share the cupcakes with your family and friends.

1. Classic Vanilla

These classic vanilla cupcakes demonstrate that simple is best. Using ingredients you already have in your pantry, you'll mix up some of the moistest, most delicious sweet treats you've ever had.

This recipe deviates from others in one important way, though — yogurt is the secret ingredient. Mix in a bit of Greek yogurt after the butter, sugar, and eggs, and you'll add moisture and uniform texture to these little cakes.

Recipe: Classic Vanilla Cupcake

2. Moist Chocolate

Chocolate cupcakes are inherently fudgy and decadent, but these take it to a whole new level. There are no surprising ingredients here — you'll create a heavenly dessert with simple butter, eggs, flour, sugar, and cocoa powder.

The best way to eat one is with a cup of black coffee, no sugar. The two flavors accent each other and the bitterness of the joe accents the sweetness of the chocolate cupcakes.

Recipe: Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

3. Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Have you ever wanted to try chocolate-covered cherries reincarnated as cupcakes? Using this recipe, you can cross that off your bucket list.

Use syrup from a jar of Maraschino cherries to make frosting for traditional chocolate cupcakes. The icing turns a delicate shade of pink. To finish up, you garnish each treat with the remaining cherries. These add the perfect touch to any baby shower, bridal shower, or birthday.

Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

4. Peanut Butter and Jelly

A bite of a peanut butter and jelly cupcake will transport you back to a time when your parents packed you a paper-sack lunch. Your kids will love them too, of course.

To make these, take a vanilla cupcake and pipe raspberry jam into the middle as filling. Then, use peanut butter frosting to make a little nest around the top and fill that with more jam.

Recipe: Best Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

5. Piecaken

Piecaken is what it sounds like — a combination of pie and cake in cupcake form. You'll only need three ingredients: cake mix, a store-bought frozen pie, and some Betty Crocker frosting.

After whipping up the cake mix and spooning some into each liner, add an ice-cream scoop of pie and bake. The best part is that you can combine different flavors — for example, chocolate cake and cherry pie, vanilla and blueberry, or lemon and strawberry.

Recipe: Easy Piecaken Cupcakes

6. Chocolate Raspberry

The idea behind these chocolate raspberry cupcakes is simple and fundamentally true: Chocolate cake tastes fantastic with red berries. The recipe recommends using raspberry jam or preserves but says cherries or strawberries are possible subs.

The cake part of this recipe is a simple chocolate cupcake like any other. Add the fruit taste by mixing raspberry jam into a traditional buttercream — it will turn delightfully pink and taste wonderful.

Recipe: Best Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

7. Red Velvet

People love red velvet cake because it looks so stunning on a dessert table, but these cupcakes will make even more of an impact with their deep red color and curlicue of frosting on top. They contain a bit of cocoa powder for a chocolatey taste, but the hue comes from food coloring. Topping them with cream cheese frosting adds complexity to their flavor. Then, crumble any extra to make the eye-catching red garnish.

Recipe: Perfect Red Velvet Cupcake

8. Banana Split

Nothing hits the spot like a banana split, but serving one isn't easy on a picnic or at a barbecue. These cupcakes recreate the same flavors as the frozen treat with added convenience.

The cupcake batter incorporates mashed banana while vanilla frosting imitates a scoop of ice cream. By topping everything off with a slice of banana, a cherry, and chocolate sauce, this recipe creates something just as good as the original.

Recipe: Easy Banana Split Cupcakes

9. Red Wine

Red wine cupcakes are the perfect dessert for romantic dinner dates. The addition of cabernet sauvignon into their chocolatey batter makes them just the right combination of sweet and bitter.

The most fun part of all is that you only need 1.5 cups of wine between the batter and frosting. That means that you can pour yourself and your partner a glass to drink while you're mixing them up.

Recipe: Red Wine Cupcakes

10. Chocolate Bacon

The maple frosting and crispy candied bacon garnish mean these are breakfast cupcakes. You can make some anytime, though, since this recipe suggests a chocolate cake box mix and canned frosting.

To prepare the unique icing, just add some maple extract to Betty Crocker's cream cheese frosting. Then, put some brown sugar–coated bacon in the oven. Pipe on the frosting, sprinkle on the bacon and these little cakes are ready to devour.

Recipe: Easy Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

11. Nutella

Spooning Nutella straight from the jar into your mouth is delightful, but if you have any left, use it to make these scrumptious cupcakes. Just cut out the center of chocolate cupcakes and add a generous dose of the hazelnut spread.

When you mix up the frosting, add Nutella before piping it on. If that's not enough hazelnut flavor, you could sprinkle chopped nuts over the frosting or even mix some into the batter.

Recipe: Nutella Cupcakes

12. Easter Cupcakes

If you're feeling stumped when it comes to dessert for Easter lunch, try these cute cupcakes. The trick isn't in the ingredients — these are just vanilla cakes — but rather in the decoration.

This recipe carefully details how to make that gorgeous, speckled teal frosting reminiscent of a robin's egg. If you're new to cake decorating, this is a great place to start because each step is laid out in detail.

Recipe: Easter Cupcakes

13. Rainbow

Kids will take great pleasure in devouring these treasures. Flavorwise, these are simple vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting, but we eat with our eyes.

You'll have to carefully mix the colors, otherwise, you might end up with a putrid brown color. The recipe says to separate the batter into six bowls — one for each color. Then, to make each visible, add spoonfuls in this order: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red.

Recipe: Homemade Rainbow Cupcakes

14. Chocolate Peanut Butter

This is the cupcake version of a Reese's peanut butter cup, and you'll have to taste test to see which you like better. The cake batter is chocolate and the frosting is peanut butter.

Decorate the frosting with drizzled peanut butter, smashed Reese's pieces, and half a peanut butter cup. Pour yourself a glass of milk to wash these decadently sweet mini cakes down when you eat them.

Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

15. Pan Dulce Conchas

Serve these if you think traditional cupcakes are too sweet and want a breadier texture. Pan dulce conchas cupcakes taste like bread with a crisp sugar topping and have the shape of a sea shell.

The recipe is a yeast dough, topped with colorful sugar dough. You'll need more patience while kneading and waiting for the dough to rise, but the final result is worth the extra effort.

Recipe: Colorful Pan Dulce Conchas Cupcakes

16. Pumpkin Pecan

This is the quintessential fall cupcake — it combines pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pecans into one delicious treat. Make these instead of a larger pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and skip cutting and serving individual slices, which can look messy.

The recipe says to use canned pumpkin, but you could try baking and mashing some for superior taste and texture. If your family likes sweet potato pie more, substitute the root vegetable for pumpkin.

Recipe: Pumpkin pecan Cupcakes

17. Chocolate Peppermint

Leave your colleagues in awe by sharing a tray of chocolate peppermint cupcakes at the office Christmas party. To make them, pipe peppermint frosting onto a traditional chocolate cupcake and add flare with a sprinkle of crushed candy canes.

The frosty peppermint and delicate red stripe in the icing are the show-stoppers. Produce the effect with peppermint extract; by painting a red stripe in a decorating sleeve, you're set to impress.

Recipe: Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

18. Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes will surprise your palate with their rich, chocolate taste, a hint of cinnamon, and a spicy bite from cayenne powder. This is the perfect treat to whip up on a snow day when everyone's stuck in the house — the spice will give you a burst of warmth, too.

Instead of decorating these with buttercream, use whipped cream topped with marshmallows. Adding a packet of gelatin powder to the frosting will keep the delicate swirls of topping right in place.

Recipe: Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

19. Moist Coconut Cupcakes

If it's the middle of the winter and you're longing for tropical warmth, mix up a few coconut cupcakes. One bite and they'll transport you straight to the beach, sitting under the shade of a coconut tree.

Making these mini cakes is easy and fast — it'll only take around 30 minutes of your day. Even better, you probably have all the ingredients you need for this summery treat in your pantry already except, perhaps, for the coconut.

Recipe: Moist Coconut Cupcakes

20. Delicious Chocolate

Chocolate cupcakes won't solve any problems, but savoring a bite of one creates a sweet moment, making other obstacles more bearable. If you're feeling down, this is the recipe for you.

The clear, easy-to-follow instructions and simple ingredient list make this recipe a joy to follow. Even more, you mix it all in one bowl so you'll have fewer dishes to wash, which is always a bonus.

Recipe: Delicious Chocolate Cupcakes

21. Copycat Hostess

In 2012-13, people worried Twinkies and Hostess Cupcakes might disappear because the company filed for bankruptcy and was bought out by a conglomerate. Then, Hostess changed hands again in 2016, and, now, another deal may be in the works.

Learn to make these cupcakes instead of worrying about Hostess's future and what products might stay on shelves. This recipe will taste even better than the original dessert since you'll choose your own, top-quality ingredients.

Recipe: Copycat Hostess Cupcakes

22. Oreo

Oreo cupcakes are fun to make with your kids. Sometimes, little ones cause trouble in the kitchen, but in this case, hand them a rolling pin and a Ziplock of Oreos. They'll have a ball smashing them, and you need two cups of Oreo crumbs — that's a win-win.

The rest of the recipe is straightforward: mix your Oreo crumbs with chocolate batter. Top off with vanilla frosting blended with more Oreos.

Recipe: Easy Oreo Cupcakes

23. Banoffee

Banoffee combines the words banana and toffee, which are the flavors you'll find in these cupcakes. It's a distinct flavor and it'll make them a hit at any potluck or gathering.

Mix mashed banana into the cupcake batter. Then, once you've baked them, cut a hole in the center of each and pipe in caramel sauce. Top off with caramel frosting. If caramel sauce seems too liquidy, why not try dulce de leche instead?

Recipe: Best Banoffee Cupcakes

24. Cadbury Creme Eggs

You'll discover a Cadbury Creme Egg hidden in each of these decadent cupcakes. Another, on top, makes an eye-catching garnish. You'll need a whopping total of 24 chocolates to make a dozen cupcakes.

Keeping the chocolate eggs in the freezer is the secret to success. Scoop batter into each cupcake liner, and then, lightly place frozen Cadbury Creme Eggs in each. Don't push down, but place a spoonful of batter over them.

Recipe: Cadbury Creme Eggs Cupcakes

25. Scary Halloween

Cupcakes are the perfect treat for your kid's school Halloween party. Send them off with several piping bags of chocolate frosting so that each classmate can decorate their own cupcake with a skeleton face or other fall-time design (if the teacher agrees, of course).

The chocolate batter is simple to make — adding buttermilk is the only difference from a traditional cupcake batter recipe. Use canned vanilla and chocolate frosting for the topping.

Recipe: Scary Halloween Cupcakes

26. Candy Cane

Red and white swirls in these cupcakes make them almost too pretty to eat. A swirl of white, peppermint-flavored frosting topped with a mini candy cane catches the eye.

These delicacies look like they require a steady pulse, but beginner bakers can whip them up. Just separate the batter into two bowls. Add red coloring to one. Then, alternate adding tablespoons of white and red batter to the liners twice — four spoonfuls total for each cupcake.

Recipe: Candy Cane Cupcakes

27. Witch Cauldron

These are the Halloween cupcakes for you if frosting sleeves seem intimidating. You can simply spread the green icing with a butter knife. It's so easy that you can even have your kids do it for you.

To complete the decoration, use a piece of black licorice for a cauldron handle. Finally, pick up some Halloween sprinkles from the grocery store. If you can't find any with candy eyes, you can buy those separately.

Recipe: Witch Cauldron Cupcakes

28. Candy Corn

There are two types of people: Those who love candy corn and those who hate it. These cupcakes are for both because they're vanilla flavored — no candy corn is harmed in the process.

Create the yellow and orange layers by dividing your batter into two bowls and adding food coloring. Then, carefully spoon in the yellow, and later the orange. Pipe on vanilla frosting and garnish with a few pieces of candy corn.

Recipe: Simple Candy Corn Cupcakes

29. Berry Margarita

These delicate, boozy berry Margarita cupcakes are the perfect way to end a dinner party with friends. Before starting, make sure you have some frozen mixed berries, limes, and a bottle of tequila — you won't need the whole thing!

First, mix up the batter and add lime juice. The berries will be your last ingredient and you'll have to fold them in slowly. Finally, decorate the baked cakes with tequila-infused frosting.

Recipe: Berry Margarita Cupcakes

30. Mini Ice Cream

Mini ice cream cupcakes will impress guests at summer gatherings, but you won't have to scoop ice cream in the heat of the moment with fifteen begging kids pushing at you.

Start with a vanilla wafer crust. Top that off with softened vanilla ice cream. Let them set for half an hour in the freezer before adding whipped cream and sprinkles. Here's a bonus idea: Set up a topping bar and let your guests do the decorating.

Recipe: Mini Ice Cream Cupcakes

31. No-bake Cheesecake

No-bake cheesecake cupcakes will quickly become the focal point of any brunch or bridal shower buffet. They'll disappear in the blink of an eye, so double the recipe.

Even better is the fact that you don't need many ingredients to make these. Make the base with cookie crumbs. Substitute chopped nuts if you want a gluten-free option. Then, use cream cheese and whipped cream for the filling. Finally, top them off with more whipped cream and any kind of berries.

Recipe: Easy No-Bake Cheesecake Cupcakes

32. Gingerbread Latte

If you love the aroma of gingerbread but can't stand the crunch of the cookies, try these gingerbread latte cupcakes. They'll become a holiday favorite in any home that tries them.

The inclusion of molasses makes them slightly denser than traditional cupcakes but adds a delicious layer of flavor. Then, a touch of espresso powder in the batter gives them extra oomph. Add the finishing touch with cream cheese frosting.

Recipe: Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes