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14 Crave-Worthy Cupcake Recipes From Classic Vanilla to Lemon-Ricotta

Sweeten your next celebration with these timeless treats.

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Cupcakes are really just personal-sized cakes, but there’s something particularly joyful about these miniature treats. As with their larger counterparts, you can get creative with the cakes themselves and the frosting (aka the best part). We’ve gathered some of our favorite recipes for birthdays, picnics, or any old day that needs brightening, from classic Vanilla Cupcakes and Chocolate Cupcakes to vegan and gluten-free options.

Vanilla Cupcakes

<p>Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Debbie Wee</p>

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Debbie Wee

So simple, so delicious! This recipe lends itself to any frosting, including White Buttercream, Cream Cheese, or Chocolate. Consider it your blank slate for every birthday party and potluck from here on out.

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Chocolate Cupcakes

Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

These classic chocolate cupcakes include both butter and oil in the batter, which means they’ll stay nice and moist once they cool. Try them with Chocolate or Marshmallow frosting.

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Blackberry-Cardamom Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Christine Keely
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

These fruity and lightly spiced vegan cupcakes get their soft texture from full-fat oat milk. The frosting, made with aquafaba (the leftover liquid from a can of chickpeas and an excellent egg white substitute) is similar to Swiss or Italian meringue buttercream.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

<p>Jordan Provost / Food Styling by Thu Buser</p>

Jordan Provost / Food Styling by Thu Buser

Calling all pumpkin spice lovers: These cupcakes are flavored with warm baking spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Tangy cream cheese frosting and crunchy, earthy pumpkin seeds create a riot of flavors and textures.

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Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

These vibrant cupcakes are perfect for spring or summer parties. Freeze-dried strawberries, processed with a touch of sugar, add a fruity, just-sweet-enough flavor to both the batter and frosting.

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Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

<p>Carson Downing / Food Styling by Holly Dreesman / Prop Styling by Gabriel Greco</p>

Carson Downing / Food Styling by Holly Dreesman / Prop Styling by Gabriel Greco

Inspired by the ever-popular cake, these autumnal cupcakes swap typical carrot cake spices like cinnamon and cloves for pumpkin pie spice. A creamy vegan buttercream replaces the classic cream cheese frosting.

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Lemon-Ricotta Cupcakes with Fluffy Lemon Frosting

Christina Holmes
Christina Holmes

These elegant and not-too-sweet cupcakes call for honey instead of refined sugar in the moist cake and tangy cream cheese frosting.

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Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling

© Dana Gallagher
© Dana Gallagher

These decadent cupcakes are filled with a simple mixture of peanut butter, sugar, and butter, and dipped twice in a rich chocolate ganache.

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Take 5 Carrot Cupcakes

© Quentin Bacon
© Quentin Bacon

These moist cupcakes include shredded carrots in the batter, making them the ideal treat for carrot cake fans. They’re spiced with cinnamon and piped with a silky-smooth cream cheese frosting.

Take 5 Carrot Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Filling

© Wendell T. Webber
© Wendell T. Webber

These rich chocolate cupcakes are an updated twist on the classic Hostess CupCake. They’re stuffed with a marshmallow fluff filling and topped with a thick chocolate frosting.

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Black and White Cupcakes

Christina Holmes
Christina Holmes

Can’t choose between vanilla and chocolate frosting? Justin Chapple uses a deceptively easy technique to decorate these chocolate cupcakes with a two-tone frosting.

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Cream and Raspberries

© Quentin Bacon
© Quentin Bacon

These ultra-light cupcakes are made with egg whites and cake flour, both of which contribute to their springy texture. A lemon cream glaze and fresh raspberries are the perfect complement to the delicate cake.

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Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting

© Sarah Bolla
© Sarah Bolla

These gluten-free cupcakes evoke the beloved winter beverage with a rich chocolate cake and fluffy, marshmallow-esque frosting. Though the recipe calls for a homemade gluten-free flour, you can swap in store-bought.

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Banana Custard-Stuffed Peanut Butter Cupcakes

© Sarah Bolla
© Sarah Bolla

These gluten-free peanut butter cupcakes are stuffed with banana cream custard and topped with a rich peanut butter frosting.

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