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hand holding a pretty cupcake

Christmas Cupcakes Recipe

  • Author: Patty McGuire
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 15 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Festive cupcakes decorated for Christmas with American Buttercream Frosting and sprinkles.


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (200g) cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (which means 6768 degrees)
  • 1 cup (200g) caster or superfine sugar sugar
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120g) full-fat sour cream at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk at room temperature
  • American buttercream and sprinkles for decorating


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with a few extra liners – this recipe makes between 15 and 18 cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. Whisk and sieve the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Rain in the sugar and beat on medium high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula at least 2 or 3 times in the mixing process here. Add the vanilla at this stage of mixing.
  4. Add the egg whites one at a time and allow each to fully incorporate before adding the next one. Beat on medium-high speed until combined, then beat in the sour cream. Remember to scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl during this part of mixing.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and then half the buttermilk. When that is incorporated, repeat the first step. Finally, add the the final addition of the dry ingredients. Do not over-mix. Remember to scrape down the sides and the paddle attachment while adding this last part of the recipe. There should be no lumps or unmixed batter, but if there is, whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick.
  6. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 19-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The spring back method is a good tool to use with this recipe as the appearance of the cupcakes can be deceptive. Don’t over bake! Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. I simply used a reusable piping bag and a Wilton 1M nozzle. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly.


I piped the cupcakes using my reusable frosting bag and a Wilton 1M tip. That tip is magical, and makes anything pretty. If you only have one, that’s the one.

Recently I switched to using caster sugar in my cakes and cookies. I’m a big fan of the Great British Bake Off, and they use that in all of their bakes. I have really liked the texture and taste of making this change.

Getting comfortable and familiar with the spring back method is really the only way to bake cakes. Just looking at them can totally fool you. Resist the temptation to keep baking. You must use visual queues like the tester coming out clean, the cupcakes pulling away from the sides of the pan and the all important spring back test to determine doneness. Start checking them at the beginning the recommended baking time to be safe.


Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Keywords: vanilla cupcakes, christmas cupcakes,