How to Convert a Cake Recipe into Cupcakes

Follow these simple tips from our baking experts to get it right every time.

Step 1: Choose a recipe

Chocolate Cupcakes with a Twist

Choose a recipe for a butter-style cake (a cake that starts with beating butter and sugar together). A two-layer cake usually makes 24 to 30 cupcakes.

For cake recipes that easily convert to cupcakes, try:


Step 2: Line cupcake/muffin pan

Lining a muffin pan with paper bake cups

Line 24 to 30 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups or grease and flour the cups. If you don't have enough muffin cups, refrigerate the remaining batter while the first batch bakes.

Step 3: Fill liners with batter

Filling muffin cups with cupcake batter

Fill cups 1/2 to 3/4 full with batter. If desired, before baking the whole batch, bake one or two cupcakes with different amounts of batter in the liners to see which height you like best.

Step 4: Bake and cool cupcakes

Cherry-Almond Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Bake the cupcakes at the same temperature called for in the cake recipe, but reduce the baking time by one-third to one-half (cupcakes usually bake for 15 to 20 minutes).
  • Check doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. If the toothpick comes out with moist or wet crumbs on it, continue baking the cupcakes, checking doneness with a clean toothpick after a few minutes.
  • Let cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Frost and decorate cupcakes as desired.