25 of Our Absolute Best Cupcake Recipes

Candied Bacon-Sweet Potato Cupcakes
Photo: Karla Conrad

We love cupcakes, and these are our best recipes yet! Perfect for sharing, these delicious cupcake recipes are going to really impress everyone at your gathering. There are plenty of classic cupcake recipes (i.e. vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet), but we also showcase our Test Kitchen's most creative cupcake recipes to date. Bonus: Homemade cupcake frosting recipes are included, too!

01 of 23

Fresh Rosemary and Lemon Cupcakes

Fresh Rosemary and Lemon Cupcakes
Andy Lyons

For a double dose of refreshing lemon flavor, look no further than this cupcake recipe. Both the cake and the glaze topping in this rosemary-infused cupcake feature the citrus fruit. Save some lemon zest for an easy garnish.

02 of 23

Cherry-Almond Vanilla Cupcakes

Cherry-Almond Vanilla Cupcakes
Blaine Moats

This cherry-filled delight is one of our best cupcake recipes for fans of cherry flavor. Pair moist vanilla cake with the irresistible flavors of tart cherry and sweet almond for a showstopping dessert.

Test Kitchen Tip: Want to make cupcakes ahead? Place unfrosted cupcakes in a covered airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Frost when ready to enjoy.

03 of 23

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Mascarpone Cream Filling

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Mascarpone Cream Filling
Jason Donnelly

Take pumpkin beyond the traditional pie. With its smooth texture and warm, mellow flavor, the fall-favorite squash shines in this delicious cupcake recipe. A spiced mascarpone frosting and crystallized ginger add a kick to the cupcakes, proving they are worthy as a year-round indulgence.

04 of 23

Lavender-Honey Cupcakes

Lavender-Honey Cupcakes
Kritsada Panichgul

When it comes to creative cupcake flavor ideas, this one is a definite winner. Fall in love with this soft and sophisticated lavender cupcake confection sweetened with a touch of honey. A simple basket-weave piped frosting design gives this cupcake recipe a professional look.

Related: 10 Best Hand Mixers for Every Baker and Budget

05 of 23

Mochaccino Cupcakes

Mochaccino Cupcakes
Kritsada Panichgul

Get your caffeine fix from eating dessert. Coffee buttercream makes an irresistible topper for our cinnamon-spiced chocolate cupcake recipe. For a fun "straw" topper, add a créme-filled rolled wafer cookie.

06 of 23

Candied Bacon-Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Candied Bacon-Sweet Potato Cupcakes
Karla Conrad

Bacon cupcakes?! Stick with us here. Bacon gets baked to crispy perfection with a cinnamon-sugar mixture for a cupcake topper unlike any other. The cupcake recipe gets super moist with the addition of mashed sweet potatoes. As if the candied bacon wasn't impressive enough, we spiked the cream cheese frosting with bourbon!

07 of 23

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Andy Lyons

Bookmark this red velvet cupcake recipe for anytime you want a vibrantly-colored dessert. Don't forget to let your eggs and butter stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before making. This allows your red velvet cupcakes (and any cupcake recipe, for that matter) achieve the light, fluffy texture you want.

08 of 23

Orange Cream Pop Cupcakes

Orange Cream-Pop Cupcakes
Blaine Moats

If those orange-vanilla ice cream pops were a go-to order from the ice cream truck as a kid, try this amazing cupcake recipe. Zesty orange and creamy cheesecake flavors echo the sweet pleasures of summer in this nostalgic treat. Plus, we love that this cupcake recipe starts with a boxed cake mix, to save time.

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Vanilla Bean-Coconut Cupcakes

Vanilla Bean-Coconut Cupcakes
Scott Little

Toasted coconut flakes and our homemade vanilla-coconut frosting add elegance to a simple vanilla cupcake recipe for a new take on an old favorite. Ground macadamia nuts provide some extra texture and nutty flavor to the batter.

10 of 23

Chai Breakfast Cupcakes

Chai Breakfast Cupcakes
Kritsada Panichgul

Think outside the cup with these breakfast cupcakes that taste like your favorite morning sweetened tea. Full of spices (ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg) chai flavoring takes baked goods to the next level.

Test Kitchen Tip: No pastry bag? Place frosting in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and snip off a corner.

11 of 23

Churro Cupcakes

Churro Cupcakes
Jason Donnelly

When you're craving a churro but don't want to break out the deep fryer, go for this just-as-delicious cupcake recipe. There might not be a crunchy bite (unless you want to add one as a topper), but the cupcake recipe features the same cinnamon-sugar flavor you love.

12 of 23

Spiked Raspberry-Lemonade Cupcakes

Spiked Raspberry-Lemonade Cupcakes
Jason Donnelly

Take your childhood lemonade stand into adulthood. With raspberry liqueur-spiked frosting, this lemonade cupcake recipe makes one refreshing dessert.

13 of 23

Choco-Zucchini Cupcakes

Choco-Zucchini Cupcakes
Jay Wilde

Hide the healthy! The peanut butter frosting and dark chocolate in these cupcakes are enhanced with shredded zucchini. An extra bonus? The zucchini keeps the cupcakes moist.

14 of 23

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes
Scott Little

This cupcake recipe tastes just as amazing as the breakfast favorite, only without the need for yeast and proofing time. The sweet filling features an irresistible blend of brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. With more than 100 positive ratings, it might be one of our best cupcake recipes ever created.

15 of 23

Moscow Mule Cupcakes

Moscow Mule Cupcake
Matthew Clark

A surefire way to improve boxed cake mix is by making this easy cupcake recipe. We doctored up the cake mix with lime juice, lime zest, vodka, and ginger to taste just like a Moscow mule cocktail.

16 of 23

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Neapolitan Cupcakes
Blaine Moats

Just like when you can't choose one flavor of ice cream and pick Neapolitan, this cupcake recipe is here to solve your sweet tooth decisions. To achieve that classic three-flavor combo, we add vanilla, cocoa powder, and strawberry preserves to a white cake mix.

17 of 23

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Twist Cupcakes

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Twist Cupcakes
Blaine Moats

Ah, chocolate and peanut butter. Here the classic combo comes together with a peanut butter cupcake base. The creamy frosting swirls together both rich chocolate and peanut butter frosting to make an ultimate cupcake recipe everyone will enjoy. Top with a peanut butter cup for an adorable (and delicious) finish.

18 of 23

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Blaine Moats

This creative cupcake recipe turns your favorite soda shop treat into an edible dessert. Root beer goes right into the batter to give it that rich signature flavor. The float frosting whips together vanilla ice cream, butter, and sugar for a truly authentic taste.

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Pineapple-Carrot Cupcakes

Pineapple-Carrot Cupcakes
Scott Little

You'll get some serious carrot cake vibes from this delicious cupcake recipe. The batter features shredded carrots (buy them pre-shredded to save you prep time!) and crushed pineapple. A rich cream cheese frosting serves as the topping to these moist cupcakes.

20 of 23

Lemon-Poppyseed Cupcakes

Lemon-Poppyseed Cupcakes
Jason Donnelly

Simple yet elegant, these tender desserts take the cake. Mirror the zesty flavor in these treats with a light lemon glaze and lemon peel garnish. It'll pair perfectly with your cup of afternoon tea.

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Triple-Chocolate Cupcakes

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
Blaine Moats

Perfect for the chocolate lovers in the family, these indulgent cupcakes get not just one, but three hits of chocolate. Each cupcake is laced with chocolate liqueur, bittersweet chocolate, and topped with billows of dark chocolate butter frosting.

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Island Bananas Foster Cupcakes

Island Banana Foster Cupcakes
Kritsada Panichgul

Bananas foster is a decadent dessert made from bananas and a dark sauce made from sugar, cinnamon, and rum. Here those flavors are transformed into a showstopping cupcake recipe. We added coconut to the batter to give them some tropical flair.

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German Chocolate Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes
Alison Miksch

Talk about a picture-worthy dessert! This rich chocolate cupcake recipe goes all out by getting topped with chocolate-pecan ice cream, caramel sauce, and toasted coconut. It's safe to say you'll probably be eating this cupcake with a spoon.

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