Cupcake Recipes from Scratch

Homemade CupcakesMake These Delicious Old Fashioned Cupcakes
(Source: ©goglik83/

Grandma's homemade cupcake recipes from scratch are so very easy to make. Nothing beats the comforting aroma of homemade cupcakes warm from the oven and cooling on a wire rack.

Cupcakes are definitely a favorite comfort food. Who can resist them when they're thickly iced and topped with a bright red maraschino cherry? I know I can't. And I always save the icing for eating last!

Cupcake Recipes from Scratch

Calling All Girls Magazine (April 1946)

Teenage Girl Making Vintage CupcakesYoung Girl Making Low-Sugar Cupcake Recipe from Scratch
(PD Source: Calling All Girls, April 1946)

When it comes to homemade cupcake recipes from scratch, this old fashioned one is hard to beat. It was written to instruct young girls on how to make classic cupcakes step by step. The practical tips can be used when making any cupcakes.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Rind

Let 'em Eat Cupcakes! And don't think they won't — if you make this good-to-the-last-crumb wartime cupcake recipe from scratch, you'll be needing only one-half cup of rationed sugar.

Those ration stamps don't shorten anybody's sweet tooth. They just leave even the most experienced cooks with problems. Nobody gets a chance to do nearly as much baking as it would be fun to do.

This is a whiz of a recipe. It makes cupcakes. It makes them with the absolute minimum of sugar and no shortening. Two-inch cupcakes — two dozen. Twelve of the larger size! Bake twice as often on the same sugar ration — whee!

Here we go, then. Separate the yolks and whites of 3 eggs (save 2 of the whites in a separate dish for icing). Beat the yolks till they are a light lemon-yellow color.

Measure 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and sift them together twice to be sure they are lumpless and evenly combined. Then add them gradually to the egg yolks, beating all the time. Stir into this 1/4 cup of boiling water.

Now you need 3/4 cup of sifted flour. To accomplish this, you measure 3/4 cup of cake flour. Then you sift it. Then you pile it back lightly into the measuring cup, using a spatula, or any other broad, flat blade. Level it by scraping off the excess with the edge of the blade, for you'll have some left over. That's the point. So don't shake the cup or poke the flour down or try to make the rest fit into the measure. It increases in bulk when sifted, and that's why it's important to measure again and correctly for the increase.

Now re-sift this 3/4 cup of cake flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Then add it to the mixture of egg yolks, sugar, salt, and water, beating till you have a smooth batter. Flavor it with 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon rind.

All right, you're ready to bake. Grease your cupcake pan, and fill each division two-thirds full. Set it into the oven preheated to 350°F and bake for about 15 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan.

By the way, preheating the oven means turning it on a good 15 minutes before you want to use it, setting the control for the temperature that you want, and letting it reach that temperature before you put the cake in. —Jane Richards

Homemade Cupcake Recipes from Scratch

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Sweet Cupcakes Made with Love IllustrationMake Sweet Old Fashioned Cupcakes Tonight
(Source: ©awispa/

Hint of Lemon Cupcakes

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
Pinch of salt
Enough lemon juice to flavor

Beat the butter and sugar to a cream. Add the eggs well beaten, then the milk in which the soda has been dissolved. Add the flour with the cream of tartar and a little salt sifted together.

Beat all together well, and flavor with lemon to suit. Bake in a fairly quick oven (400°F).

Zesty Orange Cupcakes

2 Cups cake flour
4 Teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons butter or shortening
1 Cup white sugar
1 Egg, unbeaten
1 Tablespoon grated orange rind
1/4 Cup milk
1/2 Cup orange juice

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, and sift together three times. Cream butter, add sugar, and cream together thoroughly.

Add egg and beat until light and fluffy. Add orange rind. Add flour, alternately with milk and orange juice, a small amount at a time. Beat after each addition until smooth.

Pour batter into muffin pans, filling them 2/3 full. Bake in moderate oven (350°F) 25 minutes. Makes 1 dozen large or 1-1/2 dozen small cupcakes.

Almond Cupcakes

1/2 cup shortening, 1 cup white sugar, 2/3 cup milk, 1 teaspoon almond extract, 2 cups pastry flour (or 1-3/4 cups bread flour), 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 egg whites (well beaten).

To make this homemade cupcake recipe from scratch, cream shortening, add sugar and continue creaming until light. Sift flour, measure and sift with baking powder and salt, then add alternately with milk to first mixture.

Add the almond extract. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in greased square tin in moderate oven (350°F to 375°F) for 20 minutes.

When cold, cut in triangles, squares, rounds, or fancy shapes suitable for the occasion.

Or, bake in fluted paper cupcake cases or small muffin tins. Ice the teacakes before serving. These are perfect for fancy afternoon teas.

Cupcakes with Currant Jelly Meringue

Homemade cupcakes always look special when served on a fancy dessert tray, but these with their pink currant jelly meringue toppings look extra special. They are always sure to be noticed.

4 tablespoons butter, 1 cup sugar, 2/3 cup milk, 1 egg, 2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon orange extract, grated rind of 1 orange.

Cream shortening (or butter); add sugar slowly beating well; add milk gradually; add beaten egg; sift flour, baking powder and salt together, and add to mixture; add flavoring and grated orange rind; mix well.

Bake in greased and floured individual cake tins in moderate oven (375°F) 15 to 20 minutes. When cool, cover cupcakes with a meringue made of the white of 1 egg and 1/2 cup currant jelly.

Put egg white and jelly together into bowl and beat with egg beater or wire whip until stiff. Spread on top of cupcakes before serving.

Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 dozen large marshmallows (optional)

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Mix and sift flour, baking powder, and salt, and add alternately with milk to first mixture. Add melted chocolate and vanilla and beat thoroughly.

Pour into greased cupcake tins. Bake in quick oven (425°F) 15 to 20 minutes.

To add the SURPRISE ingredient, take from oven, and while still hot remove a little of center from top of each cupcake and put a large marshmallow in the hole to melt.

Put cupcakes aside for later and serve as is, or serve hot with whipped cream or ice cream, or serve cold with a suitable hot chocolate sauce. Makes 12 medium-sized cupcakes that are sinfully delicious.

Chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 cups pastry flour (or 1-3/4 cups bread flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate

Cream shortening; add sugar slowly; add well-beaten egg yolks. Sift dry ingredients together and add, alternately with milk, to first mixture. Add vanilla and melted chocolate; fold in egg whites beaten stiff.

Put batter into greased muffin tins and bake in moderate oven at 375°F about 25 minutes. Eat as is or cover with rich chocolate frosting topped with a red cherry. Delicious!

Homemade Cupcake Recipes from Scratch

The White House Cook Book (1913)

Moist Cupcakes with Fruity Flavors

Two cups of sugar, one cup of butter, one cup of milk, three cups and a half of flour and four eggs, half a teaspoon of soda, large spoon cream of tartar.

To make this homemade cupcake recipe from scratch, stir butter and sugar together and add the beaten yolks of the eggs, then the milk, then flavoring and the beaten whites. Put cream of tartar in flour and add last.

Bake in buttered cupcake tins, or drop the batter, a teaspoonful at a time, in rows on flat buttered tins.

Cupcake Variations

To the recipe (above) may be added a cup of English currants or chopped raisins; and another variety of cake may be made by adding a half cup citron sliced and floured, a half cupful of chopped almonds and lemon extract to flavor.

Easy Cupcake Frosting Recipe

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Fancy Cupcake Frosting

4 level tablespoons butter, 2 cups icing sugar, 4 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Cream butter thoroughly, gradually add sugar and milk alternately; add vanilla flavoring and beat until quite smooth.

Divide frosting mixture into 3 parts: To 1st part add 2 drops red food coloring to make delicate pink. To 2nd part add a little melted chocolate. Leave 3rd part white.

Spread frosting thickly and evenly on cupcakes and decorate the pink frosting by gently rolling in shredded coconut; roll the chocolate in finely chopped walnuts, placing a red maraschino cherry in center.

Finally, roll the white in chopped pistachio nuts; or use almonds, blanched, delicately browned in oven and rolled fine with rolling pin.

About the Homemade Cupcake Recipes from Scratch

Homemade Cupcakes IllustrationVintage Homemade Cupcakes
(PD Source: Adapted from Unknown Magazine Illustration)

Did you know that you can make perfect cupcakes from almost any cake batter? Most of the standard  chocolate and white cake recipes on this site will make great tasting cupcakes.

However, because of their small size, cupcakes should be baked in a hotter oven than one you would use for baking cakes.

I like cupcakes best without icing when served with fresh or preserved fruit, or with a favorite homemade ice cream, but they also taste very good when iced. And they can be beautifully decorated for festive occasions so easily.

I can recall eating Mom's cupcakes decorated with thick chocolate icing at birthdays and decorated with colorful candy sprinkles at family wedding showers. When you're young, cupcakes are really special. It's like having a small cake all to yourself.

And if you're a cupcake lover as I am, you will definitely want to try making the chocolate homemade cupcake recipe from scratch with its SURPRISE ingredient!

And you'll really love eating the orange flavored ones too, especially with their fluffy jelly meringue topping.

Cupcakes are so easy to make, and you'll appreciate the all-natural ingredients called for when making Grandma's homemade cupcake recipes from scratch. Cupcakes are the perfect comfort food!

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