HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Cupcake flavors

Okay, my best friend has me making about a million cupcakes for her husband's surprise 40th and I'm practicing. I've done Giada's Chocolate Chip and Mascarpone Cupcakes which are fabulous and easy. I also frosted some of them with Ina's PB frosting...super good as well. I did Paula's Orange Blossom which uses a cake mix, but its pretty darn delicious. Any other ideas? I have to do a German Chocolate b/c that is the b-day boy's fav. So, that gives me 3 different kinds of chocolate, a citrus, and perhaps a strawberry, or a white? I want to make sure I have something for everyone. Does anyone have a great strawberry cupcake recipe that doesn't use a mix? Any other flavors appreciated. I would like to stay away from red velvet and coconut as I already have 3 different chocolates and coconut is sorta iffy.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. In case you are unfamiliar with them, Meyer lemons are a lemon-tangerine type cross which is a more mellow citrus then lemon. They are not commonly available, but Trader Joe's has a Meyer Lemon Cake mix which is very good. I use melted butter rather than oil, and add a cup of bagged shredded coconut. Creme cheese frosting decorated with the large toasted coconut curls sometimes sold at TJ's.

    I love rhubarb and recently added some diced, plus diced dried apricots, to a standard quick-loaf recipe, which was very good and would make good cupcakes.

    1. How about lemon-blueberry cupcakes? My favorite cupcake shop makes a lemon cupcake that's filled with a dollop of lemon curd, then it's topped with lemon-vanilla buttercream icing and a handful of fresh blueberries. Heaven!


      3 Replies
      1. re: AnneInMpls

        Anne- sounds like heaven!! you wouldn't happen to have the recipe would you?

        1. re: drewb123

          Sorry, I don't. The bakery is three blocks from my house, so I just walk up there when I have a craving.

          But I'm guessing that any good white cupcake recipe would work if you used lemon extract instead of the vanilla - ditto for a buttercream frosting. You could even add some lemon zest to either or both (though I don't think my neighborhood cupcake bakery does this). Then scoop a little hole in the top-center of the cupcake before you frost it and drop in some lemon curd. Frost and sprinkle with fresh blueberries. Yum!


          1. re: AnneInMpls

            Yes, I was thinking about doing exactly that! I might swap the orange blossom for this lemon as I prefer to do all completely homemade cupcakes. I'm also very interested in the Martha strawberry recipe. I'm still testing. I'll keep you guys updated on testing and how the cupcakes are received at the party (Late July).

      2. I love cupcakes, heck I just love cake! I've been wanting to try these flavors: margarita; champagne with a light coat of raspberry, filled with lemon cream and frosted some kind of white. For a strawberry cupcake, I would make the champagne cake, frost the cupcake with a very light icing, and topped with a fresh strawberry. Let us know how it turns out.

        1. Martha Stewart has a "to die for" strawberry cupcake recipe. Report back and let us know what you end up making for the party, sounds like fun!


          1. Sorry to disobey your instructions, but I just have to say that my fave chocolate cupcakes are Kara's salted ones (sea salt sprinkled on the frosting) - delicious!

            I'm thinking of making it at home with bacon bits...

            1. banana, pumpkin, carrot cake, mocha, cappuccino

              1. why don't you check out the cupcake bake shop blog? She has some recipes with a lot of WOW.


                1. There is a very tempting recipe for strawberry cupcakes in the new cookbook "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea" (southern regional recipes). I'm sorry I can't vouch for it personally. I just got the book and haven't made them yet, but it's a very promising looking recipe, worth checking out.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: butterfat

                    Southern cooking is my passion!! Thank you, I'll look into it.

                    1. re: butterfat

                      I've made the recipe, it was posted on seriouseats.com. The frosting made far too much frosting and it was extremely buttery, though. The cake itself was fantastic, I used tristar strawberries from the local farmer's market, and garnished each cupcake with a single tiny strawberry (unhulled).

                    2. I once needed to do a strawberry shortcake cupcake. I did a yellow cake base with strawberry jam/pie filling (cooked on stove top). Then topped each with white chocolate frosting and a big strawberry. It was a big hit. I ended up doing that because i couldn't find a fresh strawberry cake recipe that looked appealing and didn't use a mix or strawberry jello.

                      1. This month I've been on a baking spree and made cakes/cupcakes of:
                        Lemon with fresh blueberries thrown in
                        Orange with a splash of rum
                        Lime with fresh raspberries thrown in
                        Lemon fresh chopped rosemary
                        Ponchatoula strawberry cupcakes [http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...
                        ]chocolate cupcakes with strawberry jam centers
                        Strawberry with chopped white chocolate cupcakes
                        Lemon and fresh sage cupcakes

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: kathryn

                          can you make cupcakes instead of cake? That is, can you use a cake recipe and then bake as cupcakes? I'm wondering because there's this really good-looking blueberry crumb cake recipe in Dorie Greenspan's Baking book, but I'd prefer cupcakes.

                          1. re: NYchowcook

                            use the same oven temp as the cake recipe calls for, bake for 20 minutes, and then start checking for doneness (by eyeing the color / texture, using a toothpick if you can't tell by eyeing it, alone).

                            1. re: cimui

                              Yes. Cupcakes are supposed to be "done" when they bounce back lightly to the touch but I always end up using a cake tester/toothpick/skewer to test. Personally I like bamboo skewers more than toothpicks but I also have a big bag of them sitting in a drawer, unused.

                              The standard baking temperature for cupcakes is 350 degrees F (at about 20 minutes) since at 375 degrees F, many batters will create a more pointy top that is harder to frost, but each batter is different. And of course each oven is different, with difference hot/cold spots (uneven heating). You don't want to have your cupcakes out too early and have them collapse! There will be a certain amount of trial and error.

                              One good trick I've heard is that you should bake a single cupcake before the whole batch to see how well/poorly it rises and then adjust accordingly.

                              1. re: kathryn

                                i love my bamboo skewers, too! i think that back in the day, i must've bought a big package for some legit reason -- like kebabs -- and then discovered that they function ever so much better than toothpicks when you need to test doneness and don't want to burn your hands. brilliant.

                                about the test cupcake... it's such a clever idea in theory, but i know i'm far too impatient and lazy to ever try it. besides, doesn't the batter change, chemically, a bit if you leave it sitting out before baking?

                                1. re: cimui

                                  Great minds think alike.

                                  Interesting thought about the test cupcake...does waiting that 20 minutes really make a difference? I often put one batch in the oven and then start filling up the liners for the second batch while the first batch is cooking, never really noticed a difference in taste or texture.

                                  Then again, they're cupcakes, so I doubt any of my friends/coworkers would stop eating for a second and answer my questions about the quality of the crumb.

                                  I suppose you could always put your batter in the fridge and cover it, if you're worried about it losing its leavening power?

                        2. I've enjoyed this recipe with some variations in spicing and different frostings -- it's almost more muffin-like than cupcake-like, but is different than what you've mentioned so far:


                            1. Nutella


                              Peach (they're in season)

                              1. I experimented with cupcakes last Valentines day. Carrot cake cupcakes were a hit, especially for that rare breed that doesn't love chocolate. I also made a gorgeous gingerbread-type cupcake with white chocolate icing and candied kumquats. The kumquats and white choc icing recipe came from Bon Appetit (I believe) on epicurious.com. Since I was making about a million different cupcakes, I used a base icing of the standard cream cheese + butter + sugar combo and added bourbon/ white chocolate/ lemon zest/ whatever other flavors came to me on a whim.

                                Hope this helps. Enjoy!