Food & Drink Magazine

Part 2 – Butter Cupcakes with Red Cream Cheese Frosting

By Clevermuffin @Clevermuffin

Cupcakes part 2 - butter cupcakes with red cream cheese frosting

Here is part two of the Clever Muffin capcake adventures. Butter cupcakes (otherwise known as vanilla) with red cream cheese frosting!

I made these in normal cupcake size as in the pic above with all three cupcakes cupcakes, and some mini ones as below.

Butter cupcakes with red cream cheese frosting

If you missed part 1, it was red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. That post has alotta handy hints on piping swirls and managing frosting.

To recap, I made all these cupcakes for my 30th birthday recently. These got a good reception, and I believe it is because:

  1. People expect a vanilla cupcake when eating cupcakes
  2. Cream cheese frosting is far better than butter frosting – it all gets too buttery otherwise
  3. The icing was red. People like that. Simple truth.

Three butter cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Interesting thing about adding food colouring, compared to the non-coloured cream cheese frosting it just wouldn’t set quite as well.  You can see it’s just a bit shinier in the photo with all three cupcakes

It was still workable, and this isn’t a reflection on the amount of icing sugar. I believe that something (a preservative?) in the food dye stops it setting as firm as it would without it.

But the red does look awesome, and is especially not such a big deal on the mini-muffin size.

NOTE ON QUANTITY: The below recipe makes 12 muffin-size cupcakes. They’re HUGE. I normally make 18 cupcakes out of this recipe, which is a better size. Or, in this case I made 12 cupcakes and 12 mini muffins.

If you’re frosting cupcakes you don’t want them to be bulging over the top of the patty pan, it makes it awkward. You want just a small top to then heap with lotsa yummo icing. So err on the smaller side if you’re frosting them, no more than 2/3 full.


125 grams of butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup milk

Cream cheese frosting
IMPORTANT NOTE: See above note on quantities, if you’re making smaller cupcakes, you’ll want to one and a half the quantity of icing below.
280 grams (10 ounces) cream cheese brought to room temperature
113 grams (1 stick) butter, softened
A few drop of red food colouring (I used half a bottle, that did effect the stiffness of the frosting)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted icing (confectioners) sugar (you can add more if needed)



  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (325F) degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases and spray with oil.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla essence together until fluffy. About 1-2 minutes.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time and beat for another minute.
  4. With your beaters on low, add half the milk and half the flour. Beat until combined. Repeat with other half of milk and flour and beat until well combined.
  5. Fill each cupcake case about 2/3 full. Any fuller and it becomes awkward to frost.
  6. Bake for 15 mins, turning half way through. Cupcakes are done when a skewer or knife comes out clean and they spring back to touch. For mini-muffins, about 10 minutes.
  7. Cool on wire rack.

Cream cheese frosting

  1. Beat together cream cheese and butter until creamy and smooth.
  2. Add a few drops of food colouring and beat until all one colour. Add more if your desire and beat again.
  3. Add vanilla and SIFTED icing sugar. Beat on medium and then high until smooth. You want your frosting a bit stiff if you are going to pipe it. So keep adding 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until it is creamy but a little firm.
  4. Refrigerate your frosting for a good 1/2 hour or so before piping. (for tips on frosting swirls, visit part 1 of this series)

Garnish: I used choc chips, some candy-glitter, 100′s and 1000′s (these are a smaller, round version of sprinkles for the American readers), and basically anything else I could get my hands on. Get creative.

Makes: 18 cupcake size, or, 12 muffin size, or, I made 12 cupcakes and 12 mini muffins.

Storage: They freeze well, otherwise best eaten within a couple of days. Store in airtight container. I did freeze them two weeks before my party. Shhh. Don’t tell the guests.

Source: This cupcake recipe was given to me by a friend, years ago. The icing is from Sweet and Crumby.

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