Chocolate chip cookie dough balls on tray ready to bake. Red mixer with red SideSwipe for Kitchenaid beater and mixer bowl in background


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Brown sugar cupcakes

Brown sugar cupcakes with aqua frosting and easter decorations

Why settle for a plain vanilla cupcake when you can have a flavorful, tender cupcake instead? This is a new favorite at our place. The recipe, adapted from one by Baker By Nature, is a bit more complicated than a dump-and-go, but it’s worth the quick extra steps! You can enjoy this cupcake with cream cheese, chocolate, vanilla or salted caramel frosting. Or eat it plain, if that's how you roll.

The recipe calls for full-fat versions of dairy products. You can substitute lower fat equivalents, but you will lose some of the tenderness and moistness of these cupcakes.

Yields about 18 standard sized cupcakes. Prep time is around 30 minutes. Baking and cooling adds another 30 minutes. The cupcakes keep for several days at room temperature (unfrosted) or for 3 months in your freezer. We have some in the freezer for later!!

Brown sugar cupcakes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into your measuring cups and leveled with a knife
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown
  • 2 large eggs plus one large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup boiling hot water (should be very hot, and poured into measuring cup right after boiled)

Brown sugar cupcake with aqua frosting tools and easter decorations beside it


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Line two 12-mold cupcake tins with 18 paper liners. Spray papers lightly with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl combine the milk and sour cream, mix well to combine. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with SideSwipe or your flat paddle: beat the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy; Even with SideSwipe this took nearly 3 minutes (don't skimp on time here - the creamed ingredients will start out dark and eventually will be lighter in color and fully).
  6. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add in flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with sour cream/milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.
  8. Stir in the hot water, beating just until combined.
  9. Fill the prepared cupcake tins 3/4 of the way full.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Frost as desired.