Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargget
Total Time
2 Hours 12 Mins
Makes 6 dozen miniature cupcakes

Reviewers rave over these cupcakes made with pound cake batter. Top with vanilla buttercream and who can resist?

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Step 2

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients. Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beating until blended. Spoon batter by rounded tablespoonfuls into lightly greased miniature muffin pans.

Step 3

Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes). Spread cupcakes with desired buttercream, or dip in glaze.

Step 4


Step 5

Fresh Citrus Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

Step 6

Prepare Cupcakes as directed, omitting vanilla and adding 1 Tbsp. orange zest and 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice to batter. Pipe or spread Orange Buttercream onto cupcakes.

Step 7

Orange Buttercream

Step 8

Substitute 1 Tbsp. orange zest for vanilla. Reduce milk to 2 Tbsp. Prepare Buttercream as directed in Steps 1 and 2, beating in 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice with 1 Tbsp. milk in Step Beat in remaining 1 Tbsp. milk as directed in Step Beat in 1 drop red food coloring and 1 drop yellow food coloring until blended, if desired.

Step 9

Mocha Latte Cupcakes

Step 10

Microwave 1 (12-oz.) package dark chocolate morsels at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Prepare Cupcakes as directed, stirring melted chocolate into batter. (Batter will be very thick.) Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool as directed. Top with Double Shot Latte Buttercream. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired. Makes 6 1/2 dozen.

Step 11

Double Shot Latte Buttercream

Step 12

Prepare Buttercream as directed, beating in 1 1/2 Tbsp. instant espresso with butter.

Step 13

Salted Caramel-Chocolate Cupcakes

Step 14

Prepare Cupcakes as directed, substituting 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar and 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar for 2 cups granulated sugar. Microwave 8 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate and 1/4 cup whipping cream in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in 2 Tbsp. whipping cream until smooth. Dip tops of cupcakes in chocolate mixture, and let stand until chocolate is set (about 30 minutes). Pipe or spread Salted Caramel Buttercream onto cupcakes. Garnish with sea salt flakes and caramels, cut into quarters.

Step 15

Note: We tested with Artisan Salt Company Cyprus Mediterranean Flake Salt.

Step 16

Salted Caramel Buttercream

Step 17

Prepare Buttercream as directed in Step 1, using 3 Tbsp. milk and adding 1/4 tsp. kosher salt with butter. Melt 15 caramels with 1 Tbsp. milk in a small microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute or until smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Fold caramel mixture into buttercream, creating swirls. (Do not completely blend.)

Step 18

Fresh Citrus Cupcakes with Ruby Red Grapefruit Glaze

Step 19

Prepare Cupcakes as directed, omitting vanilla and adding 1 Tbsp. orange zest and 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice to batter. Drizzle tops of cupcakes with Ruby Red Grapefruit Glaze, and top with pink grapefruit-flavored jelly beans.

Step 20

Ruby Red Grapefruit Glaze

Step 21

Stir together 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp. grapefruit zest, 5 to 6 Tbsp. fresh grapefruit juice, and 1 drop red food coloring until blended. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Step 22

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Step 23

Prepare Cupcakes as directed. Pipe or spread Double Shot Latte Buttercream onto cupcakes. Garnish with instant espresso, ground cinnamon, and chocolate-covered coffee beans, if desired.

Step 24

Double Shot Latte Buttercream

Step 25

Prepare Buttercream as directed, beating in 1 1/2 Tbsp. instant espresso with butter.

Chef's Notes

To prepare regular-size cupcakes, spoon batter into 2 lightly greased 12-cup muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 350º for 22 to 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool and decorate as desired. Makes 2 dozen.

Ratings & Reviews

428429bdcl's Review

August 11, 2012
I did not like these at all. They are dense and dry and more like a muffin. I made two batches so it definitely wasn't a mess- up or baking too long. Unfortunately I made them for my daughter's birthday and they weren't at all what I would have liked and they weren't even good enough that I would make them again for any reason.

ardurh's Review

April 28, 2012
It seems like everyone loves this recipe. I tried it recently for a shower and although I can't say I hated it, I can think of a lots of other cupcakes I'd prefer over this one. I've never made a cupcake I didn't like but this one comes pretty close.

julala's Review

June 08, 2011
I'm really disappointed with this recipe. After all of the great reviews I figured it had to be great......but it is not at all! It's mediocre at best and I will not be making these again.


April 05, 2015
These do NOT taste like pound cake. I prepared this recipe for a gathering with friends and was very disappointed in the bland flavor. I topped with a pineapple buttercream frosting which kicked up the taste a little. If you're looking for pound cake, this is not the recipe for you.

janiemorris's Review

April 28, 2014

Sharoon's Review

July 12, 2013
I made these last night. Made one batch and two flavours...first mocha latte with double shot icing...and the second plain white with buttercream icing flavoured with coconut and coloured pink. Both are amazing tastes... The coffee flavoured icing is definitely a great taste. This was a practise run at the recipe as I want to make these for a baby shower. I will make two other flavours next time, probably lemon, and chocolate. I'm also considering just white cupcakes with the flavoured icings decorated. I had the butter, cream cheese, and eggs at room temperature and everything blended nicely. I would have no hesitation serving these to guests. I think the secret ingredient in the batter and icing is using cream cheese...I like the texture. I got 36 mini cupcakes from one recipe.

buzzbee's Review

June 28, 2013
The stellar reviews are very surprising. I agree that the cake part is mediocre at best. The frostings are amazing and so creative. I may try to play with the recipe or save my time and just ditch it and find a 5 star review recipe.

detailaddict's Review

October 31, 2012
I used this recipe to salvage a very sad homemade pumpkin cheesecake, crumbling up the remainder and then adding the proportionate amounts of butter, flour, sugar, eggs and leavening. I had to increase the recipe to accommodate all of the cream cheese, and ended up with a ton of little cupcakes as a result, but they've frozen well and are quite tasty, especially with the cream cheese frosting. Presumably the only difference from making these completely from scratch was the addition of the pumpkin (from the cheesecake) and a few spices...So while not reviewing this recipe directly, I would say that this is one to keep on-hand and use again.

Marianne412's Review

July 16, 2012
I'm sorry to add a negative review of this recipe. I was so sure I'd love them. The thing is, they aren't like poundcake. When I looked at the recipe again after making them, I could see that there isn't near enough butter for it to be a poundcake. If you want a poundcake-consistency cupcake, look for a recipe with more butter.

KellyDiff's Review

June 14, 2012
These were seriously outstanding! (I've been eating healthy lately, and I keep trying lightened up versions of baked goods, and I have to say, nothing can substitute for a real cupcake!) I did use reduced fat cream cheese and sour cream, but they were still came out moist, yet light and delicious! Topped with the Ultimate Vanilla Buttercream - will definitely make again. Although the recipe calls for making 6 dozen mini-cupcakes, it makes about 24 standard/regular size ones.