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Beginners Guide to Baking Amazing Cupcakes

Updated on January 2, 2014
Cast your vote for Basic cupcake recipe

This is a basic white cupcake recipe with endless potential for flavor combinations! The secret ingredient: flavored syrups. The syrups I'm referring to are used most commonly in coffee drinks and mixed drinks at bars and restaurants. You can find them in the coffee isle in some grocery stores. They are often sold in specialty stores like Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Marshals just to name a few. You may also order them online at numerous places. and are 2 sites with great selections.

Imagine making raspberry white chocolate, orange dreamsicle, caramel apple and the list goes on! If you can dream it you can make it. All you need is a syrup and an extract. For example to make the raspberry white chocolate you would use raspberry syrup and raspberry extract in the basic recipe. Then you would add 1/2 cup finely chopped white chocolate or use the mini chips.

Some combinations are created with frosting. Caramel apple is made by making green apple cupcake batter and then frosting with caramel icing, yum! Frosting is an art of its own. But you can create your own flavors using the same flavored syrups used for the cupcake batter. These syrups allow you to go beyond boring vanilla into a world of dreamtastic flavors! You become the inventor. Once you try these syrups you'll never bake the same way again. Take your cupcakes to the next level and get baking something dreamy.

Cook Time

Prep time: 40 min
Cook time: 18 min
Ready in: 58 min
Yields: 1 1/2 dozen Cupcakes


  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup flavored syrup of choice, "secret ingredient"
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon flavor extract of choice
  1. Let butter and eggs set for 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Line standard cupcake pans with 18 paper baking cups. In one bowl sift together baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Pour milk into 1 cup glass measuring cup. Milk should also be room temperature (you can microwave 10 seconds to speed up this step). Set aside. In a large bowl beat butter with mixer on medium for about 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated for each one. Pour 1/3 cup syrup flavor of choice into milk. Add 1 teaspoon of flavor extract of choice to milk. Alternatively add flour mixture and milk mixture to butter mixture. Beat on low speed until combined after each addition.
  3. Spoon batter into paper-lined cupcake pans filling each about 3/4 full. Bake 17-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan for 5 minutes then remove cupcakes to cool completely on wire racks.


The basic frosting recipe is 3/4 stick of butter (at room temperature) and 4 cups powdered sugar. I mix mine by Then I add the next cup of powdered sugar and repeat. Once I've added the last cup of powdered sugar I very carefully add the last amount of syrup. If you have ever made frosting then you know what consistency you are looking for. So you just add syrup until you reach your goal.

You can also alternate with milk to keep the frosting from becoming too sweet (the syrups are sweet!) and to keep the flavor from being too overwhelming. You can add extract to boost flavor where needed so you don't rely on syrup to be the flavor source. Some syrups are more potent than others. Syrups add color to the frosting as well. Using milk helps tone the color down when you are trying to keep a color lighter.

Da Vinci syrups on Amazon

Da Vinci Gourmet Syrups Raspberry Syrup 750 ml Bottle
Da Vinci Gourmet Syrups Raspberry Syrup 750 ml Bottle

Da Vinci brand flavored syrups were the ones I used the most in my baking. I tried others but for the price I found this brand to be the best.


Monin syrups on Amazon

Monin Vanilla Drink Syrup, 750mL (01-0035) Category: Drink Syrups
Monin Vanilla Drink Syrup, 750mL (01-0035) Category: Drink Syrups

Monin brand syrups are more expensive but are also more potent. They cost more upfront but you should use less so it would last longer. Good choice for building your cupcake stock cabinet.


Extracts on Amazon

Bakto Flavors Natural Collection, Fruit, 6 FL OZ Total
Bakto Flavors Natural Collection, Fruit, 6 FL OZ Total

A great set of extracts to help build your cupcake stock cabinet! Amazon offers many flavors you won't find in stores. Buying a set is the quickest way to build your stock when you're just getting started.



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