Best Cupcake Recipe Ever!

This is my go-to cupcake recipe. It comes from the same cupcake cookbook as the Chocolate Buttercream Icing recipeCupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor. Her cupcake recipes are what I would call a semi-homemade, as they start off with a boxed cake mix, and as the name suggests, you doctor it up.


You’ll Need:
1 pkg plain butter golden boxed cake mix
1 8oz pkg reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350.

Mix the cake mix, cream cheese, sugar, water, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl on low speed until well blended and then kick it up to a medium speed. I love to use my free standing electric mixer. Stop the mixer to scrape the sides if needed. Continue to mix until smooth and well blended.

Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners. I like to use a medium sized melon-type scooper to fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. Usually this is one and a half scoops.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes. Use a knife or toothpick to ensure the center is done before removing them from the oven.

Transfer them to a wire rack where they will cool completely before you ice them.

This recipe makes 24 standard size cupcakes. They are dense and incredibly delish!

Once cool, ice your cupcake and decorate with a cool cupcake topper like these lego candies,  or for an extra treat try cookies on a stick or even embellish with simple figurines and loot as we did for the pirate cupcakes.

Before the party add a fun candle and you’re sure to have an amazingly fun birthday party.



Do you have a favorite cupcake or birthday cake recipe that you just love and want to share? Do you prefer to try something new each birthday or grab something from the bakery? I would love your input!

This tip/tutorial will be shared on these crafty and resourceful sites.


  1. Krista @ While He Was Napping says

    This looks delicious! I’d like to invite you to link it up to my Recipe Exchange! It would be a wonderful addition. Hope to see you there!


  2. says

    Wow, cream cheese for the liquid…interesting and I am going to give it a try! Thanks for sharing! BTW…visiting from NightOwlCrafting linkies :)

  3. says

    I think a lot of bakers will doctor up cake mixes. They may not all admit it, but some do! Hah. The cupcakes look fabulous. Thanks for the recipe :)

    If you’d like, I wanted to invite you to share your best recipes over at my new party, Recipe Sharing Monday at Jam Hands. I’m going to be featuring my favorite submissions during the week and I’d love it if you’d join in the fun. :O)
    Ali recently posted..Puppy ChowMy Profile

  4. says

    Home made cupcakes are the best! I like to make mine with coconut oil ~ so yummy. :) I think I have only bought one cake from a bakery. I was too tired right after having my 3rd baby to be creative with a Lord of the Rings cake. I like to do something different every year. I recently made a flower pot cake for my daughter’s 6th birthday. Turned out so pretty!

  5. Jenny C. says

    Can you use a chocolate cake mix (or any other flavors) or does it need to be butter golden? Also, can you use regular cream cheese (or is reduced fat better)? What kind of oil do you like best for baking? I want to try these for my sister’s birthday this weekend. Thanks!

    • says

      Jenny- I have never tried it, but I bet it would taste just a great.

      I don’t think it matters if you do low fat or regular cream cheese.

      Hope your cake comes out lovely!

  6. says

    What is your experience with freezing cupcakes when you need to make a very large batch? I am making 250 for a wedding and need to freeze and then decorate them all before the wedding. I decorate cake and freeze my cakes before my crumb coat. Just wondered your thoughts?

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