My mom adores what she calls wedding cake, which is a super moist white cake—flavored with just a hint of almond extract (OK, OK, so I like it a whole lot too.) So for this cupcake recipe, I decided to pair one of her favorites with one of mine. One of my go-to (and simplest!) frostings is a mascarpone whipped cream, which is denser and creamier than whipped cream alone. This means it can stand up to some fresh fruit juice, which can serve to tint and flavor the frosting. It’s the perfect pair to these sweet cupcakes—then they are begging to be decorated with fresh fruit. —Erin Jeanne McDowell
Test Kitchen Notes
Bake It Up a Notch is a column by Resident Baking BFF Erin Jeanne McDowell. Each month, she'll help take our baking game to the next level, teaching us all the need-to-know tips and techniques and showing us all the mistakes we might make along the way. Today, cupcakes galore—the very funnest dessert! —The Editors
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 20 minutes
- makes 12 Cupcakes
White Cake Cupcakes
(113 g) cake flour
(198 g) granulated sugar
(8 g) baking powder
(3 g) fine sea salt
(56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
large (142 g) egg whites, at room temperature
(60 g) whole milk, at room temperature
(60 g) heavy cream, at room temperature
(30 g) vegetable, canola, or other neutral oil
vanilla extract (if not using almond, increase to ¾ teaspoon)
almond extract (can use just vanilla - see above)
Frosting and Finishing
(226 g) mascarpone cheese, chilled
(150 g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups
(345 g) heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons
(7 g) vanilla extract
Pinch or two fine sea salt
Fresh berries, as needed for finishing
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners or grease each cavity lightly with nonstick spray.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to combine. Drop ½ tablespoon size portions of butter into the bowl, and mix on low speed until the butter is distributed and the mixture looks a bit crumbly.
- In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk the egg whites, whole milk, heavy cream, canola oil, and vanilla to combine. Add this mixture in two equal additions, mixing on medium speed until the batter is smooth and combined, and scraping well after each addition.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pan using an ice cream scoop, filling each cavity 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs, 17 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the mascarpone and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
- With the mixer running on medium-low speed, add the cream gradually in a slow steady stream. As the mixture combines, slowly/gradually raise speed to medium-high, and whip until the mixture forms medium peaks. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to combine.
- Use an ice cream scoop to scoop frosting on top of each cupcake. Use a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon to swirl the cupcakes, then top with fresh berries.