Skip to Content

The Best White Cupcakes (Starting With a Cake Mix)

Thanks for sharing!

Fluffy white cupcakes are made perfect with a cake mix and a lot of add ins to make them special. They are the perfect texture, flavor and will quickly become your favorites as well!

close up of white cupcake with wrapper pulled down

These cupcakes start with a box mix, but with a lot of twists turn into something magical. I dare say they are the best white cupcakes out there and that’s really saying something coming from me! 

They are soft and spongy and oh so tasty.  You will have to make a batch to see for yourself!

You know I am usually a big fan of homemade cakes. I have a ton of great cake recipes here on the blog.

Honestly most of them are almost as easy to make as a mix, they just have a few more ingredients to measure.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the allure of a boxed cake mix. They instill a sense of confidence and give you something to build from.

batter in mixing bowl, ready to be scooped into lined cupcake tins

In fact the chocolate cherry fudge bundt cake that my family absolutely loves starts with a mix (and a can of cherry pie filling!) Sometimes easy recipes like that are exactly what you need.

So lately I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect ways to doctor up cake mixes for cupcakes. I’ve been having the best time decorating them and want to make fun cupcakes every weekend!

white cupcakes fresh from oven in tin on wire rack

There are so many suggestions for hacks out there. So I had been trying a few to find my favorite.

The first few white and yellow cake hacks I tried didn’t work for me. You’ll see I had sunken cupcakes for both the sheep cupcake cake and the Mr. Grinch cupcake cake.

Truthfully, both tasted delicious, but nobody is hunting for a recipe that makes sinking center cupcakes! I love cakes with plenty of sour cream or yogurt mixed in and it turns out you need to add more flour and sugar to get the texture I was after.

white cupcakes frosted in various flower patterns with italian meringue buttercream

This recipe is very similar to the semi-homemade chocolate cupcakes in that there are so many mix ins you end up with half again as many cupcakes. That’s right, 36 cupcakes instead of 24!

Luckily extra cupcakes are not a problem in my neck of the woods. In fact, I purchased some bakery style plastic cupcake holders which make them easy to give away and transport.

semi-homemade white cupcake cut in half with soft and fluffy interior showing

I’ve also frozen them fully decorated in the containers and they have defrosted beautifully! I just pulled them out a week or two later and let them sit on the counter for an hour or so to defrost. Everyone was amazed how good they still were.

I’ve piped the perfect summer buttercream on them and Italian meringue buttercream and both were amazing.  I tell you the texture of these cupcakes is perfect and any frosting is just the literal icing on the cake!

Think part angel food cake and part white cake and super soft and moist and you have these lovelies. You simply have to make them for your next party!

What makes these cupcakes perfect?

So many things!

The texture is so soft and spongy. It is the perfect mix and they are so light and yummy.

They stay so bright and white. So the tops that are showing under the frosting are pearly.

Using egg whites and a bit of oil rather than whole eggs and butter help to keep the batter bright white. Egg yolks and butter both bring a yellow tint that makes for a great vanilla cupcake, but that’s not all we are after here.

close up of frosted semi-homemade white cupcakes

They taste like wedding cake. Top them with delicious buttercream and it will transport your tastebuds to a reception hall.

In fact I’ve made these for a wedding reception, a cute display of white wedding cupcakes makes serving the cake extra easy. I’ve made them for birthday parties and BBQs too.

If you like filled cakes, they are work for that as well. Put a little lemon curd or raspberry filling in the center and your mind will be blown.

Great Frosting Options

If you are going for the full wedding cake experience, you will want to top your cupcakes with white buttercream. The cupcakes pictured have Italian meringue buttercream on top, but Swiss meringue buttercream or American buttercream are great as well.

We have also topped them with chocolate frosting with condensed milk and the spongy white cupcakes were a perfect foil for the rich buttercream. Fruity frostings would be good too, try blueberry buttercream or a tasty strawberry frosting if you want big flavor.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

fluffy inside of white vanilla cupcake

Semi-Homemade White Cupcakes

Yield: 36 Cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Fluffy white cupcakes are made perfect with a cake mix and a lot of add ins to make them special. They are the perfect texture, flavor and will quickly become your favorites as well!

Ingredients

  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon additional extract (lemon, almond, creme boquet, additional vanilla)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (from about 4 large eggs)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and place cupcake liners in 36 cupcake wells.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cake mix, sugar, flour, salt and baking powder until well mixed and lump free.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and beat on low until the ingredients combine. Then beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for two minutes. (A hand mixer works great for this, but so does a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.)
  4. Scoop into lined cupcake tins, a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop helps to keep them evenly sized and reduces the mess.
  5. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched with a finger. (They shouldn't take on much color.)
  6. Cool in the cupcake tin for about 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Notes

*We like using almond extract, lemon extract or creme bouquet but you can use more vanilla if you'd like.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please view my disclosure page for more information.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 48mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

These cupcakes start with a box mix, but with a lot of twists turn into something magical. I dare say they are the best white cupcakes out there and that's really saying something coming from me!  They are soft and spongy and oh so tasty.  You will have to make a batch to see for yourself!

Thanks for sharing!

LizzyP

Thursday 26th of May 2022

I made this recipe (greek yogurt instead of sour cream) and turned them into tri-colored space birthday cupcakes with some food coloring. They turned out wonderful! Thank you for the recipe :)

Carlee

Thursday 26th of May 2022

Yay! I am so glad and greek yogurt is a great option!

julie schuler

Sunday 30th of May 2021

I have everything but the sour cream can I make these cupcakes without the sour cream. They sound delicious!!

Carlee

Monday 31st of May 2021

You can! The recipe will work without it. I hope you enjoy them!

Susan

Friday 7th of May 2021

This recipe sounds great. My oven is not big enough to bake the full batch at once. Would it be ok to leave the excess batter out while the cupcakes are in the oven? Or refrigerate it. Thankyou.

Susan

Saturday 15th of May 2021

@Carlee, Thankyou for getting back with me so quickly. I did what you suggested. These cupcakes turned out great. It yielded 32 for me but that was fine. I paired them with your sweetened condensed milk buttercream. I decorated them for Mother’s Day and everyone liked them. I will be making these again.

Carlee

Friday 7th of May 2021

You can cover and refrigerate it until the first batch is done. I hope you enjoy them!

Lovely

Thursday 24th of September 2020

They look super yum! My sweet tooth is calling. xoxo Lovely www.mynameislovely.com

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

I remember when I called you cupcake Carlee with these. Soooo good my friend and they truly are beautiful!

Skip to Recipe