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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.

white cupcake batter ready to go into cupcake liners.

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.

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.

white cupcakes topped with Italian meringue buttercream flower decorations.

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.

What flavor are white cupcakes?

White cupcakes are vanilla cake. Rather than using butter and egg yolks for richness like in yellow cake, white cupcakes use egg whites and oil for a springy texture and bright white appearance. They taste like wedding cake in a smaller package.

How do I make gourmet cupcakes from a cake mix?

A cake mix is a great place to start for tasty cake. After all that is what most people are used to and like. But adding a few extra ingredients can make the cupcakes extra good. This recipe for doctored white cake mix cupcakes are the perfect mix of spongy and soft. They are a great way to make wonderful cupcakes for your next event.

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

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!
4.72 from 66 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 36 Cupcakes
Calories 102 kcal


  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⅓ cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon additional extract lemon, almond, creme boquet, additional vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup egg whites from about 4 large eggs


  • Preheat oven to 325°F and place cupcake liners in 36 cupcake wells.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cake mix, sugar, flour, salt and baking powder until well mixed and lump free.
  • 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.)
  • Scoop into lined cupcake tins, a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop helps to keep them evenly sized and reduces the mess.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched with a finger. (They shouldn't take on much color.)
  • Cool in the cupcake tin for about 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 


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



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 102kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 48mgSugar: 7g
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!
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!

Recipe Rating


Tuesday 26th of September 2023

I've been baking my whole adult life, and that's a long time. I made as directed, measured exactly and they stuck horribly to the papers. I feel like adding 1 cup of sugar may be the cause because the cake is too sweet to me, even unfrosted. Texture is chewier than I like. I think if I remake them I will only use 1/2 cup of sugar. That may correct all three issues. Glad for those who are having good results!


Tuesday 26th of September 2023

I am so sorry that they didn't work out for you. To me the texture is like an angel food cake mixed with white cake. Reducing the sugar should work. Hopefully you like the next round better.


Tuesday 27th of June 2023

The cupcakes all stuck to the paper and I have never had that problem! I was so excited to try this recipe but it didn’t work for me!


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

That is really strange about the cupcakes sticking. If anything these cupcakes usually pull away a bit, so I am at a loss about why they would stick.


Friday 28th of April 2023

I just made this recipe today and I was so impressed! It was absolutely delicious. I only had almond essence but the flavor was absolutely delicious! Definitely a keeper!

Denise Godinez

Monday 24th of April 2023

Fabulous cupcakes !! Can you take this white cake mix and get same wonderfulness if you use a red velvet cake mix ?


Monday 24th of April 2023

I haven't tried, but it would be fun to give it a go!

Kara McCoy

Monday 17th of April 2023

Can this batter be used for a sheet cake as well do you think, or would the consistency be different?


Monday 17th of April 2023

I think it would work as a sheet cake if you have a large enough pan. It's a relatively large amount of batter. I haven't tried it, so I am not sure what size pan would work best.