White Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

I’ve been searching for a go-to white cupcake recipe for a while now. I feel like any baker should have go-to recipes for a few classics. White cake, chocolate cake, brownies, pie crust, chocolate chip cookies, and sugar cookies are the ones I would like to have a go-to recipe for.

To have a go-to recipe is a huge deal. It means that no matter what other recipes you see of that type, you’re not even interested in trying them because you know that your recipe is awesome. It’s the recipe that you learn by heart and don’t even need to read because you’ve made it so many times. It’s the recipe that everyone loves and asks for when they taste it. It’s a recipe that people request over and over again even though they know you love to try new recipes and your to-bake list is a mile long.

The go-to recipe can make your life easy. But getting to a go-to recipe is not easy. Trying multiple recipes, making tweaks, having restless nights contemplating ingredients are all part of the process. At least that is what the process has been like for me. I’ve tried multiple white cake recipes and I’m still not completely sold. This one is great. I love the texture of this cake, but I really want a cupcake that will rise up a bit. I like domes on my cupcakes. Maybe I’m asking too much to have a delicate tender cake that also produces a dome on top. This will be my go-to-for-now white cupcake recipe until I can find one that has everything I’m looking for. But don’t let me give the wrong impression. These cupcakes are AMAZING! Everyone really enjoyed them.

I got this recipe from Bridget over at The Way the Cookie Crumbles. Have you seen her blog? It’s awesome. I love her photographs and her comparison posts! She inspired me to do a sugar cookie comparison post a couple years ago and I took her advice on the outcome of the red velvet cupcake comparison post with great results. So I’ve been wanting to try her white cake recipe. She combined the favorite parts of a couple recipes to make her own. How cool is that?

Note – this recipe calls for 6 egg whites. Bridget recommended actually separating out the eggs as opposed to using liquid egg whites. I made these the same day I made the lemon bars since those called for 7 egg yolks so it worked out perfectly for me. Another great idea is to make some creme brulee with the yolks!

One Year Ago: Sugar Cookie Bars (a go-to bar recipe for sure!)

Don’t forget about my giveaway. Be sure to enter by Midnight this Friday for your chance to win a Make-Ahead Meals Cookbook.

Print Save

White Cupcakes

These white cupcakes are perfectly tender and moist.

Yield: 24 cupcakes


1 cup + 2 Tbsp whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened but still cool

1 batch buttercream


Set oven rack in middle position. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.

Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.

Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15-17 minutes. (If baking layer cakes, this recipe will make two 9-inch layers. Bake for 23-25 minutes).

Cool completely prior to frosting.

    Pin It

27 Responses to “Gooey Bars (aka Cream Cheese Bars)”

  1. #
    Sunshine — January 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    These look fantastic!

  2. #
    Jess — January 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    my husbands family calls them butter-gooey cake.

  3. #
    Kelly — January 20, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Hi! These are actually called Gooey Butter Cakes, and they are a Paula Deen recipe (hence the butter and cream cheese!) I love making them with a red velvet cake mix….so good.

  4. #
    Andrew's Mom — January 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Ooey gooey butter cakes have been around for decades – they started in St. Louis – very close to my hometown. I remember making this recipe years before Paula came on the scene. She just made them more famous! Everyone goes nuts when you make them – I make them with all kinds of flavors – pineapple, lemon etc. Yours look great.

  5. #
    Jen — January 20, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Thanks for all the information about where the bars originate from. Wherever they came from, they sure are good. I saw some comments on the allrecipes.com link of variations that people have tried like swirling in some berries and using chocolate cake mix. Kind of like a cheesecake brownie

  6. #
    Dyanna — January 21, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Here in Kentucky they’re called Chess bars and have been around for a very long time. I’m not a native to KY and a coworker introduced me to these. I looked at them and thought “What the heck is that?” but once I tried one I was HOOKED! I just love how simple they are to make.

  7. #
    kitchen koala — January 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Whatever you call them, they’re pretty darned good!

  8. #
    Katie — January 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    YUM! Those look really delicious. And I love the colors you always put in the background.; The blue with the orange tint of the abrs is just perfect!

  9. #
    Ingrid — January 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Yours looks like how my first and only batch turned out but I think I’d like them better gooey and with a little less sugar.

  10. #
    Julie — January 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Yum…I love these things!

  11. #
    Colleen — January 29, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    These look delicious! And I love using boxed cake mix!

  12. #
    Kasey — March 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I made these for a friends birthday this past weekend and they were a big hit!

  13. #
    Tyler — September 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I just made these today and they are delicious! I left mine slightly gooey and it’s so good!

  14. #
    Lisa @ Cents to Save — April 1, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I love these bars!

  15. #
    Lindy S — March 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    ust made these, yum! But I am curious to know where I can find some variations, i.e., with nuts, chocolate, fruit flavored, etc……I love to experiment!

    • beantownbaker — March 16th, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

      I haven’t had a chance to play around myself with this recipe. I’m sure if you searched online, you’d find some other variations. Let me know what you try!

  16. #
    Britanny — May 13, 2013 at 6:31 am

    My mom used to make them for us when I was little. I am 25 now. And I am pretty sure they have been around for quite some time. Paula Deen probably only highlighted the fact that they were around. But yes Yum!

  17. #
    Stephen — July 28, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.

    It’s always interesting to read through articles from other writers and practice something from other sites.

  18. #
    Kathy — September 26, 2013 at 9:43 am

    How can you make these to taste like pumpkin? If you add in pumpkin, do you need to cut back on something else??

    • beantownbaker — September 26th, 2013 @ 10:33 am

      Oh that’s a great thought… What about using a box of pumpkin cake mix? And then throwing some pumpkin spices in the cream cheese mixture? If you try this variation, definitely let me know how it turns out!

  19. #
    jonay — June 2, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Omg these look amazing cannot wait to try! I will experiment though!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

      If you do, let me know how it goes!

  20. #
    Sheryl — August 21, 2014 at 8:16 am

    This has been around for years and yes it came from a Philly box. Was a family tradition for holidays at our house, but you can make with lemon as well

  21. #
    Judy Seggerman — February 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    I have been making these for years…but I dust with powdered sugar when cool. I can’t go to a family function without taking them.We call them Butter Cheese Squares.

  22. #
    bida — December 7, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    I have made these for over 20 some years. I mix pecan pieces in the crust. Family just loves them. Making them tomorrow.

  23. #
    Leisa McCannon — July 1, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I make mine with Butter Pecan Cake mix and they are awesome. I am trying lemon this weekend.

Leave a Comment