Let’s face it: sometimes we all need a dessert that only makes two servings.

Sometimes we just can’t handle 12 servings.

Sometimes we eat them all by ourselves. Sometimes we eat them all by ourselves in two hours. Sometimes we eat them all by ourselves in a matter of minutes. Sometimes it’s the best thing ever.


FYI: I have no idea what that is like.

Haven’t you always wished you could make just enough dessert for yourself? Or yourself and one other person?

Or… just yourself?

Me too.

But more often than not, I’ve found it to be a hassle to drag out the mixer, cream the sugar and butter, sift the dry ingredients and all that fun stuff for a measly two cupcakes.

What can I say? I’m lazy.

Well, I was lazy. Until I decided to make these cupcakes for two. This is only my second or third cupcake recipe completely from scratch and completely from my own recipe development, and I am so excited with the result.


It is definitely your typical white cake; fluffy and soft, full of vanilla flavor, and the perfect vehicle for some fluffy white frosting.

And it only takes one bowl! Not creaming, no mixer, no folding… just you, a bowl and a spoon. Try not eating some of that batter. Yeah right.

I think what I love most about these cupcakes is their customizability. Mr. How Sweet and I can have different flavors of frosting or even some different fruit, nuts or chocolate chips added in our cupcakes if we’d like. Meaning that I can make mine fun and fancy and he can keep his plain and boring. Nothin’ new there.



One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for Two

serves 2

1 egg white

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla (yes, a full teaspoon – they are super vanilla-y!)

1/4 cup flour

1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder

pinch of salt

1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.

In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and melted butter and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired. I used some leftover white chocolate frosting.


I have an inkling that these “easy” cupcakes may be made nightly. Does that defeat the purpose?

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736 Responses to “One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes For Two.”

  1. #
    Nikki — October 9, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

    I’ve got these in the oven at the moment, but not sure if I did something wrong. I made up the batter and put a test one in the oven to see if I’d put enough vanilla in (we have extra-strong vanilla so I put in less than in the recipe), but I found that the batter was *very* thin. I left the first one alone, but added more flour for the rest (I’d doubled the recipe). As far as I know, I followed the recipe to the letter apart from the vanilla, any thoughts as to what might have gone wrong? I do live in the UK so only had access to British measures, would that have made a difference?


  2. #
    lanflan2 — October 16, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

    These are amazing!!! Light, fluffy, and very vanilla-y. do you think you could concoct a frosting recipe for two to go with it????? some of us aren’t as fortunate to have frosting on hand all the time :(


    • Nana Bear — December 30th, 2011 @ 11:45 pm

      Butter Cream Frosting

      1 tablespoon and 1-3/4 teaspoons shortening
      1 tablespoon and 1-3/4 teaspoons butter, softened
      1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
      3/4 cup and 2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
      1-1/4 teaspoons milk

      In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.


  3. #
    Alexandria — October 16, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

    Just about to put these in the oven! If the batter is any indication, they are going to be some amazing cupcakes!


  4. #
    Alexandria — October 16, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

    The results are in! AMAZING cupcakes…light and fluffy, not too sweet, and just overall perfection! :)


  5. #
    Samantha — October 20, 2011 @ 11:59 pm

    These are fantastic!! Me and my daughters just made our own batches about an hour ago lol We had 6 altogether. They were gone instantly! Yumm!


  6. #
    ashley hadley — October 23, 2011 @ 3:49 am

    why does the recipe call for 1 egg white? why not 1 egg yolk? or 1/2 an egg? does egg ehite do something better for cupcakes than egg yolk or whole egg?


    • Jessica — October 23rd, 2011 @ 9:08 am

      couple reasons – first, many traditional vanilla “white” cakes use only egg whites, and second, i tried the recipe with a whole egg and it was way overpowering for just 2 cupcakes!


      • ashley hadley — October 23rd, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

        Thanks for the info. im new at baking so im just trying to understand everything

        • Lena — November 9th, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

          Egg whites are what make cupcakes fluffy, egg yolks add flavor…. Or something like that. The egg whites are definitly for fluff though.

  7. #
    Nicole — October 23, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

    I love this post! So funny and relatable…definitely making those two cupcakes just for me hehehe. They are in the oven right now!


  8. #
    Carrie — October 23, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    I tried these last night. I found the batter to seem a little runny but I did not add anything. Then once they were baked and ready they were so dense. The consistency was biscuit-like and not light and fluffy at all. I do not think I did anything wrong… :( Any ideas?


    • Joel — October 25th, 2011 @ 11:12 pm

      Beware of over mixing. This is a common mistake with any baking. Over mixing creates gluten which is a network of proteins created by mixing or kneeding flour.


      • Jolyn — January 3rd, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

        I had the same problem , it wasn’t very sweet and had more of a muffin or biscuit…. Depressing…

  9. #
    Stephanie — October 24, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    LOVE this idea! My husband and I can never finish an entire batch of cupcakes, I end up taking them to work so this will be perfect! Although my coworkers might be a little upset they aren’t getting so many treats :-)


  10. #
    Alexie — October 27, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

    Hm, how much chocolate would I have to add to make chocolate cupcakes?


    • Emma — October 30th, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

      I stirred in about a tablespoon and a half of unsweetened cocoa powder with mine, but I made a double batch aiming for four cupcakes. Ended up with six, but what the hell. You can never have too many, right?


  11. #
    Food Lover — November 3, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

    yummy, can’t wait to try this recipe for only two, thanks for sharing :)


  12. #
    Yummmy — November 4, 2011 @ 3:10 am

    Mmmmmmmmm! Just made these, I scattered some really dark chocolate in mine and my boyfriend put a crunched up chocolate bar in his. I undercooked it a bit, but the smell of vanilla was sooo good we couldn’t wait any longer. Maybe next time I’ll have more patience and make some icing. Delicious still! Many thanks!!


  13. #
    james — November 6, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

    It says one bowl cupcakes. Clearly there are two bowls in the picture being used.


    • Jill — November 7th, 2011 @ 1:22 am

      Well, aren’t you persnickety, James! It looks to me like the author is adding her egg white from a bowl, instead of directly from the shell to get a nice photo for the article. Perhaps she pre-measured her ingredients…doesn’t mean you have to :(


  14. #
    Susan — November 6, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

    What kind of flour do you use? All purpose, cake flour, etc.
    Thank you


  15. #
    Maggie Mae — November 8, 2011 @ 4:38 am

    My son and hubsters would love this. I can’t wait to use my toaster oven to bake some for them. :D


  16. #
    Emily — November 9, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

    ooh, these look delicious! do you happen to have a two-person buttercream to go with this? i find it way too hard to quarter a full recipe to adjust to this :/ thanks!


  17. #
    nate — November 9, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

    I just enjoyed these cupcakes. I doubled the batch added about 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder as suggested by Emma and sprinkled some chocolate chips on top. All in all tasty, quick, and easy clean up. The only negative is they stuck to the paper, don’t know why. So we had to nibble bits of cake off of the paper. Still quite tasty.


  18. #
    Paige Woods — November 12, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

    I made the cupcakes…but I think I did it wrong. Maybe I put them in too long. My neice didn’t think they’re right…and she’s two!


  19. #
    Keisha — November 13, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

    In the oven right now and looking gorgeous! I almost didn’t want to bake them because the batter is so delicious!


  20. #
    Nina — November 18, 2011 @ 2:35 am

    My daughter and I are baking these two little delights right now! We were so excited to try this recipe, we had to bake them now and it’s 10:37PM on a school night :))


  21. #
    Amy — November 18, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    I’m a university student who lives away from home and loves to bake. So baking huge amounts is not always desirable. I just heard about this blog/recipe today and I am so excited to bake them tonight! Any suggestions on recipe’s for small doses of frosting?


    • Amy — November 18th, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

      Just finished eating it and it was very good. I also extended my cooking time to 15 minutes and they came out quite nicely. Can’t wait to add chocolate chunks the next time I make these!


    • Jess Christensen — November 20th, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

      I make a full batch of frosting. Use a ziploc with the corner cut to frost, and then freeze what is left over inside another ziploc. When I’m ready to frost another couple of cupcakes, I pull the whole bag out before baking and let it soften, use what I need and repeat. We make these all the time using this icing method. Good luck!


  22. #
    Kristin — November 18, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    My twins (b/g) have been begging me for cupcakes but I hate having extra in the house! Making them now with pink and blue frosting!!

    I’ve also had to adjust my baking time to 15 minutes.


  23. #
    April — November 20, 2011 @ 12:39 am

    As a few other people have noted, I tried this recipe and they came out very dense and eggy. Any advice for those of us having trouble here? Do you need to let the butter cool before adding or something? I would love to have gotten the results people are raving about!


    • Amy — November 20th, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

      Perhaps whipping the egg white a bit more? If you introduce more air it should theoretically make it more fluffy. Egg whites whip best when they are at room temperature. Also, once the flour mixture is in mix until its smooth, but try not to mix past this point since gluten will form and make it dense. And another option is to add a bit more baking powder (big heaping 1/4 tsp). Baking powder is used to lighten texture and increase volume.

      Hope that helps!

      Enjoy the tasty experiments!!!


    • Whitney — January 2nd, 2012 @ 12:55 am

      When you stirred in your butter did your egg whites curdle? If so, your butter was too hot, and that is one reason they could have come out eggy.

      I’m making these now for the first time. Batter came out runny after I added the milk, so I’m a bit worried, but still think they’ll be good. I plan to melt some chocolate and just drizzle across the top in place of frosting.


  24. #
    Jane — November 23, 2011 @ 7:58 am

    Do you think I could make these with gluten free flour? Any ideas?


    • Jessica — November 23rd, 2011 @ 11:01 am

      Honestly not sure… not familiar with gluten free baking at all.


  25. #
    Rebecca — November 25, 2011 @ 12:20 am

    I tried the cupcakes tonight and the vanilla scent when I took the cupcakes out of the oven was so lovely. I used King Arthur Flour and baked the cupcakes for 17 minutes because they didn’t
    seem done after 12 minutes.

    Here is the icing I made up:

    1 tablespoon butter, melted in the microwave
    1/4 cup Confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
    1 teaspoon vanilla (colors the icing a bit but who cares)
    1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream

    Use a spatula to combine the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and cream and
    stir together well until there are no lumps and the icing is creamy.

    Yum, I just bit into one of the delicious cupcakes. They were definitely worth making. I’ll
    use this recipe again.


  26. #
    Hotchocolate4sunshine — November 27, 2011 @ 5:25 am

    this is sooo yummy. Perfect for my rest sunday plans :)


  27. #
    Colleen — November 29, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

    Yum! 2 easy icing recipes that worked for me…

    Lemon Glaze
    4 T Powdered Sugar
    Few drops of lemon juice
    Stir until lumps disappear. (Add more sugar if too thin, or more lemon juice if too thick.)

    Chocolate Icing
    3 T Powdered Sugar
    1T cocoa powder
    Few drops of milk
    Stir until lumps disappear. (Add more sugar if too thin or too bitter, more milk if too thin, or more cocoa if desired.)


  28. #
    Holly — November 30, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    Tried these tonight. They were verrrry eggy. I only used the egg white, not the whole egg. It is really bothering me that they did not turn out. Neither one of my kids would eat them. Any suggestions?


  29. #
    bethany — December 1, 2011 @ 12:20 am

    They took over twice as long to cook, but still yummy :)


  30. #
    Andi S — December 1, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

    These are absolutely heavenly! We have made them several times now because they are just the perfect amount. I featured them on my blog here: http://crazydazedesigns.blogspot.com/2011/11/cupcakes-for-2.html


  31. #
    Audrey — December 4, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    A sweet frosting recipe for two would make these darling cupcakes even yummier!


  32. #
    Chelsea — December 7, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    I literally just made these. Had a slight set back at first when i accidentally put in 1 tbsp instead of 1 tsp of baking powder. Good thing I’m a spoon licker :) I had to cook mine for much longer than 10 minutes. Not quite sure why, could just be my oven. But they didn’t turn out as expected. The batter tasted delicious however, I seem to have ran into the problem of many others. They didn’t taste bad, but they were more like muffins :(


  33. #
    Channy — December 12, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

    SO GOOD!!! No more feeling guilty ;) Can you please please come up with a chocolate cupcakes for two pleeease???


  34. #
    Jessica — December 12, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    I made these and the white chocolate icing for my mom and boyfriend, and we all LOVED them. They’re moist and delicious, and the recipe is the perfect size. Thank you!


  35. #
    Char — December 14, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

    These were absolutely disgusting. I followed the recipe and directions exact. Waste of time and ingredients.


    • Becka — December 26th, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

      There is no need to be rude. The recipe seems to work for the original author…maybe you’re just a bad cook?


  36. #
    Jasmine — December 20, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    Hi, I love the fact that you made a recipe for two, it’s just what I needed!
    But I was wondering what changes to make the batter into a chocolate batter, rather than vanilla?


  37. #
    Laura — December 20, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    Here’s a recipe that I cut down:

    Buttercream for Two Cupcakes

    1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons butter, softened (divide 1 Tablespoon butter into thirds and use two of them for 2 teaspoons)
    1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
    ½ teaspoon milk
    Teeny-tiny pinch salt, optional

    Cream butter and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, beating well. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Add coloring as desired. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.


  38. #
    thomas — December 23, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

    I followed the recipe exactly but … WHY?! look at this lol.. http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/192/photodu85944813122352.jpg/


    • Andrew — December 27th, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

      Looks like to me that either your oven is at a tilt, or you didn’t mix your baking powder in all of the way. It also could be that your powder is too old and it’s not working up to par.
      Happy baking Thomas!


  39. #
    Sabrina — December 26, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

    Just made these cupcakes and they were delicious…Even without the frosting! Thank you. I will save this recipe forever. :)


  40. #
    Andrew — December 27, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

    I just finished making these for me and my mother for her 42nd birthday and they are absolutely fantastic! When reading the recipe, I accidentally read 1 teaspoon of vanilla as 1 tablespoon. When I finished the batter, I realized it was too runny so I added in about a tablespoon more flour and a few pinches of baking powder (to balance out the leverage ratio) and I got about 3 cupcakes worth of batter. Other than that, they baked for 12 minutes and turned out perfect! To all of those asking for an icing recipe, fill the cupcake liners a little less than usual (about 1/2 the way), chop your favorite (or in my case my mother’s favorite) into small pieces, and microwave them for about 10 seconds or more depending on the size of your pieces. It turns out great and doesn’t compromise the moistness of the cakes! Happy baking!


  41. #
    Victoria — January 1, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    I am going to make some cakes for a friend and wanted to test icing them before I made a whole batch. This is perfect thank you so much.x


  42. #
    Emily — January 4, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

    Mine were super spongy they bounced! lol I’ll have to try them again sometime.


  43. #
    Holly Everhart — January 4, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

    Hi! Mine are baking right now, batter seemed slightly more runny then I expected but I didn’t add anything else. I put a few chocolate chips and a tablespoon of sprinkles in them. Hopefully they turn out well, I could see myself making these alot. I love sweets & love baking!


  44. #
    Bailey — January 4, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    Wow! I don’t usually bother commenting on recipes, but this simple little recipe was great! I was sceptical at first, but I’m truely impressed. Sweet, fluffy, moist. Perfect for a sweet snack. Easy to make and delicious.


  45. #
    Susan — January 5, 2012 @ 12:21 am

    I made them tonight. They came out perfect and my boyfriend couldn’t believe how good they tasted. He was sorry I only made two. Thanks for this recipe!!


  46. #
    Haley — January 7, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

    Amazing!!!! First cupcakes I have ever made from scratch. They have become an instant staple in my home. :)


  47. #
    Selena — January 7, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this recipe and have done it 3 times and they always turn out perfect! I’m wondering if you have tried a chocolate cupcake recipe for two? Or if you could somehow alter this recipe to be a chocolate cupcake instead?


  48. #
    Sammi — January 8, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

    I saw a article where you use regular ice cream cones inside of a cupcake liners. I think your recipe will go great with them! Thanks!


  49. #
    Rebekah — January 10, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

    We love these cupcakes in my house. I have to double the recipe so there’s enough. Thanks for such a great recipe!


  50. #
    Samantha — January 12, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

    For those people who had issues with the eggs – I combined this recipe with some ideas from another website’s recipe, and their recipe didn’t actually need eggs. It just depends on what you’re looking for in your cupcake. My cupcakes were still fluffy, but not overly so and the only problem I had was them sticking to the cupcake lining heavily. Very very very yummy and I’m making these cupcakes right now as well as adding in a chai tea twist for some vanilla chai tea cupcakes.


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