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. #
    Anna Wheeler — December 4, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

    I have made these time and time again for birthday presents! But it is now my friend’s baby shower and I want to make a batch of these. Would I just times everything by 4 to make 8? Or does someone have the original recipe that they could kindly post? :)


    • Artyjo — February 9th, 2014 @ 12:50 am

      If you wanted, say, 12 cupcakes, then the recipe closest to the two-cupcake version would be:
      1 1/4 cups sugar
      2 sticks melted butter
      2 Tbsp vanilla
      2 1/2 cups flour
      3/4 cup milk
      1 Tbsp baking powder
      1 pinch salt


      • Liz — February 11th, 2014 @ 2:38 pm


      • Artyjo — February 12th, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

        Oh sorry! 6 egg whites! It actually made more like 17 cupcakes. You can use the yolks in a butter cream frosting if you don’t want to toss them!

  2. #
    Sharni — December 7, 2012 @ 5:44 am

    look so delicious! yum i’m gonna make this for my friends birthday present !


    • Khloe — April 21st, 2013 @ 12:54 am

      They’re gross!! I followed the recipe exactly and they tasted like half raw biscuits that had been left out for two weeks.


      • Rachael — June 14th, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

        That’s a shame… I’ve made this recipe dozens of times and they’ve always turned out perfectly!

      • Teilor — August 9th, 2013 @ 12:42 am

        I’ve made these 3 times and I didn’t even put frosting on them and they came out AMAZING. I must say I’m a little obssesssed.

      • Amber — September 15th, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

        Baking isn’t for everyone, Khloe

      • Mag — December 20th, 2013 @ 10:05 pm

        Over mixing is often the problem

      • Naiomi — February 26th, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

        My first batch tastes a little eggy, but I think it was from adding hot melted butter to the egg whites. I made this recipe again with that change and they were fantastic !

  3. #
    Juleette — January 17, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

    I made these gluten free and they came out so YUMMY!!! My birthday is Mon. and I will make them for myself and a regular cake for my family. Thank you for sharing this recipe :) .


    • Christa — April 1st, 2013 @ 7:57 am

      How did you make these gluten free?


      • Kerbs — January 8th, 2014 @ 11:55 pm

        Gluten free flour instead of wheat flour.

    • anonymous — April 16th, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

      Why are you making your own birthday cake? Lol!


    • Kerbs — January 8th, 2014 @ 11:53 pm

      I made these gluten free and in chocolate. Yum! Added a tablespoon of chia to the wet mixture and about a tablespoon of cocoa powder with a tiny drop of coconut extract to the dry mix. Baked in a mini muffin pan for about 8 minutes. Add a dallop of whipped topping and a slice of strawberry for a sweet little tart.


  4. #
    Laura — January 19, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

    if anyone is making these whilst on a diet and wants to know nutritional info I’ve just worked it out whilst they’re in the oven. I weighed/measured every ingredient for my calculations and here are the results:
    For one of the two cupcakes (so double it if you ate both!):
    Calories: 198 kc
    Fat: 9.65g
    Protien: 2.8g
    Carbs: 23.35g
    Laura x


    • Dea — August 16th, 2013 @ 7:01 am

      i would like to know how you counted it, because i’m gonna make the cupcake with another frosting


  5. #
    Jenn F — January 30, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    I made these last night and while they were wonderful, I found them a bit eggy. It might be because I used a large egg white. I will re-try with a smaller egg or just less white. The white chocolate icing is awesome!


  6. #
    Anita — February 9, 2013 @ 12:33 am

    These were delicious! And so easy! I used Almond milk and they turned out amazing. (I also added a fiber supplement and you couldn’t tell at all! Soft and moist and delicious! Is there a full recipe version or could I just convert it to make more?


    • haven — May 21st, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

      To all those asking for this recipe in a full batch…
      Figure out how many you’ll need, then multiply the ingredients in the recipe for two…
      If you wanted, say, 12 cupcakes, then the recipe closest to the two-cupcake version would be:
      1 1/4 cups sugar
      2 sticks melted butter
      2 Tbsp vanilla
      2 1/2 cups flour
      3/4 cup milk
      1 Tbsp baking powder
      1 pinch salt


      • ouafaa — August 16th, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

        there are no eggs in this recipe or what? the one above got eggs !

      • Nadine — November 10th, 2013 @ 11:19 pm

        She timed it by 6 to make 12 so you need 6 egg whites.

      • sarah — January 14th, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

        This made 24…I’m not complaining though…haha….They are delicious!!!!

  7. #
    Krystyne — February 14, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

    I used whole-wheat flour instead of white, and they turned out closer to muffin consistency as opposed to cupcake. My boyfriend said it was still delicious though!


  8. #
    Caitlin — March 3, 2013 @ 1:05 am

    Followed the recipe exactly and they fell in the center. Recommend more flour, and softened butter instead of melted.


  9. #
    Olivia b — April 1, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

    This is the perfect recipe for when I have to make cupcakes for my daughter’s class and there are 26 kids and the cake mix only makes 24 I whip out this recipe and problem solved.


    • Nancy — March 17th, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

      Sweetie, if you need to make 26 cupcakes instead of just 24, put a little bit less of the batter in each of the 24 liners, to make two extra full cupcakes. You’re working too hard! :)


  10. #
    Laura — April 6, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

    These cupcakes are amazing however, I noticed they were a little dry. I tried adding buttermilk instead of regular milk to the recipe, and they came out even more delicious. No change in taste. Just way more moist! I make these all the time. Thanks for the recipe!!


  11. #
    Alisa — April 10, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

    I don’t know if I did something wrong…twice, but they were horrible…twice!


  12. #
    Isabelle T — May 5, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

    It was quite good and easy to make ( I just made it a few minutes ago) Right now it great yet slightly too buttery so Ill see how it does once cooled up but hopefully its less buttery


  13. #
    Ella — May 9, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

    I made these last night and I didn’t like them at all. Too much vanilla and suger. Also taste nothing like a cupcake, it was more like a muffin
    And it took them like25 mins to cook not 10-12
    Never making them again
    I rather have store bought cupcakes than these


  14. #
    joann — June 10, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

    These were so yummy. I used a small loaf pan put fresh stawberries in the batter toped with a cream cheese iceing.


  15. #
    Aysh — June 17, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

    What a perfect way to use the left over egg white from your amazing M&M cookies. Made these today and hope they come out good!


  16. #
    Madelene — June 21, 2013 @ 12:47 am

    These were wonderful! One of the best vanilla cupcakes I’ve ever had. I baked them for my boyfriend and he loved them as well. Will be making them more often. Thank you for the recipe!


  17. #
    Tamra — June 21, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    I tried these last night… man oh man were they good! I ended up drinking some of the leftover batter :)

    I decided to try cooking mine in a toaster oven so I didn’t heat up the whole apartment with my oven… I ended up having to cook them for almost 8 more minutes but they came out wonderful… I used 2 kinds of left over frosting (vanilla cream cheese, and chocolate buttercream) so it looked like a black and white cookie…. yummy!


  18. #
    Alex — June 26, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

    Yay! This is perfect for cupcake experimenting, I hate using my whole pantry to make a batch when I’m not sure how they’ll turn out! Experiment number one: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/08/kahlua-and-cream-double-chocolate-chunk-cupcakes/
    Saw this recipe and decided to alter the vanilla cupcakes for two to make some more like this! Instead of 1 tbsp. vanilla I did half vanilla, half kahlua, and skimped a bit on the dry ingredients to add 1 tbsp. baking cocoa. Currently in the oven, we’ll see how they turn out!


  19. #
    Abby — June 27, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

    I made these and they came out delicious, but they tasted a little meringue-y. What can I do to make them more fluffy and a little less dense? These just tasted like they were LOADED with egg whites.


  20. #
    Emily — July 15, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

    Just made these!! I thought that they were delicious! For some reason thus recipe made 4 for me, but hey… I’m not complaining about that… ;)


  21. #
    Allison — July 18, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

    Very dense and muffin like. I made this dairy free for my son’s birthday and used almond milk and coconut oil. He seemed to enjoy it!


  22. #
    Michelle — July 31, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

    These are quickly becoming my favorite dessert craving, although I did figure out a few alterations as they weren’t particularly flavorful the first time I made them. Believe it or not, I added a few drops more of vanilla extract, and I also added more flour and sugar (heaping spoons instead of exact) and I beat the eggs a lot to make it come out a bit fluffier because I found them a bit dense originally. This way, they were absolutely perfect!


  23. #
    zina — July 31, 2013 @ 11:13 pm

    I followed the recipe exactly but my batter was runny! And I could totally understand the tasting like egg white comment. Since the recipe didnt say I used a large egg since thats what we buy. And I also cooked it for longer because it tasted spongey. Will I use this recipe again? I dont know yet…I made it for my mother in law so if its a hit with her then yes but with a few adjustments.


  24. #
    Kristina — August 7, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

    I just finished these…so yummy! I put too much vanilla in, I thought I could eyeball it, but I could not! I used Brummell and Brown yogurt spread instead of butter and Truvia baking blend instead of regular sugar. I also used cake flour and buttermilk. These were tender and moist. I will definitely make these again!


  25. #
    Khristian — August 9, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

    It was my first time making them and they came out beautifully. I have never made cupcakes from scratch. The only thing I know that I should sift the flour into the wet ingredients to make it a bit lighter. When i baked them they were heavy LOL! But they were still delicious. THANK YOU. SOmething quick and easy on a thursday night.


  26. #
    Shannon — August 27, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

    Such a perfect recipe!


  27. #
    Rae — September 1, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

    That’s true! I bought quite a lot of ingredients like flour and butter, but I don’t have the motivation to start baking yet because there will be just two of us finishing the cakes. This recipe is just right for us. Thanks for sharing.


  28. #
    Candace — September 2, 2013 @ 11:00 am

    I have made these twice now. The first time they were good, but the second time I made sure not to over-mix the ingredients, and use a more heaping teaspoon of baking powder, and they were PERFECT. They rose and got really fluffy, and they stayed moist and soft. I had to leave them in the oven a couple extra minutes before they were done, but they are so delicious. I’ll make these many times in the future.

    Thank you!


  29. #
    Liebchen — September 8, 2013 @ 11:22 pm

    These were amazing. I usually follow the recipe exactly the first time I make anything, but I decided to add one small alteration the first time, and will keep doing it from now on because they were awesome. I did half a teaspoon of vanilla, instead of a whole one and put the seeds of half a vanilla bean in with the batter.

    I think the texture is actually perfect. I’ve always found store bought cupcakes, or cupcakes made with a boxed recipe to be too fluffy, just all air and no texture so I enjoyed that these were a little more dense, but they were not overly so.
    I will without a doubt make these many more times, I’ve actually been craving them since making them last.

    I paired them with some dark chocolate frosting which is perfect the vanilla cakes.


  30. #
    Erica — September 12, 2013 @ 11:20 am

    BLECH! These were horrible! You could smell the egg before you even ate it. It was dense, almost like pound cake, and totally tasted like an egg. I was so hopeful!


  31. #
    Veronica — September 24, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

    Are these nut free?


  32. #
    Shay — September 30, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

    I made these a while ago and thought they were delicious! I’ve made them more than once and they’ve been great each time.
    I did a blog post about them, and would love it if you could check it out. x


  33. #
    Heidi — October 8, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

    These were so good and totally satisfied my sweet tooth, I used brown rice flour and unsweetened almond milk. Not sure if my oven is off but had to bake them for 20 minutes. Loved this recipe! Thank you!


  34. #
    aloe — October 20, 2013 @ 8:15 am

    using this recipe, i came up with 5 small cupcakes…i used a medium egg…it wasn’t that dense but it had an egg-y taste…how do i fix this? less egg?


  35. #
    Molly — October 24, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    I twisted these cupcakes into ginger nut cupcakes! I simply soaked 2 roughly broken up ginger nut biscuits in the milk (as instructed) and then mixed into a slurry. I also added about three more roughly broken up ginger nut biscuit to the batter. A pinch of cinnamon and mild chilli powder went down fabulous also…
    They came out a little floppy, but admittedly, i didn’t use my cupcake tins… They felt like cake and tasted like cake! Delicious! Great recipe! Try this too…


  36. #
    CJ at Food Stories — November 10, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

    Jessica – Hope you don’t mind – I loved your recipe & food photo so I added it to my food photo site (Food Foto Gallery dot com) for all to see. Attribution was given to you and I hope that you gain a few new visitors, as well.


  37. #
    Mandy — November 14, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

    I had to comment after making these!! THANK YOU so much for sharing this recipe with us! I have been wanting to make cupcakes from scratch for a long time, but have kept putting it off because I’d hate to make a whole big batch and have them turn out terrible… (which I doubt they would, but it’s kept me from making them). I came across this recipe as a pin on pinterest and had to try it. LOVE them so much! I made mini cupcakes instead (this makes about 8 mini ones) and have now made 3 different batches. The first straight vanilla which were delicious! I have since made malibu rum/lemon flavored and raspberry vodka/vanilla/white chocolate ones. I LOVE your recipe so much because it lets me experiment and it’s such a simple easy recipe to start with. *My slight variations: I did make sure to get medium eggs after reading comments and I’ve used softened not melted butter, almond milk and my baking time is about 10 – 11 min..


  38. #
    Allison — December 6, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

    I just popped these bad boys into the oven. Instead of making straight vanilla, though, I added some cinnamon, nutmeg and a bit of allspice (very similar to cinnamon and nutmeg, but I wanted to get the clove-y flavor, too, and didn’t have any). I would have experimented with fresh grated ginger, but didn’t have any on hand.
    For a carrot cake-type cupcake, I also grated four baby carrots and chopped up maybe a 1/4 cup of walnuts and tossed ’em in. The batter wasn’t very sweet, but quite flavorful, and adding any icing on top would surely compensate for any sweetness that might be missed. The batter filled about 4 cupcake liners 3/4 of the way. I’m excited to see how they turn out. This recipe is great for anyone who wants a quick dessert with few ingredients on hand.


  39. #
    Whitney W. — December 23, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

    I made these last night for the first time and THANK YOU! My fiance and I love to bake/cook and experiment and these were right up our alley! Sometimes you have that sweet tooth and prefer a home baked good over store bought. Now, I don’t have to worry about using up all the things in my cabinet. It’s perfect!
    They came out exactly as the recipe however I think I want a little more vanilla flavor so next time I’ll add another 1/2 tsp. and perhaps use buttermilk over regular milk. As for the frosting, I followed your White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe and TADA! perfection…Will be making these more and more and more…


  40. #
    Morgan — January 3, 2014 @ 10:18 am

    I added a little over 1/4 teaspoon of imitation coconut extract to the cupcakes along with about 1/8 cup of toasted coconut. For the frosting i whipped up heavy whipping cream, a small bit of confectioners sugar, a splash of vanilla, and a little imitation coconut extract. They were DIVINE to say the least. I have also toyed around with this recipe a little bit, and if you add in enough cocoa powder to make it dark and bake the cupcakes just until they are almost done, then top with chocolate ganache, they make for excellent, near-lava, cakes. This is my go-to recipe when i am creating my own because it serves as such an excellent base for everything!


  41. #
    Kristen — January 12, 2014 @ 1:59 am

    I am loving this! I used it tonight to test out a new flavor! I substituted a tablespoon of cocoa powder for a tablespoon of flour and subbed stout beer for the milk to make a chocolate stout cupcake, topped with a cream cheese stout frosting! Yum! I will be using this recipe to test out all kinds of flavor combos and ale lovely pics of my cup pies for my business. Thanks! :)


  42. #
    B — January 26, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

    My boyfriend’s birthday is coming up, and we’ve decided to save the weekend for a big celebration and just have a couple of cupcakes on his actual birthday… This recipe is perfect!

    I’d love to turn them into graham cracker-flavored cupcakes, fill with chocolate ganache, and top with marshmallow frosting for s’mores cupcakes. Like these, for two: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/11/pumpkin-smores-cupcakes/

    It would definitely satisfy our recent homemade marshmallow addiction… We just LOVE them and can’t seem to get enough.


  43. #
    unimpressed — February 8, 2014 @ 11:13 am

    I’m unimpressed. One you have loads of people leaving comments, asking questions and you just ignore them! Rude! Two you say all you need iscavspoin, no mixer over and over but then you want us to whisk! You can’t whisk with a spoon! Three these were awful. Eggy and gross. Worst cupcakes ever and I’m a prof baker was trialing these because after making huge cakes all day sometimes I just want something small. Guess I’ll have to develop my own.


    • Me — March 31st, 2014 @ 6:52 am

      Somebody doesnt have a whisk, eh? You dont need a mixer to whisk something, you prat. Also, considering you’ve been examining th ecomments a whole lot, didnt your tiny pebble of a brain realise that maybe you should use a SMALL egg? And I’ve made these and i too am a baker, and geuss what? Surprise surprise, mine were perfect. So either you have bad taste, or you just dont know how to read instructions. Personally, this is a great, relliable site.


  44. #
    Deanna — February 8, 2014 @ 7:36 pm

    I don’t know but made this twice and it taste like rubber! Cake box taste better….. No offense!


  45. #
    Shinny — February 9, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

    I’m making these atm! They’re currently in the oven!!

    I used a vegan non-dairy butter and almond milk and gluten free flour instead. I would have used an egg substitute too but I find that harder to get right!

    I added some red food colouring for valentines day and made some vegan butter cream icing from scratch with a little but of fresh squeezed pineapple and blood orange juice for flavour!


    • amy lynn hunt — February 23rd, 2014 @ 8:04 am

      @Shinny, thank you so much for talking about subs! I would love to know how your vegan/g-free cuppies turned out. I bake vegan and was so surprised at the learning curve at the beginning :)

      I’d love to know how you make your frosting! I am so lactose intolerant, that is how i found vegan baking. I still need some work on my BC though.


  46. #
    amy lynn hunt — February 23, 2014 @ 8:19 am

    These look so fun and yummy! I moved back to my parents’ home to help after my father suffered a heart attack. We love sweets and It is SO hard to get him to eat right or at least in moderation! The problem here is portion control (meets no self-control, ha ha), so he will really enjoy having just one. I suppose I’ll wrestle my Mom for the 2nd one!!

    I really have to say how rude i found some of these comments, i don’t know why the internet is an excuse to not be tactful. I could list so many things that can make a cake “rubbery” but i fear it would be lost on people who would rather complain. BUT i will say this- while there are some decent tasting box mixes out there, do you really want to serve these things to your family, folks? This is what is in a basic popular brand yellow cake:

    Ingredients: Sugar, Enriched Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Wheat Starch, Baking Powder (Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Dicalcium Phosphate), Contains 2% or Less of: Dextrose, Corn Starch, Salt, Artificial Flavor, Propylene Glycol Monoesters, Mono- and Diglycerides, Cellulose, Colored with Yellow 5 and Red 40, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum, Polysorbate 60, TBHQ and Citric Acid (Antioxidants).

    I don’t have “TBH-Q” or “Propylene Glycol Monoesters” in my cabinets. Yuck!
    thanks again for the recipe, sorry about the soap-boxy moment.


  47. #
    Lori — February 23, 2014 @ 6:04 pm

    I usually put yellow cake mix in my cornbread but was out so I just tried this recipe and added it to my cornbread recipe. It’s in the oven so we’ll see!


  48. #
    Elle @ (Eat.Style.Play) — March 2, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

    So it’s a snow day for us here in DC. At least tomorrow is a snowday, and I was craving a cupcake! I just made these and they were perfect. i didn’t have any milk i had to use half and half…and guess what, came out just fine! I made buttercream too but it was perfect without it.


  49. #
    Tammy — March 6, 2014 @ 2:51 pm

    This sounds yummy and simple. I wonder what it would taste like with oat flour…i ver it worldwide maje it more dense…hmmm. Well ill just have to try it!


  50. #
    Anna — April 1, 2014 @ 11:12 pm

    Second night in a row making these. Also added chocolate chips I had around to them. I’m in love.



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