Birthday Cupcakes

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I don’t remember being two.

I know that when I was two, my parents had professional pictures done of my brother and I. We went on a family vacation to South Dakota.

But I don’t remember those things. Unfortunately I don’t really have a memory of my life from before I was about five.

My son turns two today, and even though I don’t remember that age, I feel I get to relive it through his eyes. Running in circles until we collapse, giggling. Singing songs. Sharing all I know about the world, giving snuggly hugs, and whispering secrets in his ear until he falls asleep.

Years down the line will he remember how much he loves buses? Will Pizza Fridays hold any meaning? I wonder how much more time I have before he stops wanting to hold my hand or crawl into my lap for a story.

It might be silly to worry about these things at such a young age, but any mother knows how I feel. Maybe that’s why I cooking food for my family has become so important to me.

When he is off on his own in 20 years, I want him to remember that once upon a time his mom made him baked macaroni and cheese, yogurt-dipped chicken nuggets, and birthday cupcakes.

Birthday cupcakes - Perfect birthday cupcakes: yellow cake with just a hint of orange, topped with classic chocolate frosting.

No other cake reminds me of childhood like yellow cake with chocolate frosting. White cake has become much more popular these days, I suppose because people became worried about yolks in the 90s, but it doesn’t compare.

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Birthday Cupcakes

Yellow cake with just a hint of orange, topped with classic chocolate frosting.
Author : Megan Myers
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 347 kcal


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • Zest from 1 large orange
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 cupcake pans.
  • In a medium bowl lightly combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup milk, and orange zest.
  • Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the egg mixture, in 3 additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the egg.
  • Scoop batter into cupcake pans, filling about halfway. Bake about 20 minutes, rotating in the oven halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

  • In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, put the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, and butter. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and beat in the confectioners sugar and vanilla extract. Refrigerate until chilled and mostly set, then whip again to get it soft enough to spread. Frosting will firm up more as it stands on the counter, so if it is too runny yet just cool your jets a moment.
  • Using a spoon dollop frosting into center of cupcake and spread as neatly as possible. Toss some sprinkles on to make you smile. Don’t forget to do some quality control and have a taste before the party, with some milk and some memories.


Serving: 1 ServingsCalories: 347 kcalCarbohydrates: 45 gProtein: 5 gFat: 17 gSaturated Fat: 10 gCholesterol: 81 mgSodium: 125 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 27 g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.

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About Megan

I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…

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  1. lovely post!
    my son is turning one next wk. while i’m getting so busy to prepare this and that for his very first bday party, i just keep reminded myself he wont be remembering anything though. sad!
    but i will, sweet!
    happy birthday to your little guy!

  2. We had a pizza Friday tradition when I was in middle school. We were living in San Francisco at the time, in the Fort Mason neighborhood on the north shore of the peninsula, and the four of us would walk west across the hard flat park in front of the international hostel, then down a steep hill and across a much bigger and greener park to the busy intersection of Laguna and Bay, where there was a Round Table Pizza restaurant nestled underneath some walk-up apartments. Mom and Dad would share a few beers while my brother and I would pour quarters into an arcade driving game that had a real steering wheel and accelerator pedal. We’d get one large pizza and all have a couple of slices. Dad was in the army, and Mom sometimes worked, so this was our big night out. Good times.

    I think it’s great that you’re creating and nurturing these family traditions, Megan, even if Reese won’t remember them all way down the road, I think the stability and family bonding that is being now created will have long-lasting (if anonymous) benefits. I hope he looks back and says, I had a happy childhood that was marked by love and stability in the home. That’s my hope for you guys!