These crazy moist Pink cupcakes with marble cream cheese frosting are the prettiest, easiest, most delicious cupcakes you will ever make for Valentine´s Day, Baby shower, Birthdays, or any other occasion! This Pink Velvet cupcake is the pretty cousin of the well-known red velvet cupcake. They are fluffy, tender with the most beautiful, lovely color and mild rosewater flavor (optional). The cream cheese frosting is light, and unlike other butter-based cream cheese frostings, very well balanced in sweetness! Ever wondered how to make marble-colored cupcake frosting? I will teach you my easy technique, let´s get started!
My 7 Secrets making crazy moist cupcakes
1. Do not change the Ingredients
I suggest not to change the recipe ingredients unless you are an expert and aware of how to fully reformulate it. If you decide to leave out eggs or choose to go for dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, etc., I can almost guarantee that it will result in an imbalance in the ingredients making the pink cupcakes either too dry, too crumbly, too wet, or too oily, etc. in their texture. It is absolutely possible to make moist “free-from” cupcakes but that requires a totally new recipe instead of skipping certain ingredients
2. Use the Secret ingredient
I call it the secret ingredient, it is not really secret though since I share this tip in all my muffin recipes. Once the cupcake batter comes together – before baking – mix a small amount of (½ teaspoon) white vinegar with a small amount of (½ teaspoon) baking soda. The mixture will foam a bit, then quickly fold it into the cupcake butter – I promise this will make cupcakes airy and much lighter than cupcakes you are used to. These cupcakes will stay super moist and tender even after days if they ever last that long.
3. Learn the Technique
You very much have to be careful not over beating your cupcake butter. It might be tempting to pour everything into a stand mixer but please make sure to use a Hand whisk from the point when butter and sugar are already creamed. Beating the cupcake batter too hard can result in too much gluten development and we don´t want that.
4. Be precise while measuring your ingredients
For a consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is inaccurate and not an appropriate way to measure ingredients. Just a little bit too much dry ingredients (eg. flour) or too few wet ingredients (eg. milk) can easily ruin your cupcakes` texture and make them dry.
5. Pay attention to temperature
Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperate while making these Pink cupcakes. If your butter is too hard, your milk or egg is too cold, they won´t emulsify properly with the rest of the ingredients resulting in unappealing texture on your cupcakes. When it comes to temperature, oven temp is also super important as baking these cupcakes on too high temp or for too long can result in a dry texture. Make sure you invest in an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to be able to measure your oven temp correctly.
6. Might apply soaking syrup
Soaking syrup is a common trick people use to make their cakes moist, you can use the same method for cupcakes. It is not mandatory and I don´t use it in this Pink cupcake recipe but you can always brush the top of the cupcakes or even drizzle them with syrup that fits with the flavor eg. raspberry syrup in this case
7. Storage the cupcakes correctly
Once cupcakes are well baked and beautifully frosted, the appropriate storage is definitely something you have to bear in mind to avoid dry cupcakes. Instead of leaving them on a plate, store cupcakes in a container with a tight-fitting lid on – in the fridge.
For the Pink vanilla cupcakes
- Butter: Use always unsalted butter as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using European-style 82% fat content butter in all my cupcake recipes. In this Pink muffin recipe, the butter needs to be at room temperature which technically means soft enough to be able to cream but not too soft or runny so avoid last-minute microwaving. The right consistency and temperature of the butter is a very important factor when it comes to the cupcake texture, so please make sure you leave the butter out on the kitchen counter to soften for a few hours before using it
- Granulated Sugar: Standard, all-purpose granulated or white sugar is perfectly fine for making cupcakes, nothing fancy. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
- Egg: Room temperature as always
- Vanilla bean paste: Avoid using artificial vanilla. There are several great brands for fine, pure vanilla, I use Nielsen massey which I love and really recommend
- Flour: All-purpose flour or pastry flour makes the best cupcakes. They are so-called “soft flour” which are low on protein resulting in a delicate, tender texture. It is always a good idea to sift your flour as it tends to form lumps. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my article in here
- Salt: An essential ingredient in most dessert recipes. Balances flavor and enhances other ingredients
- Baking powder: Has two functions: increase the volume and lighten the texture
- Milk: Room temperature whole milk is the best
- Pink food coloring: You will need some sort of food coloring to make this recipe. Freezed dried raspberries can be used as a natural alternative however it won´t give as bright color as gel food colorings. Whenever you use food coloring, try to choose a high-quality concentrated gel or powder in order to achieve bright colors. In terms of quantity, it is hard to give measurements when it comes to food coloring since it largely depends on the brand you chose to use. As a general rule, start with a small amount, then increase it gradually. If your batter before baking has a bright pink color, it should be colorful enough after baking, see my process picture later
- White vinegar+baking soda: The SECRET ingredients to make cupcakes super moist and tender even after days, the exact opposite of those sad-looking dry ones from the supermarkets
- Rosewater (optional): You can totally make the cupcakes in vanilla flavor only but why not try rosewaer? Please note that there is a huge difference between pure rosewater, pure rose essence, and all the other fake ones. Make sure to only use 100% natural pure rose products for your health and also for your desserts´ taste. There is also a difference between rosewater and rose essence. Rosewater is sold in a larger bottle usually and you have to use more of that vs. rose essence. I am using rose water in this recipe however if you have rose essence at home, that is a much more concentrated product, you only need to use a tiny amount of that to achieve the same taste. Rosewater is rather a "love it or hate it" flavor, so feel free to skip it if you don´t like it or adjust the quantity to add more or less according to your liking. If you haven´t tried it before, I really recommend starting using it in desserts, it pairs amazingly with raspberry, white chocolate, lemon, orange, lichi, etc.
Exact ingredient quantities can be found at the bottom of this page, in the RECIPE CARD.
For the Cream cheese frosting
- Mascarpone: Very rich Italian cream cheese, exceptionally smooth and easy to spread, or whip. The flavor is milky and slightly sweet
- Cream cheese: A not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting is what I recommend using on these Pink cupcakes. I always use full-fat Philadelphia when I state cream cheese in my recipes. I find it easy to cream and very pleasant in taste.
- Icing sugar / Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar is the first choice when it comes to whipping up frosting. Question I often get is whether the quantity is a typo. NO, it´s not! You do not actually need a lot of sugar when you are using mascarpone! Instead, let the mascarpone and cream cheese shine. See my tips below for whipping up the perfect cupcake frosting
- Vanilla bean paste: As per above
- Pink food coloring: As per above
3 Expert Baking tips
1. How to make moist pink cupcakes
This is a super simple base vanilla cupcake recipe that makes 6 wonderful tall bakery-style cupcakes. As mentioned in the ingredients section, I warmly recommend making this recipe with rosewater but feel free to leave it as a vanilla cupcake, if can´t access rosewater. The recipe can be doubled or halved easily.
There are 2 important considerations to bear in mind while making the cupcakes:
1. Do not overmix the cupcake batter: Key thing is not to overmix the cupcake butter. Once you cream butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer, I suggest switching to Hand whisk. Add in the egg, then mix for a few seconds, then add in dry (flour+baking powder+salt) and wet (milk+rosewater+pink food coloring) ingredients in 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry, that keeps the mixture well blended. Make sure you finish with dry ingredients. Please note that room temperature ingredients encourage proper emulsification of the cupcake batter therefore make sure that butter, egg, milk are all at room temperature.
2. Do not overfill your cupcake tin: For this cupcake recipe, I recommend filling your cupcake tin until ¾. The recipe is designed to make 6 tall cupcakes. Cupcake cases are coming in different sizes in terms of their height, try to buy the taller ones. My muffin case is 35mm / 1.3 inch in height and 65mm / 2.5inch in diameter. If you overfill your cupcake tin it will result in “mushroom-style” cupcakes! On the other hand, if you don´t fill it enough, they will rise but will stay tiny
Bake at 175 C / 347F for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean, then let them cool completely on Cooling rack before frosting.
2. How to make cream cheese frosting
This frosting is super simple, it consists of full-fat Philadephia cream cheese, mascarpone, and a small amount of icing sugar / powdered sugar whipped until fluffy, pipeable consistency. It is creamy, milky, a super stable frosting, and way more delicious and less sweet than buttercream!
Using the right ingredients at the right temperature is extremely important while making cream cheese frosting.
1. Mascarpone should be cold, use the full-fat version (41%+) 2. Cream cheese should be also cold, use the full-fat version 3. Powdered sugar has to be sifted to avoid lumps 4. do not over whip the mixture
Basically, you will have to whip the mixture with an electric hand mixer for a minute or two until it reaches a creamy, fluffy consistency, then stop. It won´t get stiffer after this point, in fact, if you overbeat it, it will get only runnier then it will break. I don´t use my stand mixer to whip this frosting since it is really easy to overwhip it.
TIP: If you do not have mascarpone, the recipe works with high-fat content (36%) heavy cream as well, use it very! cold
3. How to make marble cupcake frosting
Divide the cream cheese frosting into 3 equal quantities with the help of a Digital scale. Leave one of them as it is and color 2 of them with 2 different shades of pink. Then, place them next to each other onto a kitchen foil as per the picture below. Roll kitchen foil and place it into a piping bag fitted with Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip. Then the magic happens, as you pipe, the frosting will automatically turn into this beautiful colorful marble pattern!
Now at this point, you might need to place frosting into the fridge to chill (try piping with it onto a plate to check consistency) for 30 minutes. If frosting is stable enough and cupcakes are at room temperature, start frosting the cupcakes one by one.
Finish with some sprinkles. Store the cupcakes in the fridge in a container with the lid on.
The recipe makes 6 tall bakery-style cupcakes. My muffin case is 35mm / 1.3 inch in height and 65mm / 2.5inch in diameter. You can easily double or half it, however, you will need to adjust the ingredient quantities accordingly.
Most probably yes, you can, however, you can´t just leave out / change an ingredient without reformulating the entire recipe. When one ingredient changes, some other ingredients need to be changed too in order to keep the balance in the texture and flavor. Sadly, I am not able to provide substitutes for all sorts of allergies and diets.
This is a super moist cupcake and I have a whole section above about my 7 secrets to making moist cupcakes
The most common reasons for dry cupcakes: 1. ingredients not measured correctly eg. too much flour added to the mixture 2. inappropriate mixing technique eg. over mixed cake batter 3. over baked, meaning it dried out too much. Consider investing in an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to be able to measure the correct oven temperature and please make sure to use a Digital scale during baking, cups are not an accurate way of measuring for consistent results.
Probably the cupcake would have needed more baking time. Either, it was taken out of the oven too soon, or perhaps your oven is under heat. Consider investing in a Digital oven thermometer if you tend to struggle with the baking part of your desserts.
Another issue that can cause raw texture is measuring the ingredients inappropriately eg. adding less flour to the recipe. Consider using a Digital scale
You will want to follow my tips above about the ingredients and how to properly whip this kind of frosting. Cream cheese and mascarpone must be high-fat versions. Make sure that you stop whipping the cream as soon as the mixture is fluffy and pipeable, as a minute later it will break and become runny.
Any leftover cupcake can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. I suggest you cover the dessert so it does not absorb any smell from the fridge, or from the kitchen.
You can freeze the muffins after baking however I obviously do not recommend freezing the entire cupcake after frosting. Please note that this mascarpone based frosting cannot freeze
More cupcake recipe ideas
Strawberry & Cream cupcakes – Moist vanilla cupcakes filled with strawberry sauce and decorated with a phenomenal whipped cream frosting and strawberries. A wonderful strawberry cupcake recipe with cream. It is creamy, moist, fruity, sweet but very well balanced in sweetness with full of natural strawberry flavors.
Lemon Poppy seed cupcakes- These cupcakes are fluffy, tender with incredible aromatic lemon flavor, packed with poppy seeds, filled with tangy lemon curd, covered with an easy whipped mascarpone frosting. Recipe in here
Apple Pie cupcakes - Love marriage between Cupcake and Apple pie! Melt in your mouth cupcakes with the most delicious, aromatic apple pie filling, super moist, creamy and full of fall delicious spices you love.
Epic Tiramisu cupcakes - This tiramisu cupcake recipe is dream come true for coffee and tiramisu lovers! Coffee soaked melt in your mouth cupcakes with creamy mascarpone frosting on top dusted with cocoa powder! Cupcakes can´t really get any better than this!
Chocolate & Caramel cupcakes - This chocolate caramel cupcake recipe is moist and tender filled with sticky and buttery homemade caramel and covered with my favorite super light caramel& mascarpone cream frosting.
Pink cupcakes (VIDEO)
- 110 g Unsalted butter soft, room temperature
- 110 g Granulated sugar
- 1 Egg room temperature
- 130 g All purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 135 g Whole milk room temperature
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla
- ½ tablespoon Rose water optional. adjust quantity according to your taste
- ½ teaspoon White vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- Pink food coloring high quality concentrated gel, or powder
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 120 g Mascarpone
- 65 g Icing sugar sifted
- 226 g Cream cheese
- Pink food coloring
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Heat oven to 175 C / 347°F
- With an Electric hand mixer beat room temperature soft butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy then beat the egg in. Do not overbeat
- Mix pink food coloring and vanilla into room temperature milk, then mix in rosewater (optional)
- Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together, this is the “dry ingredients”, while the room the milk mixture is your "wet ingredient"
- Start adding the dry and wet ingredients into the cupcake batter in the following 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry. Fold with a Rubber spatula fold each time. Finish with dry ingredients
- Mix vinegar and baking soda together in a small bowl, it will be super bubbly. Immediately fold the mixture into the cupcake batter. This is the secret ingredient to keep the cupcakes soft for days without the taste of vinegar of course!
- Spoon or Pipe the mixture into Cupcake pan till approx. ¾. This recipe makes 6 large cupcakes
- Bake for 25 min or until a skewer inserted comes out clean then let them cool on Cooling rack
Cream cheese frosting
- For the frosting beat mascarpone, cream cheese, and powder sugar until smooth and fluffy, about one or two minutes with Electric hand mixer. Once it has reached the right consistency, do not overbeat as it can become runny.
- Divide the frosting into 3 equal quantities. Leave one of them as it is and color 2 of them with 2 different shades of pink.
- Place the 3 different colors next to each other onto a kitchen foil as per the picture. Roll kitchen foil and place it into a piping bag fitted with Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip
- Pipe frosting on top one by one
- Store the cupcakes in fridge
- Measure your ingredients with a Digital scale for accuracy
- All ingredients for the cupcake must be at room temperature to properly emulsify: eggs, milk, etc.
- Use high-quality concentrated gel food coloring (or powder, if you can access it). Liquid food coloring tends to fade during baking
- Do not skip the white vinegar+baking soda "secret ingredient":)
- For frosting make sure you use high-fat content cream cheese and mascarpone. Low fat dairy products won´t whip up properly
- Make sure you read my Expert tips section above to maximize your success. A short recipe alone is not able to cover all the necessary details, and science behind baking.
- While whipping the cream cheese frosting, pay very close attention to the consistency and stop whipping immediately after it gets fluffy. Overbeating would result in breaking the cream and instead of becoming stiffer, in fact, it will get runnier
- Never frost warm cupcakes, make sure they are chilled to room temperature
- If you have never used a piping bag and piping nozzle before, it is worth making a cheaper buttercream and practicing before