Mini cupcakes recipe

(152 ratings)

Make our mini cupcakes with just five ingredients and top with buttercream if you like or enjoy them plain.

Mini cupcakes
(Image credit: Future)
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories230 Kcal12%
Fat14.3 g20%
Saturated Fat8.9 g45%
Sugars20.6 g23%
Protein1.7 g3%
Carbohydrates23.8 g9%

These mini cupcakes take under an hour to bake and are 230 calories per cupcake. 

If you love our cupcake recipe but would like something bitesize and cute, these mini cupcakes are perfect. We’ve kept the cake batter simple with the addition of a little lemon zest and juice to keep the cakes moist and flavoursome but you can omit if you prefer. 


  • 150g (5oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g (5oz) golden caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 150g (5oz) self-raising flour
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

For the mascarpone buttercream:

  • 250g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g (1lb) icing sugar, sieved
  • 250g tub mascarpone cheese
  • Few drops of rose water (optional)
  • Pink and purple paste food colouring (optional)
  • Crystallised rose petals and violets, to decorate (optional)




  • Set the oven to 190C (170C fan, Gas 5). Line three 12-hole mini muffin trays with paper cases.
  • In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs then fold in the flour and lemon zest and juice. Gently mix until smooth.
  • Divide the mixture between the paper cases and bake in the centre of the oven for 10-15 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch in the centre. Take out to cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the buttercream, whizz the butter in a food processor until smooth, slowly add the icing sugar, rose water, if using, and mascarpone. Blitz until just smooth.
  • If you would like to colour your icing, divide the icing according to how many colours you would like. Add food colouring until the desired colour is achieved. Transfer to piping bags fitted with star nozzles.
  • Pipe large swirls of the buttercream on top of the cooled cupcakes. Finish with crystallised roses and violets, if using.

Top tips for making mini cupcakes

You can bake the cupcakes in batches if you don’t have three 12-hole trays. The rose flavouring is optional and could be swapped for vanilla or almond extract or omit completely if you like. For more tips that will help you achieve perfect mini cupcakes, read our tips below. 

How much batter should you put in a mini cupcake?

As a general rule when making any cupcakes we would recommend filling the case no more than two thirds full, ideally around half. This gives the cupcake room to rise and bake and still leaves room for icing or frosting on top. 

How long do you bake mini cupcakes for?

This mini cupcake recipe recommends baking the cakes for around 10 - 15 minutes. We recommend not opening the door for the first 6-8 minutes as unless the mini cupcakes are super tiny they definitely won’t have cooked through and opening the door too early will make them collapse. If your oven has a glass front you should be able to see if they have risen.

What is mascarpone frosting made of?

Our recipe combines butter, icing sugar and mascarpone for a rich, thick frosting. If you prefer, you can make a traditional buttercream icing. The mascarpone adds a delicious flavour but the cupcakes will need to be kept in the fridge.

The rose water is optional and adds a delicate floral flavour. Some people often associate it with the flavour of Turkish Delight. Swap for lemon juice to compliment the flavour of the cake sponge if you like. 

For this recipe you need a mini cupcake tin that will fit the mini cases in and provide support to the cake batter while it bakes in the oven. 

Wilton Muffin and Cupcake Tin 12 Holes - View at Amazon 

Wilton Muffin and Cupcake Tin 12 Holes - View at Amazon 

This mini cupcake tin has a non-stick coating so if you spill any batter onto the tray it will be easy to clean off. The handles make it easy to put in and take out of the oven and the tin can be washed in the dishwasher if you like. 

If you like, consider making our vanilla cupcake recipe and baking it as mini treats. You could do the same with our chocolate cupcakes recipe and even these adorable rainbow cupcakes. 

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 11 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies