How to make 1 cupcake

Picking out a single dessert to indulge in (alone or with a friend!) at a bakery almost has a romantic allure to it. Baking a batch of cupcakes or brownies at home often seems like a fun idea, but sitting alone in the kitchen with a half eaten pan of brownies and a stomach ache is not exactly my idea of a good time. Besides, desserts always taste better when you savor them, knowing that you only get one!
I decided to combine my love for baking with this kind of one-time indulgence: I give you the single serving cupcake recipe!

One Delicious Vanilla Cupcake!
1 tbsp Earth Balance (or butter), softened
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp almond milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
a dash of salt

-Combine the Earth Balance and sugar until well incorporated
-Add 2 tbsp of the almond milk (make sure the milk is at room temp or warmed up to prevent clumping and separation in the butter)
-Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to the butter mixture
-Add the remaining milk and vanilla and mix until incorporated

*Some toaster ovens work really well for baking small batches evenly and quickly without having to heat up the conventional oven and waste energy. I have tested this recipe in a few toaster ovens, and some work well while others don't- trial and error!

*I also hear that single serving dessert recipes can often be baked in the microwave, but I personally do not prefer the texture- it can sometimes come out rubbery.

-Bake at 350-375º F for 15-20 minutes

Single Serving Frosting
1/4 c powdered sugar
1 tsp pure maple syrup
a few slivers of Earth Balance (or butter - room temp or softened works best)
a tiny splash of almond milk
a tiny splash of vanilla (optional)

-Combine the Earth Balance, maple syrup, and vanilla
-Add the powdered sugar and combine
-Add almond milk for desired consistency

*A few notes
This cupcake recipe makes one cupcake of the "jumbo" breed, or as I have recently learned, a "Texas muffin". I have been attempting to create a single cupcake recipe every here and there for a while now, and this recipe has produced the best result as well as one of the best vanilla cupcake recipes I've ever made in general! For being such a small recipe, the amount of ingredients create a perfect balance between vanilla flavor and texture- not too airy, not too dense, and perfectly moist! ...I really wish there were a better word than moist.
I also am planning/working on more single serving recipes because this one was so much fun, so look forward to them!

Another single cupcake recipe for a creme fraiche cupcake


Alexa @ Chez Le Petit Four 7/13/11, 4:39 AM  

I am so pleased I stumbled across this recipe. It is exactly what I needed...I am going to bake one to cheer up my friend who love cakes but is very health conscious so giving her just one will be much better than a whole batch. Please do keep up the single serving recipe making, it's a great idea. I have made a few attempts myself but I don't think I know enough about ratios of ingredients and things yet to really make a good go of it. Have you come across this book? It;s not single servings but small batches, which is also very useful. Thank you for such a pretty recipe, I am going to go try it now :)

Kate♥ 8/27/11, 10:45 AM  

Just made this! It turned out to fit into three regular cupcake papers, but I ate them all anyway, haha. They were delicious!
Thanks for this recipe, it's a great late night snack :D

EJ2 9/3/11, 11:42 AM  

Thanks for posting this! I am going to try it!

Anonymous 11/27/11, 6:04 PM  

I'd been looking for one serving recipes for a while...and failed epically. When I saw this one cupcake recipe...I was soooo HAPPY!!

Thank you so much! My cupcake is already in the oven and I am making my icing right now!!

It's going to taste awesome!!

Anonymous 12/10/11, 1:24 AM  

I really enjoyed your one cupcake recipe! I hope you will do more of this one cupcake recipe but with different flavors in the future. =]

Anonymous 12/15/11, 7:19 PM  

I made this last night and it was AWESOME! It actually made 2 cupcakes in my smaller pan and was just right to share with my boyfriend, who snarled about giving up sugar before I made them. I made him try one tiny bite and after he did I asked him to give it back to me. He said, "hold on, one more bite!" and then put the rest of the cupcake in his mouth and ate it all up! It was hilarious and will be one of my favorite cupcake memories for years to come. Thank you for all your hard work, YUM! S.H.

Anonymous 1/2/12, 9:58 PM  

can you subsitute 2% milk for almond milk?

great recipe! i love it!

Anonymous 1/11/12, 2:06 PM  

THIS is awesome! I usually bake my friends things for birthdays, but baking a whole batch of cupcakes is Time consuming and cumbersome to bring into school. I forgot my friends birthday today :3 so this is perfect! It took way less time and was way easier to clean after than a whole batch. I cooked it in a ramekin And it all fit. Great idea

Sam 1/11/12, 6:58 PM  

Oh my goodness. I made this cupcake and mine came out a little undercooked and my frosting was like glaze, but it was probably one of the yummiest cupcakes I've ever made. I have to do more of these.

Anonymous 1/17/12, 2:47 PM  

delicious, however, not to be rude but find a cupcake recipe you like that makes 6 then divide all the amounts by 6, just saying.

Anonymous 1/18/12, 10:04 PM  

I made a batch of four and added an egg. they came out super light and fluffy!

Stephanie Orentas 1/21/12, 8:47 PM  


Anonymous 2/11/12, 7:57 PM  

thank you my mum was so pleased on her birthday i'm ten years old

Anonymous 2/12/12, 12:13 AM  

It's a couple days before Valentine's Day and a cupcake just seemed like the perfect way to cheer myself up! thanks for this recipe and for making me appreciate singledom with it's gooey sweetness!

Anonymous 2/13/12, 1:56 PM  

Where can i find this recipe for more than one cupcake?

sweet road 2/13/12, 2:05 PM  

@Anonymous I made this recipe based on a lot of trial and error, so it's been pretty much designed for one cupcake. If you really feel like brushing up on your math skills you could probably just multiple the measurements in the recipe to make a bigger batch!

Anonymous 2/14/12, 4:15 AM  

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I just baked this so my son can have his own "special" cupcake at his class party today. I made it gluten-free with Arrowhead Mills all purpose baking mix (add 1 tsp extra) and it came out perfect! It makes 2 regular sized cupcakes. You have just made this dairy/gluten-free mom very happy!

korcitis 2/26/12, 5:48 AM  

I love this recipe!! Just made one!!

Anonymous 3/7/12, 4:26 PM  

I just tried making these... I don't know if I did something wrong, but they did NOT work :( I used regular milk instead of almond, and I did use butter, but it didn't work! It turned out flat and rubbery and semi-raw (even though I cooked it far longer than it said). Oh well. Good job for coming up with this recipe though!

sweet road 3/7/12, 8:38 PM  

@Anonymous Oh no! I'm so sorry it didn't work for you. This may have happened for a few reasons...
One could be that the butter and sugar were not thoroughly mixed. The consistency should be light and fluffy - even though it is a small batch recipe it helps to use a handheld mixer in a small mixing bowl.

Another factor may have been the flour - what kind did you use? Certain types of flour have a higher gluten content which can give you a rubbery texture. Even though this recipe doesn't list it, try using cake flour, which has the lowest gluten and protein content of your standard baking flours.

Ok here's where it can be tricky... though you should beat the sugar and butter together, a rubbery cake texture almost always comes from over mixing the batter, meaning once the flour and remaining ingredients are added. A good way to avoid this is to gently fold in the dry ingredients until just blended with the wet ingredients.

Also, as I have learned from experimenting with small batch recipes, if you are baking in the toaster oven and your toaster oven doesn't heat evenly the texture can come out totally weird. There is really no way to tell if your toaster oven is good for baking other than trial and error.

One more tip! Last one, I promise! old baking powder or baking soda can cause a rubbery texture in cakes and breads. Though this recipe only uses baking powder, it is a good idea to check the expiration date.

I hope that helps, better luck next time!

Cie 3/19/12, 8:31 PM  

Came in super handy today! My friend was begging for a cupcake and I didn't want to make a whole batch and have them sticking around for days. Thank you so much for sharing!!

Anonymous 4/15/12, 1:22 AM  

@AnonymousIf only it were that easy, to take a recipe and divide it by whatever the amount it makes is. Doesn't quite work that way. Thanks for sharing, great recipe!!!

rebecca 4/23/12, 8:16 PM  

omg! this is absolutely amazing!! i loved this recipe & i will definetley make it again :) i improvised a crea, cheese/whipped cream/ honey frosting & it was just delightful!!

Anonymous 4/26/12, 11:19 AM  

I've been looking for a recipe for my.preschoolers to make from scratch and this recipe seems perfect because each one able to.make their own from start to finish. Is it okay to use regular butter, and milk? I would hate for them to make disappointed with the results

sweet road 4/26/12, 11:41 AM  

@Anonymous I'm sure it will work out, I think I may have tried it with butter once and I have no recollection of ever making this cupcake and having it turn out badly... the texture may be slightly different since earth balance has no dairy, but I would test it out, it's a quick recipe!

Anonymous 5/23/12, 6:46 PM  

Tried it, loved it! Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks a bunch!

Amanda 5/27/12, 10:44 PM  

Thanks for this!
I had to cook mine longer also, but I think that's because I used a ramekin wider than my cupcake paper so it came out kind of wide and flat.. but the texture was really moist! The taste was a tad bland, a bit more like a pancake than a cupcake, but maybe that's also because the frosting had maple syrup. Perhaps adding a bit of cinnamon or a couple chocolate chips is a good idea!

[Reply] 6/16/12, 11:16 AM  

My mom made me one of these for my birthday yesterday, and it was AWESOME! I asked her to make me another one for next week for my son's birthday, so I won't be tempted to mack on his crazy birthday cake all day! Great job, thank you for sharing!

Anonymous 6/18/12, 2:37 AM  

My mom got me some icing tips that are special just for cupcakes and I had made a cake earlier in the week and had some icing left over and wanted to test the tips out.. I only wanted one cupcake so I searched it on google and came across this. I tried it out and the little cupcake turned out perfect. Also one of the tips is for putting filling in cupcakes soo... I put chocolate pudding filling in it! ( if you want a cake filling or cupcake filling that's quick and easy: take instant pudding and put less milk or water that they ask for[to make it thicker]it works great)

Anonymous 6/26/12, 3:29 PM  

what if you dont have almound milk?? can you use just regular milk?

Créatrice de bijoux et accessoires de mode 6/27/12, 3:43 AM  

I try this afternoon... A present for a friend :D

Anonymous 6/27/12, 3:43 PM  

just made one today and it's amazing! One of the best cupcake recipes I've ever tried! :)

sweet road 6/27/12, 7:10 PM  

@Anonymous I have since used regular milk when I am out of almond milk and it works fine!

Anonymous 7/17/12, 2:45 PM  

:( was really looking forward to this treat, but sadly, it turned out gummy and tasteless...
maybe i'll try it again someday.

sweet road 7/18/12, 11:49 AM  

@Anonymous If it came out gummy it was probably because you over-mixed the batter after adding the flour. It can be easy to do that :(

As far as tasteless... I'm so sorry! It is a vanilla cupcake so it's not supposed to be over the top. Maybe try to add a bit more vanilla.

Anonymous 7/31/12, 1:38 AM  

I loved these! I added a banana in a mashed it up, and it was a vanilla banana cupcake, my favorite. The consistency was perfect.

Anonymous 8/9/12, 10:48 AM  

do you have to use almond milk or can you use regular 2% milk?

[Reply] 8/11/12, 7:30 PM  

I loved this! Made a few adjustments that turned out well:

-added a drop of almond extract to the frosting (Mmm...)
-used half "white whole wheat" flour
-substituted 1 Tbsp of sugar in the batter with 3/4 Tbsp of honey

Gigi Stylist 10/8/12, 4:40 PM  

Any advice on how to make a full batch? LOVE the taste of the cupcake!

sweet road 10/8/12, 4:49 PM  

@Gigi Stylist Sorry Gigi, I had to experiment time after time after time to come up with this one-cupcake recipe. Unfortunately it's designed to be a single recipe. There are a lot of really great classic vanilla cupcake recipes out there though! I personally love the Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcakes (just google the recipe) but the texture and taste are a bit different. Still delicious though!

sweet road 10/8/12, 4:51 PM  

@AshleyShell@gmail.comAshley these changes sound awesome! I love it when people experiment and throw some spontaneity into baking and cooking. The almond extract sounds especially tasty.

Nicolette/Nikki/Nik/N 11/25/12, 1:45 PM  

In the oven now!! It was my bestie's B-day yesterday and she is stopping by today to pick up her gift before heading back to Vancouver, and I've seen these single serve cupcake recipes around Blog-land, so I went to go find one to use and landed myself here.
I did bring the milk to room temp, but it still didn't blend very nicely.... but I'm hoping it doesn't matter. I added a drop of red food coloring to make it pink.

The icing looks so nice and smooth and smells fantastic with the maple syrup and vanilla (I used pure double strength Tahitian Vanilla, which has a subtle cherry-flavor undertone. I can't wait to give it to her!!!

Thanx a bunch for this recipe!!

Oh, and for the reference, I used butter and a mixture of almond and cow's milk.... needs about 2 more minutes in the oven, but looking good so far!!

victoria 12/24/12, 8:41 PM  

it was amazing recipie. i made for my little brother who is 8 and he wanted to give it to santa. instead of cookies he wanted to do something different so we made this i am 10 and don't know many single cupcake recipies. thanks so much! :)

Kyra (scribblesandsprinkles) 1/9/13, 8:24 PM  

I have this obsession for single serving recipes. Soooo cute and convenient! :D

Anonymous 3/9/13, 3:06 PM  

mine turned out greasy and had lots of air pockets! waaah! ):

Anonymous 4/14/13, 1:15 AM  

This cupcake turned out very good! I used maple extract in my frosting. . . it turned it brown, but it was good! I topped it with slivered almonds. . . .soooo good! Do you know how many calories this might be? Thanks!!


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