Birthday Cupcakes

Birthdays during social distancing can be… challenging. But we copied the idea of a friend and did our best yesterday, going around and waving to his friends from our neighbor’s golf cart, all at a safe distance. He loved getting to see his friends at a distance, but not running out for hugs was hard. But we ended the night with crawfish and cupcakes — and promised him the biggest swimming party ever when all of this is over!

When I was growing up, there was only one kind of birthday cake at my house: chocolate, with chocolate icing. My mom is still famous for Kay’s chocolate cake. But this year, William was having none of it. He wanted yellow cake with blue icing, so we complied.

Based on Ina Garten’s “Flower Cupcakes,” but with different icing because some people in this family don’t like cream cheese icing (although I promise I’m trying to change this opinion).

*NOTE: This truly makes enough cupcakes for a party — 36 generous cupcakes. If you’re hosting a smaller gathering, cut this in half!

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 1/4 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the icing:

  • 3 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk (or half and half, if you’re out of milk)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 pinch (1/4 tsp) salt (if you’re using unsalted butter)


  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin cups with your favorite soccer-themed liners.
  • Make the cake:
  • Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment on high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, 2 at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Then beat an additional 4-5 minutes until very fluffy. Then add vanilla and sour cream and beat.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and soda.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Fill the cupcake liners with the batter until 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature
  • Make the icing:
  • Mix butter, egg yolk, milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Tint to the desired color. Beat well, until fluffy. Pipe or spread the icing generously onto the cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

Note: I recommend a cookie scoop for cookies and these cupcakes… and the birthday boy highly recommends the cupcake “sandwich” because he likes his icing between the two halves!


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