Butter Cupcakes (or small cakes)



By Cat, July 2009 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

See also: 1. Cakes & Tortes Menu; 2. Frostings & Fillings Menu

I felt inspired by a collection of cupcake recipes in the Daily Inter Lake newspaper, June 10, 2009, to adapt them to my altered ingredients, including using stevia instead of sugar, and soaked whole grain flour instead of white flour, and barley flour instead of cake flour.  Cupcakes are really a nice treat for me, because they are a single serving, and easy to take with me to lunch at a local deli.  And I don’t have to make very many in a batch, so they won’t go bad before I can eat them (at one a day).

Butter Cupcake is a basic white cake rich with butter, so rich that I don’t feel the need to frost them.

Butter Cupcakes

What can I say but mmmm.  The mere idea has my mouth watering.  I’ve halved the original recipe (by Noelle Carter of the Los Angeles Times), to make only 10 cupcakes, and made other adaptations according to my dietary preferences, as mentioned above.

This recipe is ideal for a presoak method (if using whole grain pastry flour and barley flour), because the sour cream can be used for soaking the whole grain flour.

The original recipe doesn’t give oven temperature, but I will assume 350, which is temperature for chocolate cupcakes from same author.  The original (before halving) sifts together 1 ½ cups white flour, 1 cup cake flour, ¾ tsp each baking powder and salt, ½ tsp soda.  ¾ cup butter is creamed with 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy, then 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks are incorporated one at a time until combined, adding vanilla with last yolk.  Then flour mixture is added to egg mixture alternately with sour cream until thoroughly combined, without overbeating, to avoid flattening the eggs.  Then baked as directed.  I will keep the original recipe here until I’m satisfied with the testing of my version.


  • large bowl
  • bakers parchment or waxed paper
  • medium bowl
  • hand mixer or wooden spoon
  • stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, and bowl
  • cup cake pans and liners for 10 cakes
  • rack for cooling

Half Recipe Version


  • ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ cup barley flour *
  • ⅓ cup sour cream, room temp.

* NOTE:  if you can get malted barley flour, the method is different, since it is already sprouted.  Add it with the sifted white flour in the ‘next day’ steps, rather than soaking overnight with whole wheat flour.  Also use about a third of the sour cream for the soak, and mix in the remaining sour cream between the batches of egg mixture and sifted flour mixture.

  1. Combine whole wheat and barley flours and stir with a fork to combine.  Stir in sour cream until forms a soft ball.
  2. Press a sheet of oiled bakers parchment (or waxed paper) against the dough’s entire surface, making sure it is covered so that it won’t dry out.  Let rest on counter overnight.

Next day: finish cakes

  • ¾ cup unbleached white flour, unbleached cake flour, or substitutes (see Wheat, about for more on cake flour substitutes)
  • ½ tsp baking powder (aluminum-free)
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup Rapadura sugar (or ¼ tsp stevia extract powder plus ½ Tbsp honey)
  • ⅜ tsp unrefined sea salt
  • ⅜ cup (¾ stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 eggs, room temp
  • 1 egg yolk, room temp
  • 1 tsp Organic vanilla extract
  1. Transfer presoak mixture to bowl of stand mixer.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Place cupcake liners into cupcake pans, for 10 cakes.
  3. Measure white flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and stevia (if using) into sifter; set aside.
  4. Using hand mixer (or wooden spoon), combine butter and honey (or sugar, if using) in medium bowl and cream until the mixture is light and airy, about 5 minutes if using mixer.  Scrape sides of bowl as needed for even mixing.
  5. Add whole egg and egg yolk, one at a time, mixing well until fully incorporated.  Mix in vanilla with last addition.
  6. Add ⅓ of the egg mixture to batter in stand mixer, mixing to combine, then sift ⅓ of flour mixture over and mix again, to combine.  Repeat until all the flour and egg mixtures have been used.
  7. Evenly spoon batter into 10 cupcake liners, filling each liner ⅔ – ¾ full.
  8. Bake, one pan at a time, in center of oven, until cupcakes have risen and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 – 20 minutes.  Rotate pan at about halfway mark for even baking.
  9. Remove pan to a rack to cool before frosting the cupcakes.  Best eaten same day they are made.


  1. Daily Inter Lake, June 10, 2009 issue; and Los Angeles times, June 1, 2009 recipe by by Noelle Carter (latimes.com/food/la-fo-cupcakerec3a-2009jun03-story.html. See latimes.com/food/la-fo-cupcake-recipes-sg-storygallery.html for more cupcake and frosting recipes in that collection.

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