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Sugar and Spice Cupcakes

When you need festive cupcakes for a celebration, this recipe for sugar and spice cupcakes brings just the right mixture of moisture, sweetness, & spice.

Sugar and Spice Cupcakes

I’m in a season of challenging myself to learn new things. Last summer, I decided that I was going to embark on the journey of sourdough. I got a dried sourdough starter and attempted to rehydrate it and have my own starter and it was just awful. It was a failure. I could not achieve the hydration I needed in that sourdough to keep it going. 

So…I decided to make my own starter, which was easier than I expected, and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve made multiple loaves of bread at this point, trying different recipes. I’ve made sourdough bagels, coffee cake, and cinnamon rolls. My sourdough game is thriving and I can’t be stopped. 

Sugar and Spice Cupcakes with ingredients

But I’m not stopping there, oh no! I’ve long been displeased with my frosting attempts on cakes and cupcakes. It’s high time I figure this thing out and the only way to do that is to practice. 

Hello, sugar and spice cupcakes! This recipe originally appeared ten years ago! I originally made these to celebrate Christian’s first birthday (so, yeah, he’s 11 now…!). I wanted to make him a smash cake using little cans from tuna fish – needless to say that didn’t go well and I had to come up with a plan B. That being said, I ended up making him a cute little smash cake and these cupcakes and they went over really well (if memory serves). 

Sugar and Spice Cupcakes on a cooling rack

I’ve been working here and there for the last few years to update some old recipes from the blog and it was time for these cupcakes to get a facelift. The pictures were never bad, but Josh’s photography has really matured (Editor’s note: at least when it comes to taking pictures of, you know, things that don’t move or have to smile…), and we’re really going for consistent, Pinterest-friendly posts. This also gave me another opportunity to work on my cupcake frosting skills – I need to keep working on it, but I am getting better, and I’m going to keep on working on it until I feel like I can do it with ease. 

I hope you’re ready…this blog has the potential to either become a strictly sourdough blog or a cupcake blog! Haha!

Sugar and Spice Cupcakes cut in half

These cupcakes are kind of perfect because I think a lot of people like the idea of a cupcake until they bite into it and get an instant cavity from all of the sugar. Here, we’re bringing sugar and spice together into one perfect marriage. The cupcake has some sweetness from the cake mix and pudding mix, of course, but that is tempered with the earthiness of the allspice and cinnamon. It just tones down the sweetness enough for a fun complexity of flavor. And of course, frosting is usually sweet – and this is a buttercream frosting so there is a fair amount of powdered sugar in it – however, the spices balance that perfectly. It is honest-to-goodness frosting that will not make you feel like you need to head to the dentist immediately! 

Sugar and Spice Cupcakes from above

When I originally made these cupcakes, they were winter-themed because my son was born just a few days before Christmas. This time, I’ve turned these cuties into little Valentine’s Day cuties! Of course, you could bake these for any occasion that you wanted to. Winter was a very fun theme. Christmas would be appropriate. Easter would be adorable. Or just make them because they’re delicious and you’re craving a cupcake! How can you really go wrong? 

Sugar and Spice Cupcakes close up

I will say that the kiddos will love these, though. Ruby and I baked these together and then we brought them to our church’s “Valentines-themed” family fun night, and they were a hit! So, yeah, these would be great to bake with your kids or for your kids for Valentine’s Day

Sugar and Spice Cupcakes

Sugar and Spice Cupcakes

Yield: 22 - 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

When you need festive cupcakes for a special celebration, this sugar and spice cupcake recipe brings just the right mixture of moisture, sweetness, and spice.



  • 1 box (15.25 oz) Betty Crocker Yellow Cake mix
  • 1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 tbsp allspice
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Spice Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 lbs (approx 5 3/4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together all ingredients. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed until well combined.
  4. Distribute the batter between the paper liners, about 2-3 tbsp of batter per liner.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes.
  6. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from tins and allow to cool completely.
  8. Frost cupcakes (recipe follows) and garnish with sparkling sugar.

Spice Buttercream Frosting

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium to high speed for six minutes.
  2. Turn mixer to low speed, gradually adding powdered sugar, until completely mixed in.
  3. Add pumpkin pie spice and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Gradually add in heavy cream and mix until combined.
  5. Shut off mixer and check for taste and texture.
  6. Return mixer to medium high speed and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  7. If the mixture is too thick, add a teaspoon of heavy cream at a time until you have achieved the desired consistency.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 194Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 241mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information isn't always accurate.


Monday 23rd of December 2013

they look lovely!

Chels/Catz in the Kitchen

Monday 23rd of December 2013

Thanks, Dina!

Karen @ The Food Charlatan

Wednesday 18th of December 2013

Nooo! I'm so sad it didn't work! I've led you astray Chels. Well I'm glad the cupcakes worked out at least, they are super cute!! I hope the party was fun and that Christian loved it. I will have to keep this in mind for next time...ixnay on the tuna.

Chels/Catz in the Kitchen

Friday 20th of December 2013

Lol! I'm sure it would of worked fine with the cans of chicken, just not a tuna can. Alls well that ends well, right?

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