How To Make Cupcakes Just Like Molly's, aka The Most Delicious Bakery In The World

Last week I went to Molly's Cupcakes in Chicago (they also have locations in NYC and Iowa City). I was instantly hooked, and named it my new favorite cupcake spot in the city. Knowing I would be spending the next month in Cleveland, where they do not have a location, I became obsessed with figuring out the secret recipe behind Molly's cupcakes... and guys? I think I came close.

My first thought when I took a bite into this cupcake was how eerily familiar the center cake batter tasted. I knew I hadn't tried the cupcakes before, and I wasn't sure why it tasted so familiar. Then it hit me — it tasted exactly like boxed funfetti cake mix sans eggs and sprinkles! That's when I decided I needed to figure out the recipe for myself.

This recipe is truly catered to those of you who don't professionally bake, and just want to eat a great cupcake. I even went as far as using a turkey baster to remove the center of the cupcake instead of using one of those fancy gadgets that do it for you. Now, if you have one of those tools or want to go buy one, by all means, go for it! For the rest of us who are too lazy and want a cupcake NOW, this recipe is ready for ya.

A few boxes of cake mix and tons of flour and sugar later, I now present to you, what I think, tastes exactly like a Molly's Cupcake.


For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup funfetti cake mix
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Sprinkles — tons of them!

For filling:

  • 2 cups funfetti cake mix, sifted so that no sprinkles are used
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup & 2 tbsp. oil
  • 3/4 stick butter

For frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Blue food coloring
  • Sprinkles, to top


  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Cupcake liners
  • 2 cupcake trays
  • Electric mixer (handheld mixers are optional and work great too)
  • Turkey baster
  • Frosting bag
  • Round frosting tip (I used 12 Wilton)
  • Sifter


1. Preheat oven to 345 F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Line a cupcake tray with liners. Fill liners 3/4 full with batter.

3. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

4. While the cupcakes are baking, make the filling. First, sift the boxed cake mix over the large mixing bowl to eliminate the sprinkles. Combine all filling ingredients in another large mixing bowl until smooth. Set aside.

5. After cupcakes have been removed from the oven, place them in the fridge for 10 minutes, or until completely cooled.

6. In an electric mixer, combine butter and salt. Mix on medium speed until fluffy. Sift in powdered sugar one cup at a time, and continue beating on medium speed.

7. Add vanilla, heavy whipping cream, and food coloring to frosting, and mix on high until fluffy, about four to five minutes.

8. Remove the suction top from the turkey baster, and use that end with the wider hole to cut the inside out of cupcakes. Place the baster in the center of the cupcake, twist, and pull the inside of the cupcake out.

9. Place filling inside each cupcake. Put frosting inside a bag, and top each cupcake with frosting and sprinkles.

10. Enjoy!

Images: Public Lives, Secret Recipes