The other day it was one of my best friends birthday, and I was super excited to make some cupcakes for her! She works at Starbucks and I thought I would make some adorable Starbucks themed cupcakes. We also recently took a trip to Seattle and of course hit up Starbucks every single day!

Pike Place Market
Taylor + Randi at Starbucks
Pike Street

I made a basic vegan yellow cupcake, filled them with a delicious caramel sauce, and topped them off with a swiss meringue buttercream. Of course if you make these, you’ll have to discreetly steal some supplies from Starbucks….hehehe!

Vegan Yellow Cupcakes (adapted from here)

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinager
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt (increase to 1/2 tsp if using oil instead of vinegar)
  • 1/2 non-hydrogenated margarine, softenened, or 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp espresso (I used instant)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Whisk the almond milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside for a few minutes to get good and curdled. If using margarine: Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and mix. In a separate large bowl, use a handheld mixer at medium speed to cream the margarine and sugar for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. (Don’t beat past 2 minutes.) Beat in the espresso and vanilla, then alternate beating in the almond milk mixture and dry ingredients, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times.

If using oil: Beat together the almond milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla, and other extracts, if using, in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until no large lumps remain.

Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before frosting.

Caramel Sauce (adapted from here)

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 10-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cut butter into evenly sized cubes and melt over low heat in large 3-4 quart saucepan.
Once butter is fully melted, add brown sugar, being careful to avoid the sides of the pan. If any stray sugar crystals fall onto side of pan, carefully brush off with a wet pastry brush.
Once butter and sugar are fully combined, add corn syrup and condensed milk. Clip on candy thermometer to side of pan.
Cook mixture on low heat (still continually stirring) for about a minute or two. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook/ stir until mixture reaches 225 degrees. Once the mixture is removed from heat, stir in vanilla extract.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

3/4 cup sugar
4 egg whites
3 sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Heat sugar, egg whites, and salt in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisking until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Return bowl to mixer, and whisk, gradually increasing speed from low to medium-high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Switch to a paddle attachment and beat until air bubbles are gone, 2 to 3 minutes more.

  • Bob

    I did not steal those straws! I asked permission.

  • What excellent looking cupcakes & so festive & special too! 😉
    Yummie & delightful too! 😉

  • I’m not a big fan of Starbucks…but those cupcakes are absolutely the cutest thing. SOO creative of you 🙂

  • Sure you did Dad…..!!

    Thank you Sophie!

    Thanks Joyti! They were fun to make 🙂

  • I love these. I don’t visit Starbucks unless it’s the original in Pikes Place market where you were. Awesome idea.

  • Dear Koko,

    I received your Christmas card this last Wednesday & it is a beautiful one!
    Thanks so much! 🙂