Old Bay Buttercream Cupcakes are such a Maryland dessert. Vanilla cupcakes have a hint of Old Bay seasoning baked in and are topped with an Old Bay spiced buttercream frosting.
There's a saying that if you are from Maryland, you put Old Bay seasoning on everything. To be honest, it's pretty accurate and these cupcakes are the absolute definition of that. I recently saw a recipe for a Smith Island cake, which is our state cake, but instead of the classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting, it was a vanilla cake with Old Bay buttercream.
How could I not make that? These cupcakes called to me deep down in my Maryland soul!
What are Old Bay Buttercream cupcakes?
Old Bay Buttercream Cupcakes are the most Maryland recipe I think I've ever made. They would be most similar to a spiced cake recipe, just with a Maryland twist. These delicious sweet and salty cupcakes start with a basic vanilla cupcake base, then some Old Bay seasoning is added in. Then these cupcakes are topped with a classic buttercream flavored with Old Bay seasoning.
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- Old Bay seasoning
- powdered sugar
First, preheat your oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with liners.
Then, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the all purpose flour, baking powder, salt and Old Bay seasoning. Set aside.
Next, beat the butter. Add the butter to a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Then add in the sugar and beat for another minute. Follow that up with adding in the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined, followed by the vanilla.
Then, complete the batter. Add in half of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk, then repeat. Divide the batter into the prepared cupcake pan filling ⅔ of the way full.
After that, bake those cupcakes! Bake the cupcakes for 20-22 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the Old Bay buttercream frosting. Add butter to a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the Old Bay, followed by the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time until fully combined. If needed, add in a splash of milk to thin out the frosting.
Finally, decorate the cupcakes. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
Substitutions and Cupcake Storage
- Buttermilk: you can make your own buttermilk by adding ½ teaspoon of vinegar to milk. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Store cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Cupcakes can be baked, cooled completely, then wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. I do not recommend freezing cupcakes that have frosting.
- Buttercream will keep for about a week in an airtight container in the fridge.
If you'd like to try this cupcake before making them on your own, there is a bakery located in Bel Air, Maryland that makes a similar version. Their cupcake is a vanilla base topped with a caramel buttercream that has a Old Bay salted caramel drizzle. It's not a standard cupcake for them, so you'd need to call ahead to make sure it's on the menu.
Sweet and Salty Cupcakes
So what does an Old Bay Buttercream cupcake taste like? Well, it kind of tastes like spice cake, if the spices in the cake were seafood seasoning. I thought it was different but delicious. (This may be because as a lifelong Maryland resident, I likely have Old Bay in my veins.) My husband, who hails from PA, was absolutely not impressed.
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Old Bay Buttercream Cupcakes
- cupcake pan
- piping bag
- large piping tip
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoon unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk
Old Bay Buttercream
- 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 splash milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Old Bay seasoning and salt. Set aside.1 ¼ cup all purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth, about 2 minutes. Then add in sugar and beat for another 2 minutes.8 tablespoon unsalted butter, ¾ cup granulated sugar
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.2 large eggs, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk and mix for a minute or two, until combined. Then add in the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk and mix for 2 more minutes.
- Divide the batter into the prepared cupcake pan filling each liner ¾ of the way full.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Old Bay Buttercream
- Add butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.2 sticks unsalted butter
- Then add in the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until fully combined. Add in the Old Bay and a splash of milk.2 cups powdered sugar, 2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, 1 splash milk
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large tip.
- Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
Recipes on Cookaholic Wife are for information purposes only. Nutritional Data provided has not been evaluated by a nutritionist.