Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Recipe Review: Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and a hidden pudding center.

It was a rainy day and since I had conquered traditional buttercream last week I decided to take on chocolate buttercream frosting. I've been doing lots of new things with cupcakes and baking from scratch, and while its been really fun and the results have been incredibly encouraging, when I make something and its not perfect, I get pouty. I also get really stressed from not knowing how a recipe will work the first time that I make it, so I decided to test this one out ahead of time. This is how I ended up baking cupcakes for no reason on a Monday (Kevin and his co-workers got to reap the benefits of this little project).

I picked a random blog and used a new vanilla cake recipe, just for the sake of trying something new. It was good, but I think I'm still going to have to stick with Amy Sedaris's vanilla cake recipe (I used it a few weeks ago to make vanilla cupcakes with berry filling- go here if you'd like the recipe). It was slightly more moist, so for now that will be my go to.  I'm really getting good at whipping up a dozen cupcakes- I've gotten my total time down to about an hour, and I can clean up the kitchen while they are baking. I filled the cupcakes with chocolate pudding, special fancy chocolate pudding, aka snack pack.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
yield: enough for 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
2 Tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, vanilla, and cocoa powder

Blend in the sugar in two batches, beating well after each addition

Beat in the milk, adding until desired consistency is reached and continue mixing on medium high speed until light and fluffy.

I used the same recipe that I used for regular buttercream, just substituted cocoa powder for some of the confectioners sugar. If you want a darker, or lighter chocolate flavor you can always add or subtract cocoa powder, and adjust the amount of milk to get the right consistency. Mine ended up a slightly dense, rich chocolate frosting. It balanced perfectly with the light vanilla cake. I used my microplane to grate some dark chocolate shavings for garnish.

I'm learning that people love being surprised by filled cupcakes. I didn't tell anyone there was pudding in the cupcakes and every single person who tried them commented on it. I really am enjoying baking and decorating cupcakes lately (I even had a dream about cupcakes last week!). I gave up sweets for lent (32 more days...) so I haven't actually eaten any of these- but for some odd reason I like living vicariously through other people getting to eat them. My good friend Amber's birthday is this weekend so I'll have another great excuse for more cupcakes!


  1. These cupcakes look beautiful! How did you get the frosting to look like that?

  2. @Cathy- I put the frosting into a large ziplock bag and cut the corner off about an inch up- because of the seams on the bag the frosting came out in a oval shape rather than a perfect circle. Just pipe starting at an outside edge and make a circle then swirl up!

  3. These look really good with that swirl of chocolate frosting. I have been searching for the perfect vanilla cake recipe and I have been wanting to try Amy Sedaris's vanilla cake recipe, because I have seen that on several blogs and everyone seems to love it.

  4. what is the vanilla recipe??

  5. @anon there's a link in paragraph two to a previous blog post where I have the vanilla cake recipe!

  6. I tried your buttercream and it turned out not right. It came out tooooooo sweet and I tried to fix it, but it came out a mess... :(

  7. Can I have the recipe for those vanilla cupcakes please? They look so amazingly good =)

  8. Right here!