Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream

What does a cupcake say to you? To me, it says I'm all yours in my sweet and delectable goodness. Unlike any other dessert, which can be shared, a cupcake is unique in that it offers an individual sized treat meant for you and only you. I like that.

A cupcake also says perfection. Perfection in baking and also in frosting. The cake has to be moist and the frosting, a perfect peak of goodness. This thought made me quite nervous as I embarked on my first ever attempt at making cupcakes. I have long been a cupcake fan but I wasn't brave enough to take it on. That changed this weekend. One of our friends was hosting a baby shower and I offered (a little hesitantly) to bring the cupcakes. I needed a tried and tested recipe for a chocolate cupcake and I knew exactly where I could find this. One of my favorite blogs, Canelle et Vanille offered a chocolate cupcake recipe which looked absolutely spectacular (all of her picutres look spectacular btw). It was a recipe originally from the Magnolia bakery in New York and after seeing Aran's pictures, I knew I had found what I was looking for.

The baking of the cupcakes went quite well, it was the frosting which had me in a bind. I had no experience with frosting before, so my first attempts at piping these onto the cupcakes weren't exactly pretty. I abandoned the piping and just slathered them on instead. And then for an extra cute as a button touch, I adorned them with a sugar candy. I was delighted with the results even though mine didn't look as pretty. 

Chocolate cupcakes (Original recipe from Magnolia Bakery can be found here.)

2 cups All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (I used dark brown instead since I only had that)
4 large eggs at room temperature
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line 2 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake papers and set aside. ( I had only one pan so I baked these in two batches, reusing after cooling the first batch for 20 mins).
- Melt the chocolate. I melted mine in the microwave and let it cool for around 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, sift the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the molten chocolate, mixing well until incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are well incorporated, but do not overbeat.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
- Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake about 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the cupcake center comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes in the tins for about 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
- Pipe or spread the icing on top of the cupcakes.

Vanilla Buttercream frosting (Recipe from Magnolia bakery can be found here, I halved it)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups of confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of the sugar, milk and vanilla.
- On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of spreadable consistency.
- I added a few drops of blue color to the icing.

Makes 24 cupcakes.


  1. Looks absolutely delectable! - PR

  2. Great one radhika,looks very yummy

  3. Pls think of those living in INDIA in terms of the ingredients what u get in US you shd give the substitute .

  4. Hi Radhika

    Muffins looks great and yummy! BTW first time here..

  5. Cupcakes are actually my baked good of choice. They are so much more fun to eat and decorate than cake, I think.

    I love your chocolate and vanilla buttercream combination. A total classic.

  6. Great cupcakes with perfect photography dear,,,icing is perfect and decoration looks great,,

  7. I love cupcakes. They always put a smile on my face. Yours look beautiful.

  8. the muffins look absolutely yummy..great click as always..

  9. Thanks everyone!

    @Ranjana, let me know if there is a particular ingredient you cannot find and I can recommend a substitute.

  10. hi radhika, i have sweet cooking chocolate - perhaps i can reduce the quantity of sugar slightly?