Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream







What can you say about a classic?  The yellow cake/chocolate frosting combination is the little black dress of baking, one that baker should have it in her repertoire.  There seems to be something magical in the pairing of rich chocolate buttercream with mellow yellow cake, in the same way that a chocolate cupcake is finely matched with vanilla buttercream.  They say opposites attract, right?

Yellow Cupcakes


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 2/3 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line two muffin tins with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for one minute.

Add sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each.

Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, beating until combined.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, filling about half-full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack before frosting.


Chocolate Buttercream


  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a large bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa powder; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter for about one minute.

Add powdered sugar and cocoa and beat on low speed to incorporate as much sugar into the butter as you can.  I cover my mixing bowl with a kitchen towel during this step to prevent a sugar storm.

Add three tablespoons milk and two teaspoons vanilla extract; beat for three minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and add the final teaspoon vanilla extract, then beat for another minute.




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