Vanilla Cupcakes with Cocoa Frosting

vanilla with cocoa frostingBaking trials continue! These cupcakes are yet another rehearsal for the gig I have next weekend, although those vanilla cupcakes will feature a salted caramel frosting, rather than the cocoa frosting I made tonight. 

The batter on these little beauties is very, very thick…thicker than pound cake batter, even. Scooping proved to be a bit of a challenge, so go easy. You can always add a bit more to each cupcake well if necessary, but it’s much harder to remove batter once it’s already been scooped. 

According to Mike, these cupcakes are a classic mix of chocolate and vanilla. I wish I could eat them and was seriously tempted, but my Lenten Sugar Fast continues. 

Note: this recipe made 12 miniature cupcakes and 11 regular-sized cupcakes; I suspect it would actually make 12 regular-sized cupcakes if a few of the miniatures and regular-sized ones had been just a bit smaller.  

Vanilla Cupcakes


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.

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

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl frequently.

Add vanilla and beat to combine.

With the mixer running on the lowest speed, add flour mixture and milk alternatively, starting and ending with the flour and beating until just combined. Scrape sides of the bowl to incorporate any flour that gets tossed up.

Fill cupcake liners about half to three-quarters full; again, batter will be very thick. Bake miniature cupcakes for 8-10 minutes or regular-sized cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for about 1 minute, then remove from pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. 

Cocoa Frosting


  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine melted butter and cocoa powder. Beat on low speed for about 1 minute, then increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more.

Add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat on low speed, then add about half of the milk, continuing to beat on low speed, until combined. Follow with another cup powdered sugar and remainder of milk, beating on low until combined. Add remaining powdered sugar, then vanilla, beating until frosting is creamy and spreadable, but not too thin. You may need to add just a bit more powdered sugar if your frosting is too thin to be piped easily through a piping bag.

Fit a piping bag with a medium star tip and pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Store in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving. 


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