Perfectly moist vanilla cupcakes with the fudgiest chocolate frosting are delightful with every bite and a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
This vanilla cupcake recipe is simple to make and baked into perfectly light and fluffy cupcakes flavoured with vanilla extract. The chocolate buttercream frosting is rich, fudgy and finishes the cupcakes off beautifully.
- Caster sugar.
- Flour. Cake or all purpose flour.
- Baking powder.
- Milk. I used full cream/whole milk but any milk will work.
- Oil. Canola oil/vegetable oil.
- Vanilla extract. Vanilla bean paste can be substituted.
- Boiling water.
- Icing sugar / Powdered sugar.
- Cocoa powder.
- Cream. Heavy/whipping cream.
How to make vanilla cupcakes
These vanilla cupcakes are fluffy, moist and perfectly scented with vanilla. I prefer using vanilla paste or vanilla powder, but a good vanilla extract will work well too.
- Make the batter: Sift together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour mixture then mix until just combined. Pour in the boiling water and mix until smooth. Line a 12-hole muffin tin or pan with cupcake liners then scoop the batter into the liners.
- Bake: Place the pan in the oven and allow to bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cupcakes are cooked and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool and decorate: Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating with frosting.
How to make chocolate frosting
This chocolate American buttercream recipe is perfect for people who don’t usually like the icing on a cake. It is rich and chocolatey without being overly sweet and the texture is almost mousse-like. If you’d prefer, you can also use a vanilla buttercream frosting for these cupcakes.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until pale and fluffy (approximately 4-5 minutes). You can use an electric mixer on low speed and a medium bowl too. Add the cocoa powder and cream and mix in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat until smooth.
- With the mixer running, pour the melted chocolate in slowly then beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of a bowl and beat until smooth.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with the nozzle of your choice then pipe onto the cupcakes.
Can I make these cupcakes in advance?
The cupcakes will last for 3-4 days at room temperature on the kitchen counter, covered (I use a glass cake dome to keep them fresh.) Alternatively, bake the cupcakes and cool then refrigerate for up to 3 days in an airtight container before decorating. The unfrosted cupcakes can also be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw completely before decorating the with the buttercream.
Vanilla cupcakes with Chocolate frosting
- 200 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 250 g (2 cups) flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 125 ml (½ cup) milk
- 125 ml (½ cup) canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 125 ml (½ cup) boiling water (you can also use coffee)
For the chocolate buttercream frosting
- 125 g (1 stick) Butter, softened
- 300 g (4-5 cups) icing/powdered sugar sifted
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
- 2-3 tbsp cream
- 100 g (3.05oz) dark chocolate melted
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350°F. Grease and line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake liners.
- Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
- In a seperate bowl or jug, whisk the egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract and combine with the dry ingredients. Beat until the mixture is smooth.
- Slowly add the boiling water and mix until combined.
- Distribute the batter between the cupcake liners and place in the oven.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before decorating.
- To make the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy then add the icing sugar and beat until well incorporated. Add the cream and cocoa powder and beat well. Scrape the bowl with a spatula and beat until smooth. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and beat until light and fluffy.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.