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Cupcakes from Scratch: Yellow Cupcakes With Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Updated on January 6, 2014
vespawoolf profile image

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" & "Taste of Home" magazines. She belongs to "Cook's Recipe Testers" for Cooks Illustrated.

Favorite Yellow Cupcakes With Chocolate Frosting
Favorite Yellow Cupcakes With Chocolate Frosting | Source

Cupcake Recipe for Regular or High Altitude Cupcakes

Cupcakes are one of our favorite desserts--that is, homemade cupcakes so moist and tender they practically melt in your mouth. Who enjoyss a dry cupcake? Or worse yet, a cupcake that is sunken or raw in the center? I've tasted my share of bad cupcakes.

I used to struggle with cupcake making even at sea level. After we moved to a town 9,000 feet in the Andes Mountains, I almost gave up on making my favorite dessert.

That was until I developed this recipe. Especially important for high altitude baking, fat proportions must be just right in comparison to flour and wet ingredients. And this one fits the bill. It's never failed me. And even when I don't have enough room in my little oven for all the cupcakes, the leftover batter waits dutifully on the countertop and produces fluffy, moist cupcakes when it finally gets a turn in the oven.

The best news is this recipe works at both sea level or high altitude, with only slight adjustments. In part, that´s due to the lower percentage of fat in these cupcakes. But don't let that fool you! A little less fat doesn't mean dry, flavorless cupcakes.

We use double-acting baking powder in this recipe. If you only have single-acting baking powder, double the amount. Be sure to carefully follow the mixer speeds indicated in the instructions section. I prefer to use convection for baking, but even in a standard oven you will bake perfect cupcakes every time.

So gather your ingredients and let's get baking!

Tips:

  • Bring all ingredients to room temperature before assembling the cupcake batter.
  • Use real butter, not margarine or vegetable shortening.
  • Salted butter works well in this recipe. If you have unsalted butter, increase kosher salt to 3/4 teaspoon.
  • Instead of sifting flour, use a whisk to aerate the dry ingredients.
  • Carefully follow the mixing speeds indicated in the instructions. If you whip too much air into the batter, the cupcakes are more likely to fall.
  • Baking times vary greatly depending on whether you are at sea level or high altitude. At high altitude, the cupcakes will probably need an extra 5 to 10 minutes.
  • If using a convection oven, cupcakes may be ready in 15 minutes.
  • Be carful not to overbake!
  • Use high quality chocolate and cocoa for the frosting such as Ghirardelli or Trader Joe's.


Tender & Moist Yellow Cupcakes
Tender & Moist Yellow Cupcakes | Source

Yellow Cupcakes With Chocolate Frosting

5 stars from 5 ratings of Favorite Cupcakes

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: 14 cupcakes
Beat butter and sugar
Beat butter and sugar
Add eggs and beat well
Add eggs and beat well
Alternate dry ingredients...
Alternate dry ingredients...
...and wet
...and wet
Batter is ready to go
Batter is ready to go
Baking cupcakes
Baking cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached flour, whisked
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, double acting
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 + 3 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature

* For 6,500-9,500 feet: reduce butter to 1/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons

* For 6,500-9,500 feet: reduce baking powder to 3/4 teaspoon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line tin with cupcake papers.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk unbleached flour and baking powder until well combined.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat room temperature butter and sugar on high speed with a hand or stand mixer until creamy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating on high speed until light and fluffy.
  5. Add salt and vanilla extract. We love Nielsen Massey Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste. Beat a few seconds longer.
  6. Reduce mixing speed to LOW. Add flour and milk alternately, in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
  7. Spoon batter into cupcake liners, only filling them 3/4 full. Be careful not to overfill them.
  8. Slide cupcake tin into the hot oven. Bake for 15-25 minutes, until a toothpick tests done.
  9. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ounces good quality dark chocolate, melted
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. Place chocolate in microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Slide into a microwave and heat on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted.
  3. Allow chocolate to cool.
  4. Beat butter with a hand or stand mixer until fluffy.
  5. Add chocolate and cocoa. Mix well.
  6. Add powdered sugar in 3 additions, beating well until thick and fluffy.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!

Warm Cupcakes
Warm Cupcakes
Cupcakes cooling on the windowsill
Cupcakes cooling on the windowsill | Source
14 cupcakes ready to eat!
14 cupcakes ready to eat! | Source

Comments

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  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 8 months ago from Peru, South America

    Please let me know what you think marleyjustine. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  • marleyjustine profile image

    Marley 8 months ago from Canada

    Those look delicious. I'll have to try this recipe next time I bake cupcakes!

  • moumitadasgupta86 profile image

    Moumita Dasgupta 3 years ago from Kolkata

    Gosh, I really need that help, newly married often want this scratch to robust things...

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    PegCole17, I'm glad you're going to try these moist and fluffy cupcakes. Thanks so much for the pin and share!

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    Right from the first picture of that yummy homemade cupcake you had my attention. Your instructions are easy to follow and the pictures are wow. I'm going to try these. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is the hubby's favorite in cupcake form. Pinned and sharing.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    RTalloni, please let me know how this comes out with lactose alternatives. Thanks for your comment!

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

    Fresh ingredients make homemade so much better than boxed and with such an easy recipe to use celebrating Saint Patrick's Day should be a piece of cake! :) Looking forward to trying this out with cow milk alternatives.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Thanks for the pin, Moonlake!

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 3 years ago from America

    These look so good. Have to pin them to my cake board. Voted up.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    DeborahNeyens, that's a good idea. I would love to do a cookbook someday!

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

    Have you ever thought about doing a high altitude cookbook? I don't know that I've ever seen one and you have so many yummy looking recipes to include.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Suzanne Day, I'm glad you like the looks of these cupcakes. They're fun to make and even more fun to eat. : ) I appreciate your support.

  • Suzanne Day profile image

    Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    OMG I always wanted to make chocolate frosting that looks like this - melt in the mouth and gorgeous! The cupcakes underneath are quite cute and I like all the helpful instructions and photos you have provided so that the reader can make cupcakes from scratch. Delightful, rated and voted awesome ;)

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Janderson99, cupcakes are a favorite of kids. Thanks for your comment!

  • janderson99 profile image

    Dr. John Anderson 3 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

    Excellent recipe, my kids will love those.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    mylindaelliott, cupcakes are one of my favorites, too!

  • mylindaelliott profile image

    mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

    Cupcakes are my favorite.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    GlimmerTwinFan, thank you for all your support. I hope you can try this easy cupcake recipe next time you´re in a baking mood!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    CraftytotheCore, we agree!

  • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

    Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

    Oh boy do these look wonderful. I always love your new recipes and this is no exception. Last night I really wanted something sweet, had I seen this I would have made some.

  • CraftytotheCore profile image

    CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

    These look so good. There is nothing like a homemade cupcake with homemade frosting!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    randomcreative, I appreciate your kind words! These cupcakes are as fun to eat as they are to make. I hope you enjoy the rest of the week.

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    I always get excited when I see a new recipe article from you in my feed! Cupcakes from scratch are so inspired. Thanks for all of the tips about high altitude cooking. I know that a lot of people will benefit from them.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    AliciaC, thank you for your enthusiastic comment!

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    These cupcakes sound lovely. I love the extra tips that you add, too! They are very helpful. Thanks for sharing another great recipe, vespawoolf.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Dde, thanks for coming by!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Lindacee, thank you for the kind words. I'm glad this inspired to you spend a couple of hours in the kitchen. Enjoy!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Eiddwen, cooking is such a nice creative outlet for anyone. I hope you get to benefit from your granddaughter's cooking lesson! : )

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Awesome recipe these cupcakes loos so delicious!!

  • lindacee profile image

    lindacee 3 years ago from Arizona

    I am a lover of cupcakes and this all-purpose recipe is just the thing to get me off my duff and into the kitchen! Can't wait to try them. Your recipe, ingredient list, photos and directions make it easy to follow even for those of us who don't often bake. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration! :)

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

    My young granddaughter Krystal is going through a phase where she wants to cook all the time so I shall keep this one for a weekend cooking lesson. Enjoy your day.

    Eddy.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    ChitrangadaSharan, thank you for coming by!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Suzanne Day, be sure to only double the baking powder if yours is single-rise. Otherwise, the cupcakes may rise too much and then fall. Thanks for the vote and stars.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Greatstuff, I hope your daughter in law enjoys making and eating the cupcakes. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    FullOfLoveSites, enjoy the cupcakes and thanks for your comment.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    M K Paul, thank you for the kind words.

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

    The picture gives the sense that it is a yummy cupcake!

    Thanks for sharing the detailed description and helpful pictures. Voted up and pinned!

  • Suzanne Day profile image

    Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    What wonderful frosting! And I love the idea of double baking soda to make the cupcakes rise. Thank you for this delicious recipe! Voted & rated.

  • greatstuff profile image

    Mazlan 3 years ago from Malaysia

    I am forwarding this to my daughter in law. She loves cupcakes and hopefully your recipe and tips will help her in her 'baking experiment'. Thanks for sharing.

  • FullOfLoveSites profile image

    FullOfLoveSites 3 years ago from United States

    These look really yummy!!! I'm glad this recipe also works on sea level, will try. Thanks for sharing.

  • M K Paul profile image

    M K Paul 3 years ago from India

    Wow, lovely..Thanks for sharing..Ur pics are too Good

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    FlourishAnyway, we also enjoy our cupcakes with a tall glass of cold milk. Thanks for the stars!

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

    How delicious. 5 stars and I sure wish I had some with a tall glass of milk.

  • choosetolive profile image

    Ravi and Swastha 3 years ago from London, Canada

    mmmmm. What a yummy recipe. Very great at look. Sure it would be very delicious. Thanks for the recipe Vespawoolf.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Suzie HQ, it's so nice to see you around! I hope you're well rested and ready for the new year. Thanks for all your support.

  • Suzie HQ profile image

    Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

    Hi Vespa,

    What a great recipe and love the frosting of chocolate. I would never have realized altitude makes a difference to ingredients, how clever of you to show the tweaking for both. A definite winner from the Vespa kitchen of excellence!! Great job, and intend on making these a.s.a.p. Votes, shared and pinned, 5 stars all the way my friend.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Jackie Lynnley, thanks for your loyal support!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

    These look so yummy! I always have to see what you are cooking cause it is always something fantastic! Up and sharing.

  • profile image

    Beth37 3 years ago

    Cupcakes... they're like a batlight.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Beth37, thanks for being the first to visit this cupcake recipe. : )

  • profile image

    Beth37 3 years ago

    This is why you're awesome.