Cupcakes from Scratch: Yellow Cupcakes With Chocolate Frosting Recipe
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!
More cake recipes
- 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.
Yellow Cupcakes With Chocolate Frosting
- 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
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line tin with cupcake papers.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk unbleached flour and baking powder until well combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat room temperature butter and sugar on high speed with a hand or stand mixer until creamy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add salt and vanilla extract. We love Nielsen Massey Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste. Beat a few seconds longer.
- Reduce mixing speed to LOW. Add flour and milk alternately, in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
- Spoon batter into cupcake liners, only filling them 3/4 full. Be careful not to overfill them.
- Slide cupcake tin into the hot oven. Bake for 15-25 minutes, until a toothpick tests done.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them.
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
- 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
- Place chocolate in microwave-safe bowl.
- Slide into a microwave and heat on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted.
- Allow chocolate to cool.
- Beat butter with a hand or stand mixer until fluffy.
- Add chocolate and cocoa. Mix well.
- Add powdered sugar in 3 additions, beating well until thick and fluffy.
- Frost cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!