Serves a Crowd

Basic Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes

September 28, 2015
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

A basic recipe for simple vanilla and/or chocolate cupcakes. To dress these up, I like to stuff them with a piece of candy (like caramels or chocolate-covered nougat), a few pieces of fresh fruit, or a tablespoon of jam, peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, or ganache. Then I frost them with buttercream, whipped ganache, whipped cream, or a basic chocolate or fruit glaze. —Erin McDowell

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Makes 12 cupcakes (each recipe yields 12 cupcakes)
Ingredients
  • For the vanilla cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • For the chocolate cupcakes:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. For the vanilla cupcakes:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together to combine. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed to combine, and scraping well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla to combine.
  6. Pour 1/3 of the buttermilk into the batter and mix on low speed to combine. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix to combine. Repeat two more times, until all of the liquid and flour is added and fully incorporated.
  7. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan using a #16 scoop (or just fill each cavity 3/4 of the way full).
  8. Bake the cupcakes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a rack to cool completely before frosting and finishing.
  1. For the chocolate cupcakes:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together to combine.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed to combine, and scraping well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla to combine.
  6. Pour 1/3 of the buttermilk into the batter and mix on low speed to combine. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix to combine. Repeat two more times, until all of the liquid and flour is added and fully incorporated.
  7. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan using a #40 scoop (or just fill each cavity 3/4 of the way full).
  8. Bake the cupcakes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a rack to cool completely before frosting and finishing.

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Review
I always carry three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's pie. My first cookbook, The Fearless Baker, is out on October 24, 2017.