Light & Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes with THE BEST Vanilla Frosting

August 27, 2015
Everyone needs a go-to chocolate cupcake recipe.  Believe me, after just one bite ... you'll see why these light & fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes with THE BEST Vanilla Frosting is mine!  

Light & Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes with THE BEST Vanilla Frosting

These light & fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes with THE BEST Vanilla Frosting {I kid you not, it's truly  the best} are one of our family-favorites.  When I think chocolate cupcakes, there is no other recipe for me.  We just love how light, fluffy, and tender these come out.

I made this particular batch for my niece's 18th birthday party a few months back.

Complete with chocolate sprinkles.

Because everyone loves sprinkles.  No matter how  old they are.  Right?

I know I sure do!  And apparently 18-year-olds do, too, because these chocolate cupcakes {with sprinkles} were gobbled up in a flash ... right along with the big ol' batch of scrumptious S'mores Cupcakes I made, too.

Okay, I've just got to say that I can hardly believe my 'little' niece is 18.  Not only that, in just a couple short weeks, she heads off to college.  Seriously folks, where on Earth does time go?

Light & Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes with THE BEST Vanilla Frosting

Now, my niece's celebratory batch of Chocolate Cupcakes was topped with my absolute-favorite, creamy-and-delicious vanilla frosting.  I just adore this frosting, which is saying a lot because I typically like the cake part of the cupcake much more than the frosting.

But with this  frosting?  I have to say it's a toss up as to which part I like best!

This version of vanilla frosting isn't as super-sweet as some frostings are.  You know how sometimes you take a bite of frosting and you feel like your teeth could literally fall out on the spot, it's so sweet??  Yeh, I hate that.

This vanilla frosting isn't like that.  This vanilla frosting, in my opinion, is just the right amount of sweet.  A pinch of salt does just the trick to balance out the flavors beautifully.

It's also whipped for several minutes, resulting in a lighter, fluffier frosting ... which I love.

But for an alternative topping, I also love these light & fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes with 7-Minute Marshmallow Frosting ...

7-Minute Marshmallow Frosting

Loading them up with  7-Minute Marshmallow Frosting is like spreading an ooey-gooey marshmallow on top of a little bite of chocolate cupcake heaven!

But whichever frosting you choose for your light & fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes, remember ~ Don't forget the sprinkles!  Because whether 18, 4, or 93 ... everyone loves sprinkles.  No matter how  old they are.

Light & Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes with THE BEST Vanilla Frosting

Light & Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes with the BEST Vanilla Frosting

Light & Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes
Source:  Cupcakes adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
3/4 c. + 2 T. all-purpose flour
3 T. cocoa powder
A scant 3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 T. butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. whole milk (I also tried it with 2% milk, and it worked fine)
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter in mixing bowl. Beat on slow speed until everything is combined and you have a crumb mixture with a sandy consistency.

2.  Whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla.  Slowly pour about the milk mixture into the flour mixture.  Beat on low speed to combine.  Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat for just a few seconds to remove any lumps.

3.  With the mixer back on low speed, pour in the remaining milk mixture.  Beat until all ingredients are just incorporated. Beat for about another 30 seconds to one minute until the batter is smooth. Do not over mix.

4.  Spoon batter into muffin pan cups lined with paper cupcake liners, filling cups 1/2 full. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool slightly in the pan before removing cupcakes to a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

5.  Frost with vanilla frosting {recipe below} and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.

(NOTE: This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. And it really does make 12! Fill your cups only 1/2 full, as this batter rises quite a bit. When I divided the batter between only 10 muffin cups, I had several that rose over the sides of the cups way too much. If you're like me, you'll feel like there's not enough batter to stretch to 12 cupcakes ... but there really is.  Also, I know the mixing method seems a bit unconventional ... but trust me, it really works and creates a wonderful cupcake!  I talk about the mixing method in my The BEST Vanilla Cupcakes post.)

The BEST Vanilla Frosting
Frosting adapted from The Best Recipe by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine

  • 1 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1 T. + 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 T. milk
  • Pinch salt
  1. Beat butter in bowl of electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. 
  2. Reduce speed to low and add sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating for about 15 seconds between each addition.  Increase speed to medium and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. 
  3.  Add salt, vanilla and milk, beating on low speed to combine. Increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy, 3-4 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides once or twice.

Enjoy these other delicious cupcake creations from The Kitchen is My Playground ...

S'mores Cupcakes


  1. I'm so excited to try this recipe. I am always slightly disappointed with the denseness of homemade cupcakes but hate using the box. I am hopeful that your unconventional mixing will give me the cupcake I so desire :) And tomorrow is my birthday so the timing is PERFECT!

  2. Aw these cupcakes look perfectly delicious! :) Just gorgeous! Pinned!

  3. Hi Tracey! I lobe your mouthwatering amazing recipes!! I would love fr you to share this over at Making Memories Mondays going on now! :-) I hope that you had a great summer!

  4. They look amazing!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  5. wear a light visor until one of the residents got so addicted to the light visor that they had to make him take it off light for sad


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