Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream- The best homemade chocolate cupcakes with the smoothest, creamiest vanilla bean buttercream frosting.
These cupcakes have a nice deep dark chocolateness to it that is just delicious! This is my go-to recipe when I am making cupcakes from scratch. They are sure to impress. The vanilla buttercream frosting is HEAVENLY! Every time I make this recipe with family around they all beg to lick the bowl when I am done. I am not joking! I mean it’s vanilla bean buttercream frosting! It’s light, creamy and has a lovely vanilla flavor that is to-die-for! Plus it’s so pretty with the flecks of vanilla you get from the vanilla bean paste.
I made these for a family birthday party yesterday. Everyone loved it. My sister said these were the best cupcakes she’s ever had. I love it when I make something someone says is the best ever! 🙂 I was really excited to make these cupcakes with my new Christmas present.
Vanilla Bean Paste! They always use vanilla bean pod’s on the Food Network but I have never seen a vanilla bean before so I didn’t know where I could buy it. Then I saw this post on The Pioneer Woman’s website and was really excited I could start baking with vanilla bean paste. I bought it at a cupcake shop in Orem (The Chocolate) but they also have it at Williams-Sonoma. (Update– I now buy it on Amazon, and last time I checked they don’t sell it at The Chocolate anymore.)
And now to the recipe…
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream
- 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 cup boiling hot water
- 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Vanilla Bean Buttercream:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, or 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter or line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a small bowl, stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Then, in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then slowly and carefully add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
- Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting:
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. If using a vanilla bean, using a paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into butter. If using vanilla bean paste, add instead. Beat mixture at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds.
- Add powdered sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully incorporated, about 30 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
- Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, top with this frosting. You can either spread the frosting on the cupcakes with a small spatula or if piping, use a large Wilton 1M open star tip to make lovely swirls.
Those do look and sound so scrumptious!! You are sure moving up in the world with baking supplies.