Simple chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream are a favorite classic cupcake recipe! Impress your guests with this simple chocolate cake and sweet buttercream frosting.
*photos updated May 2017*
Where did the warm summer sunshine go? Unfortunately, I don’t think the sun will be back until later this week, so I will not be celebrating the 4th of July with an outdoor picnic this year. When you live in the sunshine state, a few days of rainy weather really starts interfering with your schedule. I haven’t been able to go for my evening walk or run since the weather has been so wet. Tonight, I used my oven instead of the grill. Fortunately, I can always find something to cook or bake to keep myself entertained. Simple chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream always make any rainy day better!
I’ve made these cupcakes at least three or four times over the past month. These chocolate cupcakes are my go-to cupcakes when I need something to bring for a special event. One weekend, I made these chocolate cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting for a baby shower. The following week, I made them with this simple vanilla buttercream for a retirement party. The cupcakes are moist and perfectly rich.
If you are looking for a simple classic chocolate cupcake recipe then these are your cupcakes! They are great for birthdays, dinner parties and special events. Nothing beats a homemade cupcake and these will definitely be the star of your next celebration.
Simple Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream
For the cupcakes:
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- ¾ cup hot water
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
For the frosting:
- 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature (4 sticks)
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
- To make the cupcakes, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.
- Melt the butter with the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is completely melted. Remove from heat, and transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is cooled, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture until smooth. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three additions alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing each addition just until incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾-full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pan about 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated. Add in the vanilla and salt and mix until incorporated. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Pipe as desired onto each cupcake.