I get asked a lot from family and friends to make cupcakes for various parties and occasions. Sometimes I can convince my family members to try a different and exciting flavor of cupcakes but usually they just want chocolate or vanilla with different colored frosting or fun sprinkles, just something to liven it up a little. But I'm okay with that because everybody always loves my go-to recipe choices for basic chocolate and vanilla cupcakes!
These vanilla cupcakes are from Martha Stewart's website. The recipe actually comes for Billy Reece of Billy's Bakery in New York. They're Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes and man, are they delicious! So moist and light with such an amazing vanilla flavor. These are my absolute favorite and I love to pair them with my good old standby, Easy Vanilla Buttercream icing from Annie's Eats. I use this frosting recipe all the time and it has yet to let me down!
Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes have cooled, frost as desired.
Source: Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Easy Vanilla Buttercream
20 tbsp. (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds. Scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
Source: Recipe from Annie's Eats
The chocolate cupcake recipe I use and always get rave reviews over is, of course, none other than Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake. How can you go wrong with Hershey's? Its always moist and always has a super rich, deep chocolate flavor. It has yet to fail me and I don't think I'm ever going to be able to part from this recipe when it comes to making chocolate cake. My chocolate buttercream, however, is from Wilton's. I love the light chocolate flavor in comparison to the richness of the chocolate cake. However this icing can always easily be adapted to make it have a darker chocolate flavor. It all depends on what flavor suits you!
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely and then frost as desired.
Source: Recipe adapted from Hersheys, Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Buttercream Icing
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
3-4 tablespoons milk
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add cocoa and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
Source: Recipe from Wilton's