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Yellow cupcakes on a cooling rack

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

These vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting are perfectly moist with the softest cupcake crumb and delicious buttery vanilla flavor. You'll love the creamy chocolate buttercream! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Chocolate Frosting, Yellow Cupcakes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 14 cupcakes
Calories 430kcal


Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour not self-rising
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk*
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream*

Chocolate Frosting*

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons whipping cream


Make the Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees & line muffin trays with muffin papers. (You'll get 14-15 cupcakes total)
  • In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Give them a whisk.
  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until very fluffy. 
  • Beat in the eggs and vanilla. 
  • Mix in the sour cream.
  • Beat about ½ of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Then beat in the milk.
  • Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then mix in the rest of the butter mixture.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each about ⅔ full. You should get about 14-15 cupcakes total. Do not try to fit all the batter into 12 muffin papers - otherwise, they can overflow.
  • Bake 1 tray at a time for 15-18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

Make the Chocolate Frosting

  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. 
  • Carefully beat in 2 cups of powdered sugar. 
  • Then beat in the cocoa powder, vanilla and salt. 
  • Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time alternating with 1-2 tablespoons whipping cream until the desired consistency and sweetness level is reached. 
  • Frost the cupcakes using a knife or a piping bag (I used a piping bag with a 1M tip). 


  1. Plain Greek yogurt can be substituted for sour cream.
  2. If you don't have buttermilk, mix 1 ½ teaspoons of distilled vinegar with ½ cup milk. Let sit on the counter for 5 minutes to sour before using.
  3. If you only want a thin layer of frosting on top of each cucpake frosted using a knife, then half the frosting recipe.
  4. Storage & Make-Ahead Tips:
    1. Cupcakes are best enjoyed the same day that they're made.
    2. Store leftover cupcakes at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 24 hours, or in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
    3. To make the cupcakes the day before:
      1. Make the cupcakes and cool fully, then store in an airtight container overnight.
      2. Make the frosting the day of. Or make the frosting the day before and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Let the frosting sit at room temperature to soften (about 1 hour), then frost the cupcakes. If the frosting is still hard, beat it with an electric mixer (you may need to add in 1-2 tablespoons more cream or milk).
    4. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 2 months in an airtight container. Thaw in the fridge. 
  5. Nutrition information is based on 1 cupake with frosting, assuming 14 cupcakes were made with the recipe. 


Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 157mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 745IU | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg