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» Pale Yellow

Cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Swirled Vanilla Frosting

Tracy Byrne

These cupcakes were inspired by an idea I saw on Pinterest for swirling frosting and have been looking for a reason to make cupcakes with this sort of frosting.  My school was having a bake sale to raise money for Pennies for Patients, a charity that raises money for Leukemia & Lymphoma society.  Our school is kind of competitive and we end up raising a lot of money for the charity every year!  This is a fun way to teach students about importance of charitable giving and how a few people working together contributing a small amount can add up quickly to a much greater amount!

I used the same chocolate recipe from my Wilton cake because it is easy and delicious!  This is the type of recipe that should make everyone stop using box mixes!  The vanilla frosting is from my Butter Lane cupcake class.  I'm not usually a fan of vanilla frosting, but this one is so creamy and delicious, perfect for dying any sort of color.  I told my students to go buy cupcakes at lunch and they all came back to me complaining that all the teachers bought them first!  Sorry kids, teachers need their cupcakes too!  I received excellent feedback from my co-workers, this chocolate cupcake is delicious, you have to try it!  I'm sure you could add any extract of your choosing to make the flavor match your theme!

Swirling the frosting was really fun and not nearly as much work as I assumed.  I tried to break down the steps as best as I could.

  • Make your frosting and add a little Super White to make the frosting better able to absorb color.  Divide the frosting into 2 bowls and mix in the color of your choosing.  I always use Americolor gels.  For these cupcakes I chose Electric Yellow and Electric Purple.
  • Place about half of the yellow frosting in a 12" disposable piping bag to fill it about half fill.  Squeeze the frosting around so that it is spread out and flat.  Repeat with the purple frosting.
  • Place the two bags of frosting on top of each other and put in a large 18" piping bag, this one in non-disposable, with a large star tip.  Look to see where the bag meets the inside of the tip.  Pull out the smaller piping bags and trim to the appropriate size so that the frosting will come together in the tip, but stay separated in the bag.
  • Make sure to gather the inside bags and the outside bag when you twist the bags to begin piping.  Try a practice squeeze to see how the frosting comes out.
  • If you are satisfied, begin piping.  I used a star base and then I swirled around it.  I had to fill the smaller bags twice each to have enough frosting to frost 24 cupcakes.
  • Look at your cupcakes with pride and a sense of accomplishment!

Print the Recipe!

Chocolate Cupcakes Yield - 24 cupcakes Adapted from Bakerella

1 1/2 cups flour 2/3 cup cocoa, I use Ghiradelli (good cocoa makes a difference!) 1 1/2 cup sugar 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 teaspoons vanilla 3/4 cup whole milk 2/3 cup hot water

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda, powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix together on low with the paddle attachment.  Beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined and then scrap down the sides.  Turn on the mixer and add the hot water slowly until well combined.

Fill 24 cupcakes liners with a not quite full basic ice cream scoop and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.

Vanilla Frosting Adapted from Butter Lane Cupcakes

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 4 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature 7 cups powdered sugar (a 2 pound bag minus 1/2 cup) 3 tablespoons vanilla

Beat the butter and cream cheese until light and creamy.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar.  Stop every once and a while to scrap down the bowl and then beat on high speed for a few seconds.  Add in the vanilla and beat again until well combined.