Buttercream & Frosting, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Desserts

Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

October 14, 2011


A couple months ago a sweet reader asked me if I had a yellow cake recipe. 
See yellow cake is tricky.  There is something about the ratio of ingredients that (more often than not) produces a dry and dense cake.  I’m not sure if it is the high amount of eggs, or some other combination, but all I know is that yellow cake is more complicated than simple vanilla or white. 
So when I was asked if I had a yellow cake recipe that produced more than just a dense cake, I was happy to respond with “YES!”  
A little over a year ago I found a moist yellow cake recipe.  It’s funny how I found it.  I wasn’t looking for one.  I actually wasn’t in need of one.  I knew they were tricky and I’ve made some before that I didn’t really like.  I figured I would wait to find the perfect yellow cake when the time was right.  But we all know, the time is never right.
One day when I needed to make a cake in a rush I quickly looked online and found a cake recipe that looked promising.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t even realize it was a yellow cake until I was in the middle of making it.  After I took my first bite I was more than pleased.  A yellow cake that is moist?
Since then I have made that exact recipe (except with a couple minor adjustments) multiple times.  I passed the recipe onto one reader, and now I am here to pass it onto you!
Here I give you a yellow cake that is moist.
A yellow cake that is fluffy.
A yellow cake that is light.
A yellow cake that is flavorful.
I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do!
Oh, and thank you to that reader who reminded me about this wonderful cake :).  If you ever have a special request for a recipe, please don’t hesitate to sent me a quick email.  I enjoy {SO MUCH!} hearing what my readers want!

Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream
For Printable Recipe, Click here!
Makes: About 24 cupcakes
Yellow Cake
4 cups Cake Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, at Room Temperature
2 cups Sugar
1 tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
4 Eggs
2 cups Buttermilk
Chocolate Buttercream
1 ½ cups (3 Sticks) Unsalted Butter (Softened)
3 cups Confectioners Sugar
1/8 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
8 oz. Chocolate, Chopped (I used Callebaut)
To make the yellow cake, start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place baking liners in 2 cupcake pans.  Set aside until needed.
In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Mix in the vanilla.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Add the buttermilk and mix on low until fully combined.  In 3 batches, slowly add the flour, mixing on low speed.
Divide the batter between the prepared baking liners.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.  When done baking, keep the cupcakes in the pan for about 5 minutes.  Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the chocolate buttercream. Place the chocolate in a microwavable bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir.  Repeat until completely smooth.  Let sit until completely cool.  To speed up the process, you can cool the chocolate in the refrigerator or freezer.
Meanwhile, cream the butter in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, about 5 minutes.  Add the confectioners sugar and salt and mix, gradually increasing in speed, until the sugar is fully incorporated.  Add the vanilla and whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – you may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times.  When the buttercream is fluffy enough, add in the melted and cooled chocolate.  Whisk for another 5-8 minutes until the chocolate is fully incorporated and the buttercream is light and fluffy again.
Frost the cupcakes as desired.  I placed the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip, and piped small circles on the top surface of each cupcake.
Serve and enjoy :)!
Yellow Cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  Buttercream recipe adapted from Annie Eats, which was originally from Cooks Illustrated.  

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  • Christine's Pantry October 14, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Beautiful cupcakes.

  • Patti October 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    These cupcakes look yummy 🙂

  • Sandra October 15, 2011 at 12:01 am

    You’re so right about finding the right yellow cake recipe. I’m always on the hunt and will try this one.

  • Sarah Catherine October 15, 2011 at 1:22 am

    Beautiful cupcakes! Definitly a staple 🙂

  • Krissy's Creations October 15, 2011 at 5:32 am

    This is definitely a good one :). I hope you enjoy!

  • Krissy's Creations October 15, 2011 at 5:33 am

    @Sarah Catherine
    Thanks Sarah!

  • Krissy's Creations October 15, 2011 at 5:34 am

    @Christine’s Pantry
    Thank YOU!

  • Anonymous November 3, 2011 at 2:12 am

    Thanks again Krissy! You came through for me, big time! The kids & hubby loved them. They were perfect.

    Thanks also for the prompt response while I was at Whole Foods!

    Continue the great job! You’re awesome

    Maria K. from NYC

  • Krissy's Creations November 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Anytime Maria :). I’m SO happy that you & your family enjoyed the recipe!

  • Jacqui February 18, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Hi, I really really want to bake this cake but the problem is… I only have two 8″ round cake pans and I still have no idea the baking time would be. Could you please help me? I’m sure you would know better than me about cake…

  • Krissy's Creations February 20, 2012 at 6:20 am

     For 2 8-inch rounds, I would bake the cakes for about 30 minutes.  However, depending on your oven, be sure to check the cake by sticking a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake.  Enjoy!

  • Mai Nguyen March 8, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    This was the first recipe that I made and it did not turn out right…I should have went with my instincts at first and knew that 1 1/2 tbsp of baking soda would be too much. I think this was a typo, because you never fail me! I just clicked on the link that you link back and lo and behold it was suppose to be teaspoons and not tablespoons. Just wanted to let you know before someone else makes the mistake! (:

  • Krissy's Creations March 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Ah!  SO sorry Mai!  I’ll change that right away!  I hope you try them again with the correct amount of Baking Soda.  They really are delicious Yellow Cupcakes 🙂

  • Mai Nguyen March 10, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Oh no worries! I am giving it another try in a few hours for my son’s birthday party tonight. I’m sure they will be delicious!!! (: 

  • Kelly Mc March 6, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    What is the right about of baking soda??

  • Anonymous May 13, 2013 at 1:13 am

    What type of chocolate bittersweet or unsweetened?

  • Amy June 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Wish I would have read comments, it still says 1 1/2 tbsp baking soda. Tastes terrible.

  • Krissy's Creations June 18, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Hi Amy, I’m SO sorry about the Baking Soda mistake. I hope you get a chance to make these cupcakes again. They really are delicious!