Say hello to your new favorite yellow cupcake recipe! These yellow cupcakes are light and fluffy and topped with chocolate frosting. Perfect for birthday parties or celebrations!
Yellow Cupcake Recipe
If you follow me on IG, you know my birthday was last month and we celebrated with Funfetti Birthday Cake Bundt Cake! But that wasn’t the only cake I baked last month. Because July is actually a HUGE celebration month in my life, and I found myself baking cakes and TONS of cupcakes for barbecues, backyard picnics, and birthday parties.
The biggest hit? These classic yellow cupcakes! So humble but so darn delicious. And they’re absolutely perfect for serving a crowd. If you don’t have a cupcake carrier, you can easily transport the unfrosted cupcakes in the cupcakes pans, and frost on scene! A sprinkle of colorful rainbow nonpareils on top of each chocolate frosted cupcake makes them look festive and celebratory!
Let’s Make Cupcakes
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees AT LEAST 20 minutes before you plan on baking. This ensures it has enough time to reach the desired baking temperature.
- Line two-12 mold cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners. You will actually have enough batter to make about 26 to 27 cupcakes, so you can reline one of your pans after your first two batches bake and bake those, if desired.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: cake flour, baking powder, and salt. I do not suggest subbing all-purpose flour here. If you do, your cupcakes won’t be as tender/fluffy.
- You’ll need an electric hand mixer or strand mixer to beat the room temperature butter. You’ll want to start on medium speed and beat until creamy, about 1 minute. If you start too high, say medium high speed or high speed, your butter might fly out of the bowl.
- Slowly add in the sugar, a 1/4 cup or so at a time. And be sure to let the butter and sugar properly cream. This means you’ll beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. It’s important to stop the mixer occasionally and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. This ensures the ingredient evenly combine. Beat in the vanilla.
- In a glass measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, sour cream, and oil. If you don’t have a large measuring cup, any mixing bowl will do.
- Add the dry ingredients ON LOW SPEED. You’ll alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients, mixing just until combined.
- Divide the cupcake batter among the prepared cupcake pans, filling each mold just halfway full. You will have enough batter leftover to bake an extra two or three cupcakes! Or you may discard any excess batter.
- Don’t over bake. You’ll want to set your timer for 18 minutes, but note they can take up to 20 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean!
- Cool the cupcakes COMPLETELY before frosting.
Let’s Talk Chocolate Frosting
- This ultra creamy chocolate frosting is made with real chocolate instead of cocoa powder. So you’ll need to melt your chocolate by placing it in the microwave-safe bowl or in a double-boiler. Allow it to cool until it’s tepid.
- You’ll need a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer for this recipe. You’ll want to ensure the butter is at room temperature so you can easily beat it smooth.
- Add in the confectioners’ sugar GRADUALLY, and on low speed, or you’ll end up with a huge mess. Only once all of the sugar has been added should you increase to medium high speed.
- Be sure to decrease the speed back to low before adding in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate.
- Then you’ll increase the speed once more to medium-high and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Finally, set the frosting aside for at least 30 minutes to firm up. This allows the chocolate to settle and thicken.
Decorate your Heart Out
To make bakery-style swirls, scrape your frosting into a large piping bag that’s been fitted with an open star tip. Then pipe large swirls of frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes. You can also just use a butter knife to spread the frosting across the tops of the cupcakes for a more homemade look.
Either way, I highly suggest decorating these yellow cupcakes with rainbow colored nonpareils or rainbow sprinkles! Chocolate sprinkles would also be delicious, but won’t give you the same festive pop of color.
More Yellow Cake Recipes:
- Classic Yellow Cake with Creamy Chocolate Frosting
- Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting
- Giant Yellow Birthday Cake Cookies with Chocolate Nutella Buttercream Frosting
- Classic Yellow Birthday Cake with Nutella Buttercream Frosting
Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
For the Cupcakes:
- 2 and 1/2 cups (300g) cake flour
- 3 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks room temperature
- 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups (396g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (14ml) vanilla extract
- 1 cup (227ml) buttermilk room temperature
- 1/3 cup (76g) sour cream
For the Frosting:
- 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (62% cocoa) finely chopped
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
- 1 and 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 and 1/2 cups (285g) confectioners sugar sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- nonpareils or sprinkles optional, for decor
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Line two-12 mold cupcake pans with paper liners. Spray the liners lightly with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Gradually add in the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Turn the mixer off for a moment.
- In a glass measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and sour cream. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
- With the mixer running on low, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour, and mixing just until the flour is incorporated.
- Turn the mixer off. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once or twice, ensuring all ingredients are evenly combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans, filling each mold halfway full. You will have enough batter leftover to bake an extra two to three cupcakes, if desired. Or you may discard any excess batter.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean, or with moist crumbs attached.
- Cool the cupcakes in the baking pans, placed on cooling racks, for 5 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes and transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- Place both chocolates in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave, on low power, in 30 second increments, stirring between each increment, until the chocolate is completely smooth and melted. You may also do this in a double-boiler. Set aside and cool until tepid.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter until completely smooth.
- On low speed, gradually add in the confectioners' sugar, beating until each addition has been completely incorporated into the butter before adding more. Once all of the sugar has been added, increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes.
- Decrease the speed back to low and beat in the vanilla extract. Then slowly pour in the cooled melted chocolate and continue mixing until well combined, tuning the mixer off and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Once all of the chocolate has been added, increase the speed back to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. Set aside for 30 minutes to firm up, or up to 3 hours. Do not refrigerate (the chocolate will seize and render the frosting impossible to spread).
- Once all of the chocolate has been added, increase the speed back to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes.
- Set aside for 30 minutes to firm up, or up to 3 hours. Do not refrigerate (the chocolate will seize and render the frosting impossible to spread).
- Scrape your chocolate frosting into a piping bag fitted with an open star piping tip.
- Pipe the frosting on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with nonpareils and serve!