Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Recipes are a part of my legacy.  Whether I found them in a magazine, copied them from a friend, or inherited them from a relative, my recipes are something that I am passing down to my children.  A few weeks ago when my daughter and her friend set up a fabulous cupcake stand in our front yard during our community yard sale, I was able to offer a kitchen full of baking supplies, lots of dish washing expertise, and my favorite cupcake and frosting recipes.  The girls planned their cupcake selections and wanted to include a moist and yummy yellow cupcake that would appeal to many customers.  I was able to pass onto them my tried-and-true Yellow Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting Recipe.

This vanilla cupcakes starts with a plain yellow cake mix.  The recipe comes from the cookbook The Cake Mix Doctor Returns.  Anne Byrn, the author, calls it Birthday Cake For a Crowd and recommended that it be baked as a sheet cake.  I have found, however, that it works beautifully as cupcakes especially when topped with a decadent chocolate frosting.  The addition of pure vanilla extract and a packet of vanilla instant pudding to the batter heightens the vanilla flavor and adds to the moistness of the cake.  The cupcakes can be baked a day before they are needed and still remain moist.

My favorite icing for these Vanilla Cupcakes is a cooked Chocolate Frosting.  It is both classy and old-fashioned which, when paired with these moist vanilla cupcakes, helps conjure up images of birthday parties and elementary school celebrations.  I am always surprised that these four ingredients (butter, granulated sugar, evaporated milk, and chocolate chips) can produce a frosting that is both fudgey and spreadable.

Once again I have found that the recipes which become part of my cooking legacy are simple and delicious.  These Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting are just that.  Whether they are baked in brightly  colored paper liners and topped with a few colorful sprinkles or they are dressed up with piped frosting and adorned with fondant flowers, these treats are made from a recipe that is worth passing down.

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
     adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor Returns by Anne Byrn

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow or vanilla cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 dozen cupcake liners
1 batch Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)
sprinkles, fondant shapes, or other decorations

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place 2 dozen paper liners in cupcake pan.
  3. Place cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, 30 seconds.  Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes longer, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  
  4. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are slightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of one cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack in pan for 15 minutes.  Remove from pan and sit on wire rack until completely cooled.  Frost.

Chocolate Frosting

1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 can (5 ounce) evaporated milk
1 package (12 ounce) semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Place butter, granulated, and evaporated milk in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a full boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly.  Boil while stirring for 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat.  Add chocolate chips.  Cool (about 30 minutes).
  4. Whip with an electric mixer.  If frosting is too thick whip in milk, one tablespoon at a time, until frosting reaches spreadable consistency
  5. Use to frost 2 dozen cupcakes.
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  1. Mmm, you can't beat a cupcake when it's topped with that luscious chocolate frosting. I hope you'll come by and link it up to Sweets for a Saturday.

  2. I love your semi-homemade approach to these cupcakes. They sound wonderful.

    I'd like to invite you to share this recipe on my linky, Sweet Tooth Friday. I hope to see you there.

  3. Looks delicious! I'm blog surfing while waiting for my cupcakes to cool so that I can get to icing them :)

  4. Hi Heidi,
    Vanilla cake with chocolate frosting is one of my favorite combinations for cake. These cupcakes look so delicious. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week!

  5. wow these look great! thanks for sharing! i am a sucker for cupcakes!

  6. Yummy! I love the vanilla/chocolate combination. Please share your recipe wiht our readers by linking it up at Muffin Monday. Thanks!

  7. evaporated milk is such a great is a pantry staple of mine...i am going to try your chocolate fudge frosting recipe. yellow cake and chocolate frosting is THE BEST combination! thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club!

  8. Thanks for linking these up to Sweets for a Saturday.