Classic Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
I have no shortage of cupcake recipes here on the site – everything from chocolate/chocolate to red velvet, margarita, and everything in between… except I’ve been missing one very important classic – yellow cake cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Truth be told, I’ve been on the lookout for a really spectacular basic yellow cupcake recipe for ages, and finally found it when I made the funfetti cupcakes last year.
Since the yellow cupcake and chocolate buttercream frosting combination is a classic one for birthdays, I wanted to save this recipe and share it with you as a celebration of our son’s birth day :) He turned two weeks old yesterday, so let’s talk cupcakes to celebrate!
I love how incredibly moist these cupcakes turn out each and every time I make them, without exception. They are not fussy at all, just the wonderfully fluffy and buttery yellow cupcakes that birthday dreams are made of.
No cupcake dream would be complete, in my opinion, without a fabulous frosting piled high on each cupcake. The chocolate buttercream frosting I used for these cupcakes is one that I have shared before, and remains my ultimate favorite when it comes to an easy, buttery, silky smooth, ultra chocolatey frosting. To make a long story short, it’s amazing, and the perfect complement to vanilla cupcakes.
If you’ve been looking for a classic cupcake/frosting combo, this is THE one to stash in your arsenal.
Whether you know someone with a birthday coming up or are just looking for an excuse to bake cupcakes, this is one recipe that you can’t go wrong with!
Two years ago: Pink Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies
Four years ago: Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream
Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
For the Cupcakes:
- 1¾ cups (218.75 g) cake flour
- 1¼ cups (156.25 g) all-purpose flour
- 1¾ cups (350 g) granulated sugar
- 2½ teaspoons (2.5 teaspoons) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup (244 ml) whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Frosting:
- 2 cups (454 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 5 cups (600 g) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounces (226.8 g) semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt, and mix together on low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer on low, add the butter, a few cubes at a time, continuing until all the butter has been added and the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Keeping the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Slowly pour in the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, until batter is smooth, scraping the sides of bowl as needed.
- Fill the liners two-thirds full (about ¼ cup of batter) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the centers are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the Frosting: Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
- Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed to incorporate all of the chocolate. (You can store unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days; let it come to room temperature and then give it a quick whip in the mixer before using.)
- Frost the cupcakes as desired (I used the Ateco #827 decorating tip) and garnish with sprinkles. Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Made for my daughter’s birthday and it was a massive hit! I’m a novice baker and was quite proud with how they turned out. Thank you for the easy-to-follow instructions and super delicious cupcakes!
Mine are in the oven right now!! I can’t wait t9 see them!😍
I followed the recipe accordingly they are not yellow
can i use buttermilk?
Hi Deshonda, I do not recommend it, as there is not baking soda, or another base for the acidic buttermilk to interact with and cause a rise.
I love your blog! Your recipes are always on point. But this yellow cake is just SUPERB! Like, unreal. My husband is the pickiest human on earth and he said this recipe should be a secret because it’s so perfect! Everyone who tries my cupcakes with this recipe always say how light and soft they are, they could eat 3 at once! So… THANK YOU for sharing!
This recipe is amazing. I can’t. Wait to share these with my friends and family. Thank you for posting this recipe😀
I’ve been looking for a moist yellow cake recipe, can this be used for a cake as well? What about doubling the recipe can this be done. Thank you. PS. Have tried some of your recipes and they are yummy! Glad I found your site.
Hi Annie! Welcome to the site :) I haven’t tried converting this to a cake, but I know others have done so successfully. This is the yellow cake recipe I use: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/yellow-cake-chocolate-frosting/
Just made these. Unfortunately, they are by far the worst cupcakes I have ever made. The cake ended up dense and flat, the frosting is sugary and blah. Thankfully my friends aren’t overly picky, so I will still serve these, but am embarrassed to do so.
What recipe would you use to do vanilla icing on these?
Hi Carolyn, I would use this one:
Thank you! Have a Happy Sunday!
This is a PERFECT recipe! Followed instuctions exactly and they were delicious. Moist, springy…will never use another recipe this will be my go to!
These cupcakes are fabulous! Taste just like box mix, only better. Cake is nice and moist, and not dense at all. I’ll be using this recipe for cupcakes from now on!
hey just wanted to ask if the recipe would be affected in any way if I used large eggs instead of regular sized ones?
Hi Shanice, I’ve always thought that large eggs were “regular” eggs – I only use large eggs for my baking!
This is my go to yellow cupcake now. Thank you for sharing!!
Good day. Just wanna ask..what kind of salt can I substitute to kosher salt? Thanks
You can use regular table salt, but I would cut it back to ¾ teaspoon.
Love your recipes, but how do you measure a cup of butter? Grams would be more helpful.
Hi Steph, 1 cup of butter is 227 grams.
Is the butter amount in this recipe right 2 cups seems like a lot?
Hi Sandy, Yes, that is correct!
I had a failure with the frosting it was just TOO sweet! My 6 year old wouldn’t touch it. Had to put frost on the side for to use as a dab. Is the powder sugar too much?
Can’t wait to try these! Can you make these in mini-cupcake size? If so, how long would you bake them? Thanks!
Hi Christy, Yes! I would start checking around 8 minutes.
Made these last night. They are really good! I should have baked for 20 minutes instead of 25, but the toothpick wouldn’t come clean. They were a tad dry. Can’t get my frosting to look as pretty as yours! Will have to take a decorating class.
These were easy to make and tasted good, though it wasn’t what j was expecting. Mine too, were moist but dry. I know this is because it is an egg based cake, not oil. Oil cakes are always moister. My second batch saw the temp reduced by 25* F and the cooking time to 12 minutes. When you think they are going to be undercooked, they are done. The key to this recipe and other non-oil based cakes, is to not over bake them. people are used to the “pudding in the mix” stuff. Happy Trails
Please HELP what is cake flour? Ive been told its not self raising….we have all purpose self raising, bread flour, and soft flour (which I assume is finer)
Hi Maria, Cake flour has a low protein content and results in a finer texture and crumb. If you can’t find it in the store (it’s common in even small grocery stores in the U.S.), you can use the quick substitution found here: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/substitutions/
I will like to try this cake,however there is no cakes flour where I live. What can I do to substitute? Thanks
Hi Carol, There is information on cake flour substitution here: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/substitutions/
I made these cupcakes for the first time this past week for a shower at work and they are great. Everyone loved them. I did have a comment on this recipe, though. I had to make them twice. The first time I made these, I did what the recipe said which was fill the cups 2/3 full and they baked WAY over the top. I have standard sized cupcake tins from Wilton so I don’t think it is size. Because I had time to remake them, I filled them with less batter and I didn’t have the problem from the first batch but they sank in the middle. I was able to salvage the second batch with frosting but I was hoping to see if you have any suggestions on how to avoid the sinking in the middle. I may have over beat them but if you have any other suggestions for what to avoid while baking, I would be happy to listen. Again, super delicious cupcakes come from this recipe and I want to use this in the future.
I made these cupcakes last week and they were absolutely delicious!! Thanks for a great recipe :)
Michelle, how on earth do you get such even cupcakes? The edges of my cupcakes never seem to rise evenly with the middle. These cupcakes look gorgeous!
Would I be able to half the recipe?
Yes, absolutely! I’ve done it without any issues.
Hi, will this recipe work for a full cake? What size of pan could I use?
Thanks for any advice!
Hi Bee, Yes! You can make a 9×13-inch or an 8-inch or 9-inch layer cake (the recipe will yield two layers).
How long would you bake the cake for then?? These look very yummy! Also, enjoy your time with your precious baby :)
I’m so excited to try this recipe. So delicious! So inspirational!
They do sound yummy… i was just wondering if anyone else reading here can tell why her cupcakes are yellow, and the recipe she used shows them being white in the photos…
Not an issue at all I am just curious!
She modified the recipe – those cupcakes are vanilla, not yellow.
Hi Tamra, It’s actually just the lighting, they are the same color!
That has got to be the most perfect cupcake I have ever seen! Your frosting swirls are better than bakery (and, I’m sure they taste 100% better). The photographs are gorgeous!
Yum! These look so pretty — a super combination in our house. I don’t think I’ve ever made yellow cake from scratch so am excited to try this recipe out.
Hope you are getting some rest in the crazy first weeks of parenthood!
I love these! Yellow cake with chocolate icing is my favorite. I love it so much that we almost went with that combo for our wedding. :)
these look awesome – this recipe’s a keeper for sure! yum!!
Yesterday I received your daily email and was very happy that your site was again working properly. Today–no email again. :(
There’s nothing like classic yellow cake and chocolate frosting. Definitely one of my favorite combinations…reminds me of my childhood. I’m anxious to try the cupcake recipe. I’m still on the look out for the ultimate one!
hi! one question?… what’s the diference between cake flour and all purpose flour?
Cake flour is a finer grain flour than all purpose. It helps whatever you’re baking come out lighter and fluffier. It sounds funny to me but I’ve tested the same recipe using both and the cake flour truly did make a difference.
Hi Maria, All-purpose flour has more protein in it; cake flour results in a lighter, finer texture.
This recipe looks yummy…a perfect two week old celebration cupcake for your little guy. I think I might try cutitng it in half to make a smaller batch…it looks doable( I hope). As an aside, I clicked the link to Cookies and Cups then clicked her link to the Back in The Day Bakery Cookbook she reference. I did a peek inside on Amazon and now I think I have to purchase the book. The cover photo alone makes me want to check it out…an adorable couple for sure.
Happy TWB little Joseph David!!
Yeah!!!!!! Thank you for this recipe. I started my baking from scratch two years ago when I wanted to make valentine’s day cupcakes for my DD’s party. This is how I came across your site. Because there was not a traditional yellow cupcake recipe, I made the vanilla cupcake recipe on your site with vanilla icing. I had (and continue to have after a number of later attempts) trouble getting these cupcakes to be moist. Plus, the taste was not a huge hit with little ones. Though, I made the red velvet cupcakes for the adults and they were hugely popular. Anyway, I have been hunting for the last 2 years for a good, from scratch, kid friendly, white or yellow cupcake recipe. I’ve tried quite a few over the last 2 years and none of them have hit the mark. So, I’m very excited to try this recipe, particularly since this room Mom is in charge of cupcakes for her valentine’s day party. Although, I might try to make them in cake cones for the kiddies after I test this recipe. Thank you again.
Happy 2 weeks old to your son! Congratulations. I’m sure you will but make sure you get plenty of pics with that little guy over the next few years in his Steelers and Pens gear. My DD’s first football season we did a family Steelers portrait and she was in a #36 Jerome Bettis jersey that was handed down from her cousin (which I had bought for him the year they won the SB in Detroit). Unfortunately, my DD’s baby book reports that they lost in the playoffs her first season :(( But, I got the picture out to show my DD on Saturday when it was announced that the Bus was going to be inducted into the hall!
I’m totally into these! Who can resist a pretty cupcake like these?
I’ve been craving cupcakes for a week now.
Pinned! Have a beautiful day!
I love your recipes but hardly ever make anything due to the problems shifting cup measurements outside of the U.S. It would be so very much appreciated if you could provide metric measurements for your very large readership based elsewhere around the world.
That is the beauty of the Internet! You can find it all online! Sure, it might take a little longer on your part, but her recipes are worth it, trust me! Remember, she has a new baby- the amount of time it would take to do that with her current number of recipes would be unfathomable! Here’s a handy website that has the conversions, otherwise there are plenty out there that will do it for you.
I agree that it is possible to do the conversions, write out the new recipe and then make the food according to that. However, this process takes time and is an impediment to jumping straight in and whipping up a batch of whatever the recipe concerns.
Although these conversions are available, there is a degree of variance from one website to another. For most recipes this would not be an issue. However, baking is generally fairly precise in order to be successful and a small variance in ingredients can mean the difference between success and failure.
I am not asking for all recipes to be retroactively converted to metric measurements, only that during the recipe testing process, each is weighed and noted for inclusion in ‘new’ recipes.
Metric is a universal measure which can be utilised by all readers, not just those within the US.
To be fair, Michelle asked us a while ago if there was anything we would like to see on the site, and quite a few people did ask for the metric measurements including myself. Since being asked Michelle has pretty much made sure her new current recipes have had the metric measurements. Like Julie R commented, to do this with all the previous recipes would take forever. I’m from the UK and have managed to make a lot of Michelle’s recipes over the years just using a conversion chart I found on-line.