Vanilla Chocolate Cupcakes w Coffee Buttercream


Baked. Frosted. Topped.

Ready for cupcake post #4? I’m sorry! I just love desserts, am exploring the world of cupcakes and with dragonboat season revving up, chances to go out and eat with friends is minimal. :( booo So I make do in the kitchen haha
At our first regatta last Saturday, the team did well, meeting pretty much all our expectations and even bringing home some hardware. YESS!! Perfect excuse to make “congratulatory” cupcakes for our next practice!

I wanted to make an “easy” cupcake but still make it sort of special. Marble? Special frosting? How about half-vanilla half-chocolate?! That sounds ordinary but tweaked enough. :D 

Went online and found a recipe for both respective cupcakes and halved them, to make 24 cupcakes. To keep things organized, I got all the ingredients out at once. 

Both batters scooped into the paper liners.

Both cupcakes follow pretty much the same prep as the “Basic Cupcake How-To” so just click on the link and you’ll be able to read the instructions in a nicely laid out format.

I was nervous that I’d have to do some frantic multitasking spooning in both batters at once to get the vertical half-half division that I wanted. But as you’ll see, that worry was rather silly.

As listed in the “Basic Cupcake How-To”, you want to first cream your butter and sugar. This light fluffy consistency will be carried over into the final product. ;)
Ingredients for the Vanilla Cupcake: flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, butter, egg, milk, vanilla.

If there are multiple eggs, add them in one at a time. 
Combine any other wet ingredients in a bowl. Sift dry ingredients in another. In half-batches of each, alternate between dry & wet—mixing them into the batter.
Do NOT overmix!

Set batter aside.
Light, glossy vanilla batter.

Time for the chocolate batter!! :D:D Main difference here is the addition of cocoa and a slight reduction in the amount of flour that goes in. 
Ingredients for the Chocolate Cupcake: flour, cocoa, salt, vaking powder, sugar, butter, egg, milk, vanilla.

Same idea: cream butter & sugar, mix in egg(s). Alternate between half batches of dry & wet ingredients until everything’s fully incorporated.  
(from top left clockwise): Butter at room temp / Cream butter / Add sugar to beat / Add half milk & vanilla mixture.

(from top left clockwise): Dry ingredients sifted / Add half flour mixture / Add remaning halves / Blend.

Set batter aside. 
Side-by-side this is what the batters resemble. Quite a big difference I'd say! :D

Line 2 12-hole muffin tins with paper liners. Spoon in the vanilla batter onto one side and the chocolate into the other. 
Notice the air bubbles and the fluffiness of the batter (especially top left photo)! It’s like mousse. Mmmm. Best part, the batter holds its shape really well so no worries about having to ninja this step. You can take your time ;)

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 20-22 min. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 min. 
Mini cupcakes on the left. Baked normal sized cupcakes on the right.

Remove cupcakes from muffin tin and cool completely. 
Couldn't resist I had to try one fresh from the oven! (for the record: approved)

You thought I was done? Well no. It’s time to make some hopefully awesome icing!! (Do this while the cupcakes are baking to save on time). 

Buttercream = mix of fat & sugar. That’s the basic components that it’s comprised of. Here’s my tweak of the classic buttercream:

Coffee Buttercream
½ cup              butter, room temp
1½ cups         icing sugar
1½ tbsp          milk, room temp
1½ tsp            instant coffee granules
¼ tsp               vanilla extract


I haven’t tried this indicator before this recipe (this is for frostings) but it worked out well for me so I’ll stick with it. What it is is that instead of simply “creaming the butter until light & fluffy”, beat it until it’s as white as possible. 
Next comes the icing sugar. Gradually add in ¾ cup. Then after it’s been beat in, add the remaining ¾ cup. 

Stir the coffee granules into the milk, making sure that it’s all dissolved. Stir in vanilla. 

Last step, beat in the milk mixture into the butter/sugar cream. You may use more or less milk, depending on the consistency of the buttercream that you want to achieve.

Like last time, I used a French tip, Wilton #21 to pipe the buttercream onto the now cooled cupcakes. 

They looked a little plain so I sprinkled some toffee bits on top. The crunch accompanying the creamy icing and soft cupcake…MMM! 
What’s most important is that the team enjoyed them! That’s all that matters. :D:D I noticed that the next day, the frosting had hardened a bit to create a sort of shell. Cool!

Vanilla & Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
¾ cup  flour
¾ tsp   baking powder
¼ tsp   salt
¼ cup  milk
½ tsp   vanilla extract
¼ cup  butter, room temp
¼ cup+2 tbsp sugar
1          egg

½ cup+2 tbsp flour
¼ cup  cocoa powder
1 tsp    baking powder
¼ tsp   salt
¼ cup  milk
½ tsp   vanilla extract
¼ cup  butter
¼ cup+2 tbsp sugar 
1          egg

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners.
2. For A & B respectively follow the following steps (#3-9).
3. Sift flour, (cocoa), baking powder, salt. Set aside.
4. Mix milk & vanilla. Set aside.
5. Cream butter & sugar until fluffy, 3-4 min.
6. Add egg, mix until incorporated.
7. Mix in half of the milk mixture. Mix in half of the flour mixture.
8. Repeat 6. with the remaining halves. Do NOT overmix.
9. Set batter aside.
10. Spoon into each paper liners ½ vanilla batter and ½ chocolate
(You can make these marble cupcakes by swirling the batter with
a toothpick after you’ve spooned it in).
11. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean,
20-22 min. Cool on a wire rack.

4.5 out of 5 NOMs



  1. love the blue and white ware! did you make the toffee bit beforehand or were they premade? love how your piping is progressing. now if i were to eat the chocolate portion then the vanilla portion (and vice versa), should i expect a difference in the taste...if so...how does it taste? on another note! do well today :)

  2. the toffee bits were premade :S I should try some "homemade" toppings next time shouldn't I? haha thanks! yep, there was a pretty big difference. i guess the main thing is that the chocolate side was genreally richer in taste but the general moistness of the cupcake helped the vanilla side.