Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

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    Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting is the kind of dessert that everyone loves and is so perfect for celebrations.


    The simplest of all cupcakes.

    Dark chocolate cupcake with vanilla bean frosting.

    I decided to bring you a simple yet decadent dark chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting. They’re simple yet so delicious. Isn’t that always the best combination? I love how DARK the chocolate is. You know, sometimes you end up with the medium colored chocolate? No, these are dark brown and so rich and moist. I’m in love with the frosting too! The specks of vanilla bean scattered throughout the white frosting are just darling and they compliment the dark chocolate so well since the cupcake is a bit bitter (I’m telling you, this is dark chocolate! haha)

    Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

    The best combination in dessert! Dark chocolate and vanilla!
    Prep Time: 20 mins
    Cook Time: 20 mins
    Total Time: 40 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 1 dozen
    Author: Julie Chiou
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    For the cupcake

    • 8 tbsp of unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
    • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    • 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
    • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 3/4 tsp baking powder
    • 2 eggs
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup sour cream

    For the frosting

    • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
    • 3 cups powdered sugar
    • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
    • 1/4 cup milk or cream, optional


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin tins with muffin/cupcake liners.
    • In a small stockpot, bring 1 cup of water to a simmer and place a heatproof bowl on top and combine butter with chocolate and cocoa powder. Continue stirring until all is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool until it's warm to the touch.
    • Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl to combine.
    • In a second bowl, medium sized, whisk the eggs then add sugar, vanilla, and salt until well incorporated. Add the cool chocolate mixture in and whisk well to combine. Put in about 1/3 of the flour mixture and whisk until combined. Add in the sour cream, whisk until all is incorporated then add in the remaining flour mixture and whisk until everything is completely combined and well incorporated.
    • Divide the batter evenly amongst the muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes.
    • Cool cupcakes in muffin tin until they're cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes, then lift them out and place them on a wire rack to cool completely. Cool to room temperature before icing them.
    • In the meantime, while cupcakes are cooling, in a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter to soften it some more. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste. Continue beating on low speed until all is incorporated. If your frosting is too thick, add milk or cream, 1 tbsp. at a time. You don't want it too runny.
    • Once cupcakes have cooled, ice your cupcakes with whatever pastry tip you want.
    • Store in an airtight container for a week. If you're worried about the frosting going bad, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (although, the cupcake part might get kind of dry and hard).


    Cupcake recipe: Brown Eyed Baker


    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
    Meet The Author: Julie Chiou
    Dinner for Two Cookbook
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    Recipe Rating


  • Kathryn says:

    How delicious, sometimes the simplest flavour combinations are the best!

    And congratulations to Brooke, I love the colour theme that you ladies went with and you’ve all made such delicious treats!

  • cassie says:

    Perfect cupcakes for celebrating! And I love the green sprinkles! Yay for babies!!

  • Megan @Country Cleaver says:

    How wonderful, two little bundles of adorable! And these cupcakes, yum-town. I haven’t made a good cupcake in a longgg time. I better get to it.

  • Caroline @ chocolate & carrots says:

    So simple, yet so delicious! I love the green sprinkles added to it! Yay, team green! :D Thank you so much for co-hosting the baby shower with me! :D

  • Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray says:

    Mmmm, gimme dark chocolate anything any day! I love these, and I love how sweet you girls were to do this. :)

  • Brooke (Baking with Basil) says:

    Julie….these look amazing!! I love the green sprinkles on top. My sweet tooth is ridiculous right now and these cupcakes would totally hit the spot! Thank you so much for the virtual shower! You girls are so sweet!!!!!

  • amy @ fearless homemaker says:

    i love love love dark chocolate cupcakes + these look absolutely divine. the little green sprinkles work wonderfully with the theme, too – too cute!

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says:

    The cupcakes sound delicious for a shower! The frosting swirl looks gorgeous!

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says:

    What a lovely batch of cupcakes, Julie! I posted a very similar cupcake today, but the closeups on yours are making me drool! Great, festive recipe.

  • Vanessa says:

    I love a good chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting. Sometimes simple is the absolute best! These look great!!!

  • Villy @ For the love of Feeding says:

    Might be the simplest, but boy is it one of the best!

  • Lauren at Keep It Sweet says:

    That dark chocolate cupcake sounds AMAZING! Love the photos, Julie!

  • Sally @ sally's baking addiction says:

    Julie, these cupcakes look wonderful! I also love the deep, rich dark chocolate hiding underneath the vanilla bean frosting. PS: your frosting looks pretty much perfect. :)

  • I think a Virtual baby shower is a great idea :) I love all the pretty and yummy recipes~ I love simply yummy cupcakes!

    Congratulations to Brooke and her twin boys ~

  • Jackie @ Domestic Fits says:

    So cute fo you all for doing this! No baby shower is complete without cupcakes :)

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    I want a cupcake!!! lol Love hopping around with these virtual showers to see what everyone has created.

  • Coleen says:

    All of the food looks delicious, but the cupcakes sound absolutely sinful! I can’t wait to try them out for myself! And congratulations to the new mom!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    A virtual baby shower? How fun. Everything looks so great, especially your cupcakes. Sometimes simple is the way to go!

  • Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen says:

    Yum Julie! I’ve enjoyed visiting all the virtual baby shower sites and these cupcakes are the perfect little dessert.

  • thelittleloaf says:

    I love the idea of a virtual baby shower – so cute! These cupcakes look so good – you can’t go wrong with that classic chocolate and vanilla combo :-)

  • Baker Street says:

    Sweet of you to host a virtual baby shower. These cupcakes look like the perfect way to celebrate.

  • Tricia says:

    These look delicious and perfect for a baby shower, or any day really.

  • DessertForTwo says:

    Cute! I love the vanilla bean specks!

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist says:

    Oh Julie!! These look DIVINE!!!

  • Krissy's Creations says:

    Great job on the cupcakes Julie!!!

  • Katie {epicureanmom.com} says:

    You had me at dark chocolate! Add vanilla bean frosting… I’m all yours Julie! :) these are fabulous! Send some my way??

  • Jamie @ Cookin' with Moxie says:

    I love any dessert that involves dark chocolate! Oddly enough, I prefer milk chocolate over dark when eating it in an actual candy bar though…

    Where do you buy vanilla bean paste? Do you find it tastes better or is easier to use than vanilla bean pods?

    • Julie says:

      I bought my vanilla bean paste at Williams-Sonoma. If you go to my amazon shop in the right sidebar, you can get it there too.

    • Julie says:

      And yes, it’s definitely easier than vanilla pods. And more rich and flavorful since it’s pretty concentrated.

  • vivilia says:

    hi Julie,

    i made these cupcake yesterday which i found it easy to follow and taste good as well. consider i never bake any bakery.this is my first timer. anyway i found that the step didnt advise when to put the all purpose flour in. is flour mixture including 3/4 cup all purpose flour , 1/2 tsp. baking soda and 3/4 tsp. baking powder?

    thanks for your help.

    • Julie says:

      Thank you for catching that! Yes, the flour mixture includes the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. I’ve updated the recipe, I’m sorry to have you question this step! Thanks again :)

  • vivilia says:

    thanks again julie for the quick reply. your recipe is awesome! i have tried 2 of your recipe in a week time which is really amazing. consider me myself not a fan of cooking :)
    keep it up!!

  • Marcia Tatay says:

    I just made these cupcakes and they taste really good… But mine turned out a bit too dry. They are acting like two day old and kind of crumbling. Any ideas on what I did wrong?
    Thanks so much!!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Marcia! I’m not too sure what happened with that, I’m sorry! Maybe next time, don’t bake them as long? Try maybe baking for 15 minutes then take them out? They continue to cook after they’re taken out. Hope it works out for you!

  • Ann Bowman says:

    Julie- these cupcakes are AMAZING!!! They are seriously the best I have ever made. They taste really similar to an Oreo. I tried your Key Lime Cupcakes and they were also awesome. You are the cupcake queen! :)

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