Moist yellow cupcakes filled with a rich and creamy chocolate buttercream frosting. Make them for a fun celebration, birthday, or just because!
It feels like just yesterday and simultaneously a lifetime ago that we were celebrating my thirtieth birthday.
And today, we celebrate thirty-one.
And we celebrate the best way I know how: homemade yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting.
Not just any cupcakes, or any chocolate frosting – yellow cupcakes filled with chocolate buttercream frosting.
Go big or go home in your thirties, that’s my motto.
It’s also my motto that you can be in your thirties and make yourself chocolate filled cupcakes because WHY NOT. These are not age-restricted cupcakes and you deserve it.
My Thirtieth Year
As I reflect back on this time last year, and the words I wrote in that mini chocolate cake post, I realize how much I’ve grown and learned in these mere 365 days.
At thirty, I was processing the feelings between “growing up”, “growing into adulthood” and really “being an adult”.
In this past year, I’ve healed. I’ve set boundaries. I’ve listened. I’ve spoken up. I’ve figured out what it is I want. And what I don’t want. I’ve grown into myself.
While those are all really high-level words. Concepts. Realities. They’re exactly the best way to sum up this past year.
It was a really big, really fantastic year. One that at this very moment, as I reflect, feels like it was a big, instantaneous monumental shift. A year of monumental changes and growth.
But if I really reflect and look back, it was a lot of subtle shifts.
A lot of little moments all rolled into one.
It was prioritizing self-care after getting mono. It was balancing business and friends and life. It was about living authentically and fully.
It was about achieving goals and crossing items off my bucket list and creating memories with people I love. HELLO, FRANCE!
It was a really great year. Really, really great year. And it makes me so dang excited to see what thirty-one holds. Now, onto the cupcakes!
How to Make Homemade Yellow Cupcakes (from scratch!)
First things first: do not be afraid to make homemade cake! Especially not a cupcake recipe.
Seriously, I beg you. It is SO worth it.
Not to mention (actually, very much to mention) that this recipe is just as easy as its boxed counterparts. So no excuses there.
Making yellow cupcakes from scratch is as easy as creaming together the room temperature butter with the sugar, adding in the eggs and vanilla extract, then the dry ingredients and milk.
No fanciness there.
The key to making yellow cupcakes is all in the egg yolks. This recipe gets its color and richness from the addition of extra egg yolks. One white to keep some bounce and airiness to the cake. Yes, moist and fluffy cupcakes all the way.
I also use cake flour in this recipe. I think the texture is so much better using it, and if you don’t have (or want) specific cake flour, see my notes for how to make your own at home.
The thing to remember when making a cake from scratch is to not overmix it. You want the cake to keep its fine, tender crumb, so only incorporate the ingredients until just mixed together (in the final steps).
And now for the extra fun part…
How to Fill the Cupcakes
Yes, you’re here for the chocolate buttercream filled yellow cupcakes and that is what you shall have! Here’s how to do it.
Are you ready for the greatest filling cupcake trick? I learned it from Molly Yeh’s show on the Food Network…
Use an apple corer!
Seriously, it creates the most perfect sized hole in the cupcakes, easily scoops out the cake, and makes the entire process SO EASY.
Begin by gently pushing the apple corer into the center of the cupcake, being careful to not go too far. You want to insert it about halfway through, removing about 1 – 1 1/2 inches of cake.
The best part is you get to immediately eat all the cake you take out. Looking out for you, that’s all. 🙂
After the holes have been prepped, you’ll place the frosting into an (ahem, reusable) piping bag. The easiest way to do this is to put the bag – with the tip, I use just a large round one for these cupcakes – in a tall glass.
Fold over the top of the pastry bag to create more of an opening. Scoop the frosting in and then fold it back up.
Begin piping the frosting into the cupcake and continue piping around the top of the cupcake.
For this version, I continued until the frosting almost reached the edge of the cupcake and then used a flat cake spatula to “swoosh” the frosting down. Technical terms.
How to Store the Cupcakes
If you’re not serving the cupcakes right away, it’s perfectly ok to store them covered at room temperature.
If you need them to stay fresh longer, or worry about room temperature storage, place them covered in the fridge. Be sure to bring them back to room temperature before serving though for best results.
If they’re special birthday cupcakes, be sure to store them right on the birthday star’s bedside table for the perfect breakfast in bed birthday morning. Hint, hint…
I can’t wrap this up without saying thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of you for being around for another year. Cheers to another 365 days of growing, laughing, and eating all the food.
Want to check out my other birthdays since FITK has been around?
- Mini Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream Frosting (2018)
- Mini Cranberry Pistachio Cheesecakes (2017)
- Pistachio Butter Cookies (2016)
- Chocolate Mint Cookie Sandwiches (2015)
Chocolate Buttercream Filled Yellow Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour*
- 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 c. + 1 TBSP sugar
- 2 egg yolks room temperature
- 1 egg room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup + 1 TBSP sour cream room temperature
- 3/4 cup whole milk room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature (2 sticks)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 3 Tablespoon milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat to 350°F. Prepare 12 cupcake tins with liners and set aside. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle mixing attachment, cream together room temperature butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until combined, light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and egg, along with the vanilla extract, and beat until combined. Slowly mix in sour cream until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and slowly stir in, adding milk once almost all dry ingredients are combined, and continuing to mix just until it's fully incorporated. Be sure to not overmix.
- Fill the cupcake liners approximately 3/4 of the way full (I use 2 full scoops of this cookie scoop). Bake for 16-20 minutes until slightly golden brown and the cupcake bounces back when gently touched - or until the internal temperature reaches approximately 195-198°F. Let cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.
- To remove the center of the cooled cupcakes, use an apple corer and push it straight down the middle of the cupcake, approximately halfway down. Pull up and approximately 1 1/2 inches of the cupcake will be removed. Do this for the remaining cupcakes and eat or save the removed cake (no cake wasted!). See frosting instructions for filling.
- Beat room temperature butter. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and beating inbetween additions. Incorporate 2 TBSP milk with the powdered sugar, as well as the vanilla extract. Add cocoa powder and remaining TBSP of milk. Beat until fully combined, light, and fluffy.
- Place frosting in a large piping bag with a large round tip (or just have the pastry bag be your "tip"). Squeeze frosting into the hole in the cupcakes for the filling and continue squeezing the frosting around the top of the cupcake until covered. Use a knife or icing spatula to "swoop" the frosting. Frost the remaining cupcakes.
- Serve immediately or store in a covered container at room temperature for 1-2 days.