Marble Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream

A perfect cupcake for when you can’t decide whether you fancy chocolate or vanilla cake! This simple cupcake recipe consists of chocolate and vanilla cake batter layered together and decorated with a swirl of milk chocolate buttercream. 

Sometimes I want a chocolate cake and other times I really crave a vanilla cake, but when you combine the two in a cake you’ve created a truly special cupcake treat.

My sister bakes amazing marble cakes and this cake really is a super popular birthday cake choice in our house because you get the taste of chocolate and vanilla together!

I asked on my social media platforms what cupcake recipes you wanted to see on the blog and I had some delicious responses. My friend, Alice, suggested baking marble cupcakes and I figured because I hadn’t shared a marble cake/cupcakes recipe on here yet, it was time to do something about that!

As you know already if you’ve baked/read recipes from this blog you’ll know I only share easy recipes that are totally fail-proof. The last thing I want you to do is waste your time and money on recipes that don’t work and you’re unhappy with. I love putting a big smile on you and your family and friends faces with my recipes!

This cupcake batter is super easy to prepare. It’s made the same way I make the batter for this Classic Victoria Sandwich, but this time we’re splitting the batter into two and adding cocoa powder to one part of the batter. The only bad part is there’s one more bowl to wash up once you’re done baking, but these cupcakes are worth it!

To construct the cupcakes ready for baking, once you’ve filled your cupcake/muffin tin with paper cases, dollop a spoonful of vanilla batter in one paper case, then repeat the previous step this time with a spoonful of chocolate batter on top of the vanilla batter (or do this the opposite way round if you prefer). Then continue to repeat alternating the batters until all the paper cases are 3/4 full and you’ve used up both cake batters. Seriously so easy and these cupcakes look impressive when they’re baked!

The cupcakes suit a whole host of different buttercream recipes. I picked to decorate my cupcakes with milk chocolate buttercream, but cream cheese frosting or even vanilla or white chocolate buttercream would pair well with the cupcakes.

I used my favourite ultra creamy milk chocolate buttercream recipe to top the cupcakes. I had a slight ingredient problem in my kitchen before baking these as I was running low on icing sugar and we couldn’t get any in our shopping and to make things worse I also discovered that my muffin tin was thrown out by accident < every bakers absolute nightmare! So first I had to order a new tin to bake the cupcakes and then I had to improvise by making icing sugar ready for my buttercream! Simply using my blender (which I use to make smoothies) I blended caster sugar with cornflour. I worried how it would turn out, but I’m impressed how easy it was to make my own.

If you’re looking for a new cupcake recipe to bake during lockdown, here’s my super simple and yummy marble cupcakes. These cupcakes lasted less than a day in our house, I think that tells you just how good these cupcakes taste. Enjoy everyone!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Cupcake Batter: 

175g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

175g caster or granulated sugar

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

175g self-raising flour, sifted

50ml milk

3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

Milk Chocolate Buttercream:

125g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

200g milk chocolate, melted and cooled slightly – you can use a mix of dark/milk or use all white chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3-4 tablespoons double cream or milk (sometimes I add a tablespoon extra to make it creamier)

Small pinch of salt (add a pinch extra if using unsalted butter)

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. To make the cupcakes: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until creamy and pale in colour. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well before adding the next and also add the vanilla – don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled as once you add the flour it will be fine.
  3. Now fold through the sifted flour and once the flour is nearly all mixed through add the milk and mix until combined.
  4. Split the batter into two portions – this doesn’t have to be exactly equal. Then stir the cocoa powder into one batter until incorporated.
  5. Take a spoonful of vanilla batter and add to the paper case, then place a spoonful of the chocolate batter in top. Repeat until all the cake batter has been used up.
  6. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of one of the cupcakes. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then transport them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  7. To make the buttercream: Cream the butter for a minute to soften. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat for about 5 minutes until it’s fluffy and has turned pale in colour. Add the melted chocolate along with the cream and a pinch of salt. Mix until just combined.
  8. Decorate the cupcakes as desired, I pipe buttercream on the tops of mine but you can also spread the buttercream with knife on top of the cupcakes. Add sprinkles if you like – I used white chocolate stars from Cake Angels Sweetie Pie Sprinkles which were kindly gifted to me to bake with during lockdown.

The cupcakes will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Love cupcakes? Try these recipes next!

Butterscotch Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Enjoy!

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Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

The perfect cupcake for any chocolate lover! These chocolate cupcakes are deliciously moist with a delicate crumb and decorated with a swirl of ultra decadent milk chocolate buttercream. 

 

This recipe was originally published on January 27th 2016. 

These chocolate cupcakes definitely live up to their name and as the title describes, they are ultimately good. I’ll never need to find a new chocolate cupcake recipe ever again and neither will you.

Made with a combination of dark chocolate and cocoa powder for intense chocolate flavour. I usually just add cocoa powder to my chocolate cupcakes, but this time I wanted to elevate the flavour by adding even more chocolate to the mix!

The cake itself has a perfect crumb texture. It’s rich, chocolatey and fluffy and will stay moist for days without becoming dry.

After you’ve baked the cupcakes, the next step is to make the milk chocolate buttercream. It wouldn’t be a cupcake without buttercream after all.

These cupcakes will pretty much suit any buttercream you could think of, but this time I went for a classic milk chocolate buttercream. My milk chocolate buttercream recipe is unbelievably delicious and super simple to prepare – it’s pretty much a standard vanilla buttercream recipe with the addition of melted milk chocolate.

To make it, cream the butter until softened and then add the icing sugar. I get many questions from readers asking me to help with their buttercream dilemmas and the most common question is regarding the texture of buttercream and for example why it’s grainy and not smooth. My top tip is to sift your icing sugar for the best buttercream that’s free of any lumps – I’ve had countless buttercream disasters because of not sifting my icing sugar, so it’s definitely worth not skipping this step! 

Continue to mix the butter and icing sugar for about 2-3 minutes or until the buttercream is fluffy and has lightened in colour. Finally, add the vanilla extract, double cream and the melted milk chocolate and mix gently until all the ingredients are combined and the buttercream is smooth.

chocolate fudge cupcake WJBN

This buttercream has just the right balance of sweetness and isn’t too rich. I did in fact eat a few spoonfuls from the bowl before decorating the cupcakes. It’s a hard job being a food blogger sometimes…

I’m addicted to this buttercream and now these chocolate cupcakes. I cannot wait to bake my next batch!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cupcakes:

85g dark chocolate, finely chopped

40g cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or powder (optional)

180ml boiling water

105g strong white bread flour (can be substituted with plain flour)

150g caster sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Milk Chocolate Buttercream:

125g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3-4 tablespoons double cream

200g milk chocolate, melted and cooled

Method:

  1. To make the cupcakes: Place the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and coffee granules/powder (if using) in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the boiling water over and whisk until smooth and all the chocolate has melted. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin with paper cases. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda until thoroughly combined. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla into the now cooled chocolate mixture. Finally, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Divide the batter between the paper cases – I find using an ice cream scoop best for doing this as it makes less mess. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until the cupcakes are well risen and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  4. To make the buttercream: Cream the butter for about a minute or two to soften. Now add the sifted icing in two batches and beat for another 2-3 minutes until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and double cream.
  5. Mix in the melted chocolate until just combined and decorate the cupcakes as desired. The cupcakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes:

  • Use the best quality chocolate you can afford.
  • If you’re not a fan of coffee you can substitute the coffee with water. You can’t really taste the coffee, but it intensifies the chocolate flavour so I highly recommend adding the coffee.
  • When making the buttercream, remember to sift your icing sugar and add the sugar in batches to ensure you create a smooth textured buttercream.
  • Feel free to decorate the cupcakes with a different frosting flavour like classic vanilla or something fruity like strawberry or raspberry.
  • I decorated these cupcakes with Cake Angels Chocoholics Sprinkles (using the Milk Chocolate Vermicelli and Milk Chocolate Drops).

Chocolate cupcake recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, milk chocolate buttercream recipe by What Jessica Baked Next

Enjoy!

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