Cupcakes Three Ways (Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate, Buttercream, and Rasberry Frostings)


Stir up one batter three ways, and then add on buttery icing, plus cute flourishes, for head-of-the-class results.

Prep time: 15 Minutes

Total time: 40 Minutes

Yield: Makes 12 cupcakes



  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled) plus more for pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • vanilla raspberry, or chocolate buttercream


  1. Chocolate Cupcakes: Reduce Flour to 1 1/4 cups, and add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Makes 12.
  2. Black-and-White Cupcakes: Prepare both vanilla and chocolate batters; fill muffin cups with 3 tablespoons of each, side by side. Makes 24.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin pan, or use paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  4. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla, and mix until combined. On low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, followed by milk; end with remaining flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated (do not overmix).
  5. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost with your choice of buttercream.
  6. Vanilla Buttercream: With an electric mixer, beat 8 tablespoons (1 stick) room-temperature unsalted butter until light and fluffy. On medium speed, beat in 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl as necessary. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Increase speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
  7. Rasberry Buttercream: Make Vanilla Buttercream, then beat in 3 to 4 teaspoons seedless raspberry jam.
  8. Chocolate Buttercream: Place 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Make Vanilla Buttercream, then beat in melted chocolate.