White Chocolate Cupcakes

White chocolate cupcakes are a stunning spectacle of restraint. Not too sweet. Not too rich. Just simple perfection through and through.

White Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

These white chocolate cupcakes have a stunning appearance and a subtle sweetness. The white chocolate flavor isn’t incredibly assertive—if anything it’s just a lovely vanilla undertone that goes perfectly with the fine-crumbed texture to create a spare sophistication that appeases kids as well as adults, including those fussy foodies you invited to your next dinner party. This recipe has been updated. Originally published June 21, 2013.Renee Schettler Rossi

Special Equipment: Pastry bag (optional)

White Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 1 H
  • Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cake flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Directions

  • 1. Position an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line twelve 3-by-1 1/2-inch muffin cups with paper liners.
  • 2. Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a skillet of water to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and place the bowl in the hot water. Let it stand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Be careful not to let any water get in the bowl or the chocolate will seize and clump. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool until tepid.
  • 3. In a small bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • 4. In a glass measuring cup, stir together the milk and vanilla.
  • 5. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the tepid chocolate. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 additions, and mix until smooth. Using a 2-inch diameter ice cream scoop or a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop the batter into the prepared cups. The cups should not be more than 2/3 full. (If you overfill the cups, they will end up flat rather than domed.)
  • 6. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overbake. Don’t be alarmed if the cupcakes don’t rise appreciably or if they fail to turn golden brown. Let the cupcakes cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes from the muffin cups to the wire rack and cool completely.
  • 7. Frost the tops of your white chocolate cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting. (For an especially professional look, use an ice-cream scoop to top each cupcake with the frosting, then use a small spatula to smooth each portion of frosting into a dome.) Refrigerate until about 1 hour before serving.

White Chocolate Cupcake Variations

  • White Chocolate Layer Cake
  • To make a white chocolate layer cake instead of white chocolate cupcakes, double the recipe, use two 9-inch pans instead of cupcake tins, and bake for about 40 minutes.
  • White Chocolate Cupcakes Filled With Jam
  • A tart jam filling contrasts nicely with the sweetness of these white chocolate cupcakes and cream cheese frosting—raspberry, strawberry, currant, or just about anything would be lovely. If filling the cupcakes, place about 3/4 cup jam in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip about 1/2 inch wide. Insert the tip about 1/2-inch deep into a cooled cupcake and squeeze to pipe about a tablespoon jam deep into the heart of the cupcake. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes and jam.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

David Leite

Dec 30, 2016

I have to say that I’d my doubts about this recipe. The batter was thin and, despite what the author says, the cupcakes rose and turned slightly golden in the oven. I figured they’d be dry, but the cupcakes were perfectly baked. The texture of the cupcake was good—the crumb was tight and the structure was firm. It wasn’t dry, but it wasn’t soft, either. It had a whisper of white chocolate—which to me is a creamy, milky flavor. Of course, there’s no chocolatey chocolate flavor. Clearly, white chocolate isn’t an assertive flavor. Our guests loved these and I’d definitely recommend them. I frosted a cupcake using an ice cream scoop to see if it’s indeed easy to frost that way, and it was! Also, it’s great that the cake doesn’t need to be refrigerated, which would make the fat in the cake congeal and take on a weird texture.

Adrienne Lee

Dec 30, 2016

These cupcakes are good and easy to make. I filled a cupcake with Nutella. The Nutella is great with the cupcake. I suspect that a dark chocolate frosting or a Nutella-based frosting would be better than the white chocolate frosting.

Kim M.

Dec 30, 2016

This recipe produced exactly 12 cupcakes, as promised. The use of cake flour resulted in a soft and fine crumb. The white chocolate flavor was delicate and delicious. Once filled with the raspberry jam and topped generously with the rich White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing, each flavor component complimented the whole.

Lori Widmeyer

Dec 30, 2016

If you love white chocolate, and I do, you will love these wonderfully moist white chocolate cupcakes. The recipe says it makes 12 and to fill the cups very full, but I still ended up with 15. I only put raspberry jam in a few, and they were received with mixed reviews. No one thought the jam was a great addition. I topped the cupcakes with the white chocolate cream cheese icing. I'm not a huge cream cheese fan, and this is very cream cheesy, so next time I may try adding some orange zest to the icing or a dark chocolate drizzle with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Ayanna Fews

Dec 30, 2016

This cupcake was good. It had a nice flavor and I really liked the texture. I think that vanilla was the more pronounced flavor rather than the white chocolate. I thought that the frosting really adds to the white chocolate flavoring and makes for a very nice cupcake to frosting combo. I liked that this frosting was cream cheese-based. I think regular buttercream would have been way too sweet and taken away from the white chocolate flavor. I thought that the density of the cake was good—not quite pound cake dense, but firm enough to handle a good filling. I used a mixed berry jam. The recipe made exactly 12 cupcakes and the frosting was more than enough to frost the 12 cupcakes using a piping bag and making a nice size swirl of frosting on top.

Kara Vitek

Dec 30, 2016

These white chocolate cupcakes are truly an inspiration! The cupcakes are moist and flavorful. They're a bit dense, like pound cake. The white chocolate taste is undetectable to me, even though I knew white chocolate was in there. They have a very vanilla flavor to me. The frosting is out-of-this-world scrumptious. The recipe allowed for a very generous dollop atop the cupcake, which was incredible because I truly couldn't get enough of it. The contrast of the raspberry with the sweet cupcake was perfect; do not skip the raspberry jam or disappointment will be had! These cupcakes also came together easily.

Comments

  1. I’d like to try this recipe but living in the UK I’m not sure what ‘cake flour’ is? We have self-raising flour which contains raising agents and is often used for baking but we also have baking flour which has a finer, lighter texture than all purpose flour. Which is the right one to use?

    1. Hi Jamie, I would use the baking flour. I think that would be closer to the cake flour found in the US. I’ve also heard of UK bakers using all purpose flour with a bit of added cornstarch to approximate cake flour.

  2. I am on a quest for a great cupcake recipe. I have found the chocolate one. So I am hoping this also can be another go to one…

    1. We hope so, too, Kelley! Our testers raved about the taste and texture of these, and I hope you will, too. We’ll be waiting to hear….

  3. This cupcake stood its ground. It did not crumble on first bite. Texture was firm, but very moist. I substituted 1/2 t almond extract in place of the vanilla for a twist on the deliciousness. I also think coconut extract would be good and will try on the next go around. Unanimous thumbs up from the fam.

  4. Hello Beth, Do you think it would be ok to bake these a day before? If so, how would you recommend these be stored? Thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to try these :)

    1. Hi Catherine, it should be fine to make these the day before. I would store them in the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

  5. Since the vanilla adds to the flavor, I wonder about adding the scraping of inside of a vanilla bean to the frosting for a little boost in flavor and color texture. I love vanilla bean and try to incorporate those delicious bits into lots of things. I wonder. Your take?

  6. I just made these in a mini version for the office for a little Halloween treat – they baked perfectly, and are positively outstanding! I did use excellent vanilla and vanilla bean, and will in the frosting as well, can’t hurt might help ;0) I can’t wait for them to cool so I can frost them! I have a heck of a time finding a “white” cake base that I really care for, granted its not a true “white” but for as good as this is, I don’t think anybody would really notice, or care ;0) Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. You are so very welcome, Beth! Wonderful to hear it! Thanks SO much for taking the time to let us know. Can’t wait to hear what recipe from the site you try next…

  7. I have made these twice now and absolutely love them! I used a sour cherry preserve for the filling and it was soooo delicious! Thank you for the much needed white cake base!

  8. OMG! I was looking for a simple cupcake recipe for a baby shower and found yours. It seemed like a lot of vanilla extract, so I used half the amount. Because I live in Australia, I just used self-raising flour instead of all the mixture you had. While mixing the mixture appeared to curdle a little but still held together and tasted fine. Twenty-five minutes in the oven I had the lightest, fluffiest cupcakes I’ve ever eaten! They are lovely and flat so easy to frost and the tops have a crispy texture and the inside so light! These are obviously going to fast become a family favorite. I just hope I have enough left for the baby shower! Thank you! Amazing recipe.

    1. Judy, so glad to know you enjoyed the recipe. It’s definitely not too much vanilla, if you’re using regular and not double-strength vanilla. And I think the batter may have appeared curdled because not all your ingredients were at absolute room temp. Happens to me sometimes, too.

  9. Just made these cupcakes. The texture is light and fluffy, and they taste delicious. They rose way more than expected. I followed the recipe (filling the cups up instead of doing them 1/2 to 3/4 full like I normally would) so the cups ended up overflowing onto the pan, resulting in messy, flat-topped cupcakes. That was a little frustrating, but next time I will not fill the cups as much. I chose not to do a filling in them, and topped them with a maple sugar frosting. Yum!

    1. Nadia, I’m so sorry you had a difficult time with the baking of the cupcakes. The author is very specific about using 1/3 cup of batter. Do you have a scoop? I find them incredibly helpful when making cupcakes. P.S. Your frosting sounds divine.

      1. I also had the problem of the cakes rising much more than expected and they have risen over the top of the cupcake cases and look a mess. I definitely used a measure to measure out the suggested amount of batter into each case, and my tins are of the right size. However, according to the comments above I am confident the cupcakes will taste better than they look! Next time I will ignore the instructions and fill them with less! :)

        1. Thanks, Lucy. We’re going to retest the recipe right away based on your and others’ comments and will be back in touch. We’ll tweak the recipe so as to make certain there’s no messy overflow. Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know! And yes, we do hope and trust the flavor is as spectacular for you as it was for us.

  10. Ok. Here’s the deal. I have never liked white chocolate. I have always had a problem with finding a good white cake recipe. Well, you’ve gone and done it. I made this tonight, as a matter of fact, the last batch of cupcakes are in the oven as I type. Here’s what I can say: (1) these are absolutely incredibly amazing. (2) The crumb and texture is perfect. (3) I have no reason to ever look for or try another white cake recipe again. Like I said, this one was absolutely perfect.

    I did double the recipe. I got 42 standard size cupcakes out of it. Very nice ones.

    The only 2 things I did differently because it was all I had, (1) I substituted pasteurized egg whites. And in case anyone wants to know, it’s 3 tablespoons = 1 whole egg. (2) I didn’t have whole milk, we only use 1 %, but it seemed to do just fine.

    But seriously, this is a phenomenal recipe.

    Thanks so much for sharing it.

    Now, I have to go and frost them. :)

    1. So lovely to hear this recipe has cast its spell on you, too, Cheryl! We feel exactly the same. Appreciate your conversion for using pastuerized egg whites in place of egg.

  11. Just read the comments in regards to cupcakes and cakes over spilling, one thing I learned in Home Ec, is that regardless of the recipe, never fill your pan more than 1/2 – 2/3 full. Anything over that, you end up with an overflow. Don’t rely on a recipe when it comes to this particular matter. Might be why I got 42 cupcakes when I doubled it. And they were perfectly shaped, formed and a perfect small dome. Ok, this was just my 2 cents plus more than 40 years of baking experience. Oh, one more thing, use an ice cream scoop. It works great for measuring how much you’re actually putting into the cupcake papers. One scoop is all you need.

    1. Many thanks, Cheryl L, for taking the time to share your experience. It makes perfect sense and quite frankly I will take 40 years baking experience over what any fancy schmancy website has to say any day! I’m adjusting the recipe to reflect not overfilling the pans right now. Really looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next. And again, thank you.

  12. I never thought White Chocolate cupcakes would taste this good. I researched this recipe by accident since I have an unsuccessful white chocolate whipped cream frosting in my fridge (part white chocolate and heavy cream) and then I gave this recipe a try, since I only have left over bluuberry filling, I decided to swirl it on top. It turned out beautiful and delicious. Cupcakes are light and fluffy. This is gonna be on my recipe folder. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe.

    Blueberry White-Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

    1. You are so very welcome, Khishy. Lovely to hear you were able to turn a frustration into something remarkable.

  13. I believe that in every house there is a child who does not like to eat what is prepared here, the house has one, but this cupcake meal saves any housewife who has little time but needs to feed herself and the family is very practical and quick to do. I loved the recipe.

    1. Kelley, oh, that kid was me. When my tried to feed me kale soup or calf’s liver…well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. Glad your little one liked the cupcakes.

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