A few months ago when my Bloggy Besties started kicking around the idea of having a Cake Week, I immediately knew that whatever I baked would require a milk chocolate buttercream. I know that selecting a frosting without a cake in mind sounds a lot of like buying a cute pair of shoes and then shopping for an outfit to go with it. But we’ve all been there, right? C’mon! I can’t be the only one?
Needless to say, I’ve been dreaming about milk chocolate buttercream since I first whipped up that White Chocolate Buttercream for Son #1’s birthday last year. The kid loves white chocolate, so I had to come up with something special just for him. I had no idea that the recipe would become the most sought after recipe on my blog. Who knew?
Popularity aside, I am a steadfast Milk Chocolate Girl. I just love the stuff! So much so, that I always have at least one 6-pack of Hershey’s bars in the house in case of emergencies. The satisfying simplicity of milk chocolate can’t be beaten with a stick, I tell ya!
I should know, because I ate many a wooden spoonful of milk chocolate buttercream during the recipe development process. Once the frosting was nailed down, the cake came easily. I modified the base cake for my Chocolate Loves Vanilla Cake, and added a sweet surprise in the middle–raspberry filling.
I think it’s a pretty awesome combination! My little sweeties and the Bacon Slayer thought so, too. Make these Raspberry Filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream for your sweetie–they’ll love your for it.
Start by preheating the oven to 350° F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners and set them aside.
You’ll need the usual cake ingredients: all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla, and milk. The filling is just raspberry jam and water. We’ll talk frosting later in the post.
Place the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, and cream it together until its light and fluffy.
Add the eggs to the creamed mixture, and stir them in until they are fully incorporated. Once the eggs are worked in, stir in the vanilla. You really should add the eggs one at a time, but both my eggs slipped out of the bowl I had cracked them in, so I stirred them both in at once–and it was fine!
Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl, and whisk it all together.
Alternately add the flour mixture with the milk in several stages, stirring well to combine in between each addition.
Fill the prepared muffin cups 2/3 of the way full with the cake batter. Be careful not to overfill ’em or you’ll end up with a big, cakey mess around the pan after the batter expands while baking. Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 2 minutes before removing them to cool on a wire rack.
While the cupcakes are baking/cooling, thin out some raspberry jam with a couple of tablespoons of water–be sure to add them one at a time, stirring well inbetween, until the jam is a sauce-like consistency.
The jam should slowly slide of the spoon when tipped. Be careful not to over-thin the jam–it should still be fairly thick, but able to easily pass through a pastry filling tip.
This is a pastry filling tip, also known as a Bismarck tip. I prefer the ease of filling cupcakes with a Bismarck tip, but if you don’t happen to have one, or if pastry bags make you a little squeamish, you can still fill the cupcakes without one. I’ll explain how in a minute.
Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, it’s time to fill them with all that raspberry goodness. Assuming that you have a Bismarck tip, attach it to a pastry bag and fill the bag with the raspberry filling. Insert the bottom 1/4-inch of the tip into the center of each cupcake, and give it a small squeeze to fill it.
If you do not have a Bismarck tip or pastry bag, you can fill the cupcakes by cutting a small cone-shaped piece of cake out of the center of each cupcake, spoon 1 teaspoon of the filling inside, and plop the cone of cake back over the filling. It’s not as pretty, but it will do the job. 😉 If you’d like a visual on this process, click here.
The top of the cake will rise a bit, and a little filling may ooze out of the top–that’s OK.
However, if you’re like me and get a little heavy handed with the pastry bag and jam oozes all over the place, you might want to get paper towel to dab away the excess so as to avoid a soggy cupcake.
For the Milk Chocolate Buttercream, you will need: unsalted butter, four regular Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, vanilla, heavy whipping cream, and powdered sugar.
Break up the chocolate and place it into a microwave safe bowl.
Heat the chocolate in a microwave in 30 second increments on full power, stirring well in between each burst, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Allow the chocolate to cool.
Once the melted milk chocolate is cool to the touch, sift the powdered sugar over the butter, and cream with a hand mixer until it’s nice and fluffy.
Add the vanilla to the whipping cream,
pour the cream mixture into the fluffy butter concoction,
and mix on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it’s really fluffy. At this point the whipped cream frosting is quite delicious and would be lovely on any cake. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that I considered frosting the cupcakes at this stage, and just make a meal out of dipping everything I could find into the melted milk chocolate. BUT!
My conscience got the best of me, so I poured all that luscious melted milk chocolate to the mix, and mixed it in on low speed for about a minute, until it was all incorporated.
Since I’m apparently all about full-disclosure today, I should also tell you that I ate a spoonful of this loveliness straight from the bowl.
OK…two spoonfuls. It’s so light and heavenly–almost akin to chocolate mousse!
Pipe the frosting on top of the filled cupcakes, and garnish with sprinkles. If you are not going to serve the cupcakes right away, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow them to sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Raspberry Filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream are as pretty on the inside as they are on the outside. Try them today!
Before I give you the printable, I just want to remind you to come back tomorrow to see Mads’ perfect Valentine creation for Cake Week. I honestly let out a little squee! with delight when I saw the photos. You won’t want to miss it!