- 1 ¾ cups flour
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- ¾ cup dark cocoa powder
- 2 t baking soda
- 1 ½ t baking powder
- 1 t salt
- 2 eggs, brought to room temperature
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 3 t vanilla
- ½ cup boiling water
- 2 cups milk
- 1 box (small) instant chocolate pudding
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 cup Cool Whip
Whipped Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 t vanilla
- Food coloring*
* Optional, but let’s make this festive, ok?
DirectionsOk, this is a three-item dessert, meaning it’s a little more work and a few more messy bowls but I promise it’s worth it.
Starting with the cake, pour the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and whisk until everything is distributed. Set aside.
In a separate bowl add the eggs, sour cream, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla and mix until well combined.
Get your first bowl, pour your wet ingredients into your dry ones, add in the boiling water, and mix until well combined.
Line a cupcake pans with liners and pour your batter into them, filling each about ¾ high. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean.
Once they’re done, move the cupcake pan to a wire rack. Leave the cupcakes in the pan for about 5 minutes, then take them out and return the individual cupcakes to the wire rack to cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling you can move on to the filling.
Put the milk, pudding mix and vanilla into a bowl and whisk together until well blended. Move the bowl to the fridge and let the mixture cool for 5-10 minutes, until it starts to set but is not completely set. Add in the Cool Whip and gently fold it in with a wooden spoon, just until the white streaks are gone. If your cupcakes are not yet cooled completely, return the bowl to the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Once the cupcakes are cool enough to frost, take a knife and core each one – basically just take out the centers. This is where you’re going to be placing the filling. Set the cake you take out aside – I have a suggestion for it later.
Fill a pastry bag with your filling and pipe into each cupcake, until the filling reaches the top of the cupcake but doesn’t go over. Put the cupcakes in the fridge until you’re ready to frost them. You’ll have some filling left over – don’t throw that away either. I’ll have a suggestion for that too at the end of this recipe.
On to the icing! I used my stand mixer for this, but you can also use a regular bowl and a hand mixer.
Put the butter into the bowl and whip until fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add in the salt and about a cup of the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Slowly add in the remaining 3 cups of powdered sugar and again mix until well combined (you don’t want to put all four cups in at once – if you do, as soon as you turn the mixer on there will be powdered sugar everywhere).
Add in the heavy cream and vanilla and whip again until everything is nice and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
Finally, add in your food coloring and mix until just combined. Since I’m making these particular ones for Valentine’s Day, I chose pink.
Take your filled cupcakes out of the fridge. Fill a piping bag with the frosting and pipe over each one. Don’t be skimpy here – everyone loves frosting. Once you’re done, sprinkle with sprinkles and return the cupcakes to the fridge for about a half hour for the frosting to set, then serve!
Makes about two dozen cupcakes.
Oh, and that cake you took out of the middle of the cupcakes and the leftover filling? Put the cake into a bowl and add the leftover filling. I actually used all of the cake and almost all of the filling. Mix together (I just used my hands) until is nice and moist, but still firm enough so that it basically feels like dough. If it’s not soft enough, add a little more of the filling, but be careful – once you add it in you can’t take it out.
Once the dough gets to a workable consistency, line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper, roll the dough into golf ball-sized balls and then place them on the tray.
Put the tray in the fridge for at least an hour for the balls to harden – you have cake balls now! If you’re feeling ambitious, melt some chocolate and dip the balls in, and enjoy! In addition to the cupcakes above, I was able to get a dozen or so cookie balls out of this recipe as well!!