These White Chocolate Cupcakes are light and fluffy and easy to make! The cupcake batter is made with melted white chocolate and the cupcake is topped with a luscious creamy white chocolate buttercream frosting! Its the perfect cupcake to take to any kind of party or potluck!
People either love or claim to hate white chocolate because it isn’t actually chocolate, but what is it exactly? As a professional pastry chef, it’s important to know the difference between white chocolate and milk chocolate, so let’s break it down.
White chocolate is a blend of cocoa butter, sugar, milk products, vanilla, and emulsifiers. As for the flavor, it’s kind of like vanilla and extremely sweet and has a buttery feel. That said, sometimes it can be a little too rich on its own-but when made into sweet treats like white chocolate raspberry cupcakes, or white chocolate brownies, it can taste like a dream!
The base of these cupcakes is my tried-and-true vanilla cupcake recipe. I added silky white chocolate to the mix, frosted them with white chocolate buttercream, and just like that -these HEAVENLY white chocolate cupcakes were born!
To decorate you can top them with pieces of white chocolate or edible flowers. Or for more ideas you can read this post on how to decorate cute cupcakes!
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS RECIPE
- These cupcakes are easy to make from scratch!
- The cupcakes are light and fluffy with an extra buttery crumb from the luxurious white chocolate.
- The frosting! It’s truly amazing.
- These elegant cupcakes are perfect for wedding events, baby showers, holiday bake sales, and more!
- Flour – Flour gives baked goods structure. It absorbs the wet ingredients, creating a stable batter.
- Baking powder & baking soda – This pair of leavening agents play a part in the batter rising into tall, spongy cupcakes.
- Kosher salt – Salt refines flavors and strengthens the batter.
- White chocolate – You’ll need this for the batter and for the frosting.
- Unsalted butter – For flavor and moisture. You’ll need softened butter for the cake batter and the buttercream. Learn how to soften butter quickly if you forgot to leave it out!
- Granulated sugar – Forsweetening the cupcakes.
- Egg & egg whites – Whole eggs add flavor, color, and moisture, while egg whites add volume and help make a light and fluffy texture.
- Vanilla extract – For the most decadent flavor, use a good quality vanilla extract.
- Buttermilk – The acidity in buttermilk reacts with the leavening agents, causing the cupcakes to rise while making a moist-tender crumb and adding a touch of tangy flavor.
- White chocolate buttercream frosting – To decorate!
The best white chocolate for baking
The best white chocolate to use for baking is a white chocolate baking bar. White chocolate chips aren’t great for baking because they contain added stabilizers, making melting really tricky. Instead, go with a quality white chocolate baking bar like Ghiradelli, or Baker’s.
Melting white chocolate
Sometimes white chocolate can be hard to melt and will seize up on you if it’s overheated. This is why I recommend using baking bars instead. To melt, place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt for 25 seconds at a time stirring in between until fully melted.
You can also melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Heat 1 inch of water in a small saucepan and place a larger bowl on top. The bowl should not hit the water. Place the chocolate inside the bowl and stir until melted. The steam from the water will melt the chocolate.
Be careful not to get any water in the chocolate or it will seize up!
HOW TO MAKE WHITE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Mix dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
Melt white chocolate: Add chopped white chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 25-second increments, stirring in between until melted. Be careful not to overheat! Let cool for a few minutes before using.
Cream butter & sugar with white chocolate: In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and sugar on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the melted white chocolate and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Beat in eggs and extract: Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, egg white, and vanilla. Again, mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
Combine dry and wet batters: Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the wet batter, starting and ending with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined. -do not overmix!
Pour batter and bake: Divide the batter between the lined muffin cups, filling each ONLY 1/2 way full, and bake for 18-20 minutes. Now is an excellent time to make your white chocolate frosting.
Cool and frost: Let the cupcakes stand for 5 minutes in the muffin tin, then remove and place them on a wire rack to finish cooling. Once cool, frost with white chocolate buttercream (see below) and enjoy!
HOW TO MAKE WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING
For the full recipe and expert tips, head to my white chocolate buttercream frosting post. Here’s an overview of how it’s done:
Cream the butter and sugar: Mix butter and powdered sugar starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium speed. Mix until fluffy.
Add white chocolate: Drizzle in melted white chocolate and continue mixing until incorporated. Mix in a splash of heavy cream, adding more until your frosting is light and fluffy. If it’s too thin, mix in more sugar.
TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS
- The best way to measure flour is with a scale. If you want to use measuring cups- spoon the flour into your cup, never scoop it from the bag or it will pack in too much flour resulting in a dense cupcake.
- The butter, eggs, and buttermilk must be room temperature for the batter to mix properly. If the cupcake batter is blended with cold ingredients, the cupcakes won’t bake up well.
- These cupcakes will rise quite a bit, so only pour enough batter to fill the muffin cups halfway. I use an ice cream scoop for this. It’s the perfect portion and gives the finished cupcakes a nice rounded top.
- These cupcakes are done when a toothpick comes out mostly clean with a few crumbs attached. They will continue to set as they cool.
- To decorate, I like piping a swirl with a star tip, but you can also cut a corner off a zip-top bag to use as a pastry bag.
Nuts – White chocolate and macadamia nuts belong together, so feel free to add them to the batter or sprinkle some over the top. Pistachios and almonds also taste great with white chocolate.
Garnishes – Make these cupcakes extra special, and add something sweet and decorative like a white chocolate square, sweetened shredded coconut, mini white chocolate chips, or sprinkles!
STORAGE AND FREEZING
Storing – Frosted white chocolate cupcakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days or in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezing – They also freeze well if you do so before frosting. Place the cupcakes in a freezer-safe resealable bag. Press out all of the air and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature, and frost the day you plan to serve them.
Can you add food coloring to white chocolate buttercream?
Sure! Once the frosting is fluffy, add a couple of drops of food coloring and fold until incorporated. Repeat until the frosting reaches the shade you’re going for.
Why isn’t my white chocolate melting?
Not all white chocolate is made with the same ingredients, so some melt much better than others. Most white chocolate chips, for instance, contain stabilizing ingredients that prevent them from melting smoothly. For the best results, use a good quality white chocolate baking bar.
WAYS TO ENJOY
You can decorate the base white chocolate cupcake with any frosting you like. These flavors are fantastic with white chocolate.
- Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- Coconut Buttercream Frosting
Light and Fluffy White Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 ¾ cup flour 210 g
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 4 oz white chocolate (Such as Bakers baking bar)
- ½ cup unsalted butter (113g) softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g
- 1 egg (50g)
- 2 egg white (70g)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
- In a medium size bowl combine the 1 ¾ cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, and ¼ tsp kosher salt. Whisk until combined and set aside.
- Chop the 4 oz of white chocolate and microwave it in a microwave safe bowl 25 seconds at a time, stirring in between each time until melted. Be careful not to overheat.
- In the bowl of a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the ½ cup butter and 1 cup sugar on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix again for 30 seconds on medium speed.
- Scrape down the bowl and add the egg, 2 egg whites and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Mix for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Add in 1/3rd of the dry ingredients, then half of the buttermilk and alternate, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
- Mix only until combined. Do not overmix.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the muffin liners ONLY 1/2 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. This recipe rises a lot so make sure not to fill more than halfway.
- Cool and frost with white chocolate buttercream frosting.