Before we get started, understand that I’m always iffy on mixed-batter cakes and things. I feel like marble cakes always seem so promising but almost always a let-down. Either the flavors aren’t completely there or you get a weird texture because the batters aren’t on the same page as they’re baking. Well this recipe is just the opposite of that. It’s the perfect Ying and Yang of deep chocolate and vanilla. Yes, you can actually taste the chocolate!
I made these cupcakes recently for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. She’s a lover of all things panda so I decided these black and white cupcakes would be perfect for dessert on her actual birth date. She LOVED them! Everyone did, and for once she actually ate the buttercream AND all of the cake.
1 3/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk at room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with paper liners. In a medium bowl combine cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together. Combine milk and cream together in a measuring cup.
Cream butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated; scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk mixture, and beating until combined.
To make the chocolate batter, measure out one cup of batter and transfer into another bowl. Combine cocoa and the boiling water in a bowl and stir into the reserved 1 cup of batter.
Fill prepared cups with alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter, filling each until just about half full. Run the tip of a knife or a skewer through the batter to make swirls in the mixture. Bake 18-20 minutes or until cake testers inserted in the center comes out clean. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely before frosting with Vanilla Buttercream.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioner’s sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down sides as needed.
Add vanilla and beat until frosting is smooth.
Top cooled marble cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream. Enjoy!
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s book: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes