Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Filling

This recipe combines moist chocolate cupcakes, filled with homemade vanilla cream, and topped with a simple chocolate frosting. And they look so beautiful when finished – like something out of a bakery window.

cooling back of 2 dozen cupcakes.

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Delicious, delicious, delicious. I mean really… what is there not to love about. all these flavors blended into one soft and delicious treat?
  • Perfect for special occasions or everyday snacking. Perfect after school with a glass of milk, or for a birthday party.
  • Picky eater approved. No weird flavors or textures. Just classic chocolate. and vanilla perfection.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on counter.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • flour
  • sugar
  • cocoa
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • eggs
  • milk
  • vegetable oil
  • water
  • vanilla
  • butter
  • shortening
  • powdered sugar

🍴Instructions

Step One: the batter

mixing bowl with dry ingredients and finished cupcake batter.

Set the oven to 375°. Get 2 cupcake pans and put paper liners in them.

To make the cupcakes, you will need a stand mixer or a hand mixer and a large bowl. Add all of the dry ingredients to the mixer or bowl (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt). Then add all of the wet ingredients. Beat everything until it is smooth. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter.

Step Two: bake

cupcake batter before and after baking.

Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove the cake from the pans and let it cool on wire racks. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the filling.

Step three: the filling

bowl of fluffy white filling.

To make the filling, add all of the ingredients to a mixer and blend on low speed. Once the ingredients are combined, turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until the filling is very fluffy. You should be a change in volume as air gets mixed in. This will take a few minutes.

Step Four: assember

piping. bag filled with cream

Get a piping bag with a small star tip. Fill the bag with the cream filling. To fill the cupcakes, turn them over and stab them through the paper liners with the pastry bag tip. Squeeze for about five seconds. Cut open the cupcake and see how much filling is inside. Adjust your next squeeze so there is less or more filling, depending on what you want.

If you are having a hard time breaking through the paper, you can poke a hole with a toothpick. You should use all the filling with 24 cupcakes. Wipe off the bottoms when you are done.

Step Five: the chocolate frosting

process shots of mixing bowl with homemade chocolate frosting.

Use an electric mixer to mix the melted butter and cocoa together. Do this on low speed.

To make the frosting, add powdered sugar and milk to a bowl. Turn the mixer on low speed at first, then slowly increase the speed. Add vanilla extract. Let the frosting mix on medium speed until it is spreadable. If it is too thick, add more milk very slowly.

Step six

overhead view of 6 frosted cupcakes.

Frost your cupcakes and add sprinkles, candles, or any other decorations you’d like!

🥫 Storage instructions

These cupcakes will stay fresh at room temperature for 3-4 days, on a plate covered with plastic wrap. They tend to dry out a bit in the fridge, so I prefer them on the counter or frozen.

If you want to store them longer, they can be frozen for up to two months. To freeze them, let the cupcakes cool completely, wrap individually in plastic wrap, and then place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. When ready to enjoy them, take the cupcakes out of the freezer and thaw them at room temperature.

Tip: place a frozen one inside someone’s lunchbox in the morning. It will be perfectly defrosted in 3-4 hours for a special surprise.

🔍 FAQs

Are you sure I don’t need to refrigerate them? What about the milk in the frosting?

There is so much sugar in this that it’s not a problem. Promise!

My batter seems thin. Is this okay?

Yes, a good chocolate cake recipe will often have a thin batter. It’s normal.

Can I use a different type of filling?

Absolutely! Whether you’re looking for a rich custard, luscious chocolate ganache, or something else entirely is up to you. Have fun with it and experiment!

Do I need to use a pastry bag to fill the cupcakes?

No, you don’t have to use a pastry bag – any relatively stiff bag with a hole will do. You can even fill them by spooning the filling into each cupcake and pressing it down gently with your finger.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Don’t put any ingredients away after you’re done with the cupcakes; you’ll need the same stuff for the other components. Better to finish them all and then clean up all at once.
  • If your kids want to help, it’s better to bake the cupcakes and premake the filling and frosting, then let them assemble. Trust me.
  • All you need are sprinkles for a very festive birthday-party look.
  • Having trouble breaking through the paper liner when you’re filling? Poke holes using a toothpick beforehand.

📘 Related Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

Having a party with small people involved? Serve these picky-eater favorites:

No one has even turned up their nose at homemade buttermilk-brined chicken tenders and homemade fries.

Most picky eaters love a simple plate of fresh fruit with cream cheese fruit dip.

And this Red Robin copycat freckled lemonade is always a hit.

📖 Here’s the recipe

frosted cupcake cut open to show filling

Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Moist chocolate cupcakes filled with homemade vanilla cream and topped with a simple chocolate frosting, the perfect treat with a cold glass of milk.
Serving Size 24 cupcakes

Ingredients 

For the Cupcakes

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Cream Filling

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Chocolate Frosting

  • ½ cup butter melted
  • cup baking cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

Instructions 

Make the cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare 2 cupcake trays with paper liners.
  • In your stand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt). If you are using a hand mixer, use a very large bowl. Add all the wet ingredients. Beat until smooth.
  • Fill cupcakes liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 17-20 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
  • Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Allow to cool completely before putting in filling.

Make the filling

  • Combine all ingredients and blend on low speed. Then turn up the speed to medium high and beat until very fluffy. This will take a few minutes.
  • Prepare your piping bag with a small star tip. Fill the bag with the cream filling.
  • To fill the cupcakes, flip them over and stab them through the paper liners with the pastry bag tip. Squeeze about five seconds. Cut open the cupcake and see how much filling is inside. Adjust your next squeeze accordingly.
  • If you are having a hard time breaking through the paper, you can poke a hole with a toothpick. You should use all the filling with 24 cupcakes. Wipe off the bottoms when you are done.

Make the frosting

  • Using electric mixer, combine melted butter and cocoa on low speed.
  • Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, increasing speed slowly. Add vanilla. Let frosting beat on medium speed until spreadable. Add more milk, very slowly, if needed.
  • Frost your cupcakes! (There will be extra frosting.)

Notes

Don’t be tempted to skip the liners…the batter will stick without them!
This is, of course, a lovely and simple cupcake even if you skip the filling. 
Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream FillingMoist Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Filling

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