Food: Chocolate Cupcakes & German Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Its Teann here from Teann Ingram Photography bringing you a chocolate dessert! Chocolate is a women's best friend, we eat it when we're happy, sad, grumpy, and excited. It can be savoury, sweet, mixed with spices or just eaten plain. Chocolate is apart of our everyday lives, well mine anyways :)
These chocolate cupcakes are incredibly light, fluffy, and moist. 

Plus, they are so easy to mix together, you have no excuses not to make them! The German buttercream is similar to swiss meringue buttercream, except it's custard based and does not have the strong buttery flavour some people dislike of swiss meringue buttercream. 


When you have completely cooled the custard, and have started adding your butter, you may notice the mixture resembling runny scrabbled eggs. This is the moment most people think they are past the point of saving the buttercream and throw out their mixture! Gah! All that delicious buttercream gone. Forever. If only they knew, the buttercream hasn't been ruined at all! The butter just hasn't been fully incorporated! 

This stage doesn't always happen, but I find when my butter is still a little too cold, it will create this texture. So no fear, all you need to do is keep mixing. Easy huh? Patience is key, it usually takes about 10 - 15 minutes of continuous mixing to completely incorporate the butter and what you are left with is...


...pure magic. The buttercream should be smooth and light. I suggest tasting it once or twice, or three times. Maybe four.

  I absolutely love using vanilla beans in my icing. The specks of vanilla throughout the icing is so lovely.


I made a combination of regular and mini cupcakes. This recipe will make about 12 mini and 14 regular.

Chocolate Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour 2 cups coconut sugar (or white sugar) 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp salt 2 large eggs 1 cup buttermilk (or fill cup with 1 tbsp white vinegar, fill to 1 cup with milk. Let sit 5 min.) 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 tbsp vanilla extract 1 cup hot coffee (you can use instant coffee too)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tins with butter and flour or line with paper liners. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, mix together dry ingredients. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla and beat until smooth. Carefully add hot coffee and slowly incorporate. Batter will be runny. Fill muffin tins, 3/4 with batter and place in the oven for 20 - 25 mins. Insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, the cupcakes are ready. Cool completely before icing.

German Vanilla Bean Buttercream
1 cup whole milk 1 vanilla bean pod, split and scraped with a blunt edge to extract seeds 1/2 cup of honey (or white sugar) 1 1/4 tbsp cornstarch 1 egg 1 egg yolk 1 cup butter, room temperature 1/8 tsp salt
In a medium pot, bring the milk to a simmer along with the vanilla bean seeds and pod. Turn off the heat and set aside for 20 min or as long as time allows.

After steeping, remove the vanilla bean pod. Return milk to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together honey, cornstarch, eggs and yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup of the hot milk SLOWLY into the egg mixture to prevent the eggs from scrabbling. Continuing to whisk add the remaining milk mixture. Return the mixture to the pot and place over medium heat. With a wooden spoon, continuously stir the mixture until it has thickened and is bubbling sluggishly. Stir and cook for another full minute. Take the custard off the heat and place pot in an ice bath. Stir until custard has cooled to room temperate.

Once the custard is at room temperature, using a stand mixer, beat the custard until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Start adding the butter in tablespoon increments. If the mixture starts to look like scrabbled eggs, continue adding the butter and once the butter has been added, let the mixer do the work. Mix until smooth about 10 - 15 minutes.
Cupcakes adapted from: Foddess German Butter Cream adapted from: BraveTart

-post and photos by teann ingram



  1. those look soooo good!! and pretty :) i love anything vanilla bean, AND with chocolate!? bonus!!


  2. AnonymousMay 29, 2013

    Yum, these look great! Your piping is really good too, I think I need to practice some more. But I really think that buttercream is one of the best I have seen. I'll try this out this weekend!

  3. Umm, yum! You're right, I have no excuse not to make these; will get right on it.

  4. These look beyond delicious. Must make!

    Xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

  5. yum! these look absolutely fantastic! thanks for sharing a great recipe. xx. gigi. food and beauty blogger @

  6. This look absolutely delicious! I'm thinking I'll just make this in a cake tin instead ... will that work? It should work ... I think (?). Thanks for sharing :)!!


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