Small Batch Cupcakes (Chocolate and Vanilla Recipe)

Super easy, quick and delicious small batch chocolate and vanilla cupcake recipes!

small batch cupcakes

Today is your lucky day my friends because you get TWO full recipes in today’s post…I guess since they’re a small batch we can call them two halves? 

Over the past year, many people have resorted to making small batch recipes, ya know, for moderation and all. So naturally when I want a cupcake, I don’t want 12 cupcakes (or do i?!). I also didn’t think it was fair to share just chocolate or vanilla so obviously, I had to do both. 

small batch cupcakes

How to make small batch chocolate cupcakes

Well, the easy answer is you just halve a regular cupcake recipe, right?! Except my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe used an odd number of eggs so what do you do then? You could complicate it and cut the recipe into thirds or use half an egg (ew?) but you don’t have to because I adapted my favorite cupcakes into a recipe that makes only 6. 

My favorite chocolate cupcake recipe is actually my 6 inch chocolate cake recipe. It makes the PERFECT cupcakes, and if you’re really careful with measuring, you’ll get exactly 24 from one batch. 

Anyway, since these are supposed to be quick and simple, I used the reverse creaming method, which I prefer for all cupcakes anyway. The dry ingredients get whisked together with the sugar and then the oil gets added, followed by the eggs and then the milk and sour cream. 

(If you’re wondering why I prefer the reverse creaming method for cupcakes, it’s because I tested like a million and one versions last year and found that reverse creaming produces a nicer domed top and a slightly more delicate cupcake. Those were my personal results and I also think it’s easier and quicker to make.)

Do I have to use dutch-process cocoa powder

I use dutch process cocoa powder because I like the flavor and color better. I like to be as specific as I can be in my recipes so yours turn out as similar to mine as possible, however, both the chocolate cupcake and the frosting recipe will turn out great with natural unsweetened cocoa powder as well.

small batch chocolate cupcakes

How to make small batch vanilla cupcakes

THE EXACT SAME WAY! You betcha, I kept it simple and made the vanilla cupcakes the same way. The only difference is that I use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour and cocoa powder and then I use melted butter instead of oil. In my basic vanilla cupcake recipe I use softened butter and oil because I loved the combination of the taste and texture from both but after testing this version, I might just love the melted butter better! 

One thing to note for these cupcakes, I developed this recipe to be very pale in color (just an aesthetic preference) so don’t look for a golden brown color when they’re fully baked.

Do I have to use cake flour for vanilla cupcakes

Like I said, I tested a million and one versions of cupcakes last year. The reason I use cake flour for this small batch vanilla cupcake recipe is because I found it much more delicate and light as opposed to all-purpose flour. If you don’t have cake flour, I would do ¾ all-purpose flour – 1 Tbsp and then replace with a Tbsp of cornstarch. If you have bleached all-purpose flour, use that if you can, since cake flour is almost always bleached. 

small batch vanilla cupcakes

What frosting should I use for small batch cupcakes

I included both a small batch chocolate and vanilla frosting recipe below. They are just basic American buttercream frosting recipes and will each generously frost 6 cupcakes. These recipes can easily be tweaked to your liking. Play with the amount of sugar and cream and get creative with the flavors! 

If you’re not into American buttercream frosting and you want something a little fancier, use any frosting recipe that requires ½ cup of butter. For instance, you can cut this Swiss meringue buttercream or this French buttercream recipe in half and flavor it as desired. 

small batch cupcakes with frosting

How to store small batch cupcakes

I recommend covering the cupcakes completely, making them airtight. Use a cupcake holder or cover them with plastic wrap (refrigerate them for 30 minutes and then cover them so you don’t ruin the frosting). 

The cupcakes can stay at room temperature for 1-2 days but if they’re frosted, it’s best to refrigerate them for up to a week. 

To freeze them, wrap them individually in plastic wrap, place them in an airtight container and then place the container in a freezer bag, squeezing out all the air. This ensures they won’t get freezer burn as quickly. They should be good for at least 2 months in the freezer. 

I hope you guys enjoy these small batch cupcake recipes and make sure to tag me @baranbakery on instagram if you make them! Get creative with frostings and maybe even cut a hole in the center and fill them with something fun! As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!

Love, B  

Yield: 6 cupcakes

Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes

small batch chocolate cupcakes

Super easy, quick and delicious small batch chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 2/3 cup (80g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (20g) dutch-process cocoa powder*
  • 1 tsp (3g) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (59g) canola oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (59mL) milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (56g) sour cream

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (20g) dutch process cocoa powder*
  • 2-4 Tbsp (30-60mL) heavy whipping cream

Instructions

Chocolate CUPCAKES

Preheat the oven to 350F and line 6 muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the oil to the dry ingredients and whisk together until it's combined. Add the egg and mix until it's fully combined and then add the milk and sour cream.

Mix just until the cupcake batter is smooth and then fill each cupcake liner about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes. When you press on the center of the cupcake it should spring back.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the butter for about five minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl halfway through.

Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and beat the frosting for another 5 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl halfway through.

Add the heavy whipping cream and beat the frosting until it's well combined. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

Notes

*Dutch process cocoa can be replaced with natural unsweetened cocoa powder.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 534Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 207mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 36gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information may not be fully accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @baranbakery or #baranbakery

Yield: 6 cupcakes

Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes

small batch vanilla cupcakes

Super easy, quick and delicious small batch vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes

Ingredients

Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 2/3 cup (77g) cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (56g) butter, melted
  • 1 large (30g) egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (59mL) whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (56g) sour cream

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup (180g) powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract (or paste)
  • 2-4 Tbsp (30-60mL) heavy whipping cream

Instructions

VANILLA CUPCAKES

Preheat the oven to 350F and line 6 muffin tins with cupcake liners (preferably a light colored pan).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients and whisk together until it's combined. Add the egg white and vanilla extract and mix until they're fully combined and then add the milk and sour cream.

Mix just until the cupcake batter is smooth and then fill each cupcake liner about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes. When you press on the center of the cupcake it should spring back.

Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

VANILLA FROSTING

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the butter for about five minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl halfway through.

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat the frosting for another 5 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl halfway through.

Add the heavy whipping cream and beat the frosting until it's well combined. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Notes

*the vanilla cupcake recipe was designed to stay pale so don't look for a golden brown color when it's finished baking.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 548Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 267mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 0gSugar: 45gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information may not be fully accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @baranbakery or #baranbakery

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23 Comments

  1. These vanilla upcakes were super easy to make and came out so moist, fluffy, and light. The rise was very nice as well and I love how it does not have an eggy smell at all. So excited to finally find the perfect recipe for vanilla cupcakes ! Thank you!

  2. These are so delicious and perfectly domed! Made them for my baby girl’s 1st birthday and will definitely make them A LOT in the future! Thanks for a perfect recipe, Bernice!

  3. You receipe looks darn interesting, can I use whole egg instead of just white, I really don’t want to waste yolk for nothing.

  4. So I want to make about 40 of these
    Cupcakes 🙂 can the recipe be multiple by 7 for example? Would the measurements works?

      • Thank you so much! So excited. Would that work with your vanilla cake recipe and just use the melted butter in place of the room temp butter?

        • I haven’t tried making the vanilla cake as cupcakes recently but last time I tried it didn’t work lol.
          I haven’t posted it yet but this is my full batch of vanilla cupcakes recipe and it follows the same steps as the small batch. It makes 13 cupcakes (if you get 14 cupcakes they will be more dinky looking 🤣)

          1 1/2 cup (172g) cake flour
          1/2 Tbsp baking powder
          1/4 tsp salt
          1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
          1/4 cup oil
          1/4 cup (56g) butter, room temp.
          2 large (60g) egg whites
          2 tsp vanilla extract
          1/3 cup (78mL) whole milk, room temp
          1/2 cup (113g) sour cream

          3/4 (55g/tin) full
          BAKE ON 350F for 19 minutes

  5. Made the chocolate cupcakes and they were wonderful! The recipe made seven cupcakes instead of six, which was good because they were all gone quickly. Also, the texture of the frosting made it so easy to pipe, and I’m really bad at that.
    One question: could the cream in the frosting be substituted with Bailey’s to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day? Or would that affect the texture?

    • Hi Chelsey, so glad you enjoyed them! You can definitely swap the cream for Irish cream but I would do a little at a time and taste it. If you need more and the consistency of the frosting gets softer, you can balance it with a little extra sugar or cocoa powder!

  6. I’m not sure what I did wrong, and I’m an avid baker, but mine didn’t look anything like yours. I followed the steps exactly as you have them using all the same ingredients – no swops. They were very flat-topped and got stuck to the top of the cupcake tin when they baked. Should I have chilled the batter first? Also, the crumb was too crumbly.

    • Hi Bavisha, I’m so sorry they didn’t turn out for you, I just retested them like four times today to see if there could be any issue. I’m thinking maybe the tins were a little too full. You might have a tiny bit of left over batter but not enough for a 7th cupcake.
      I always fill them 50-55g. I weigh them because that little difference can make them flat. I will update the recipe to specify that as well.

      • Aw, schucks! Thanks for retesting them! Have fun eating them 🙂

        Could it happen if the environment temp is too hot (we have awfully hot summers in South Africa) or that overbeating it could cause them to do this? I will send you a DM on Insta 🙂

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