Chocolate Cupcakes with Two Types of Frosting

Since 2014, this recipe has been my go-to for chocolate cupcakes.  Back in 2014, I researched the internet for the best chocolate cupcake recipes.  Cupcake Jemma shared a delicious looking chocolate cupcake on her YouTube channel, but everything was measured in grams and I was not patient enough to convert it.  I tried a few other recipes, but the one recipe I kept going back to was Ina Garten’s chocolate cupcake recipe from  At first, I  thought it was super weird to put sour cream into the mix, but I think it helped make the cupcake super moist and delicious.

This recipe comes with two of my favorite frosting to pipe onto the luscious chocolate cupcakes.  I personally love the peanut butter frosting, but the trendy salted caramel is definitely more of a crowd-pleaser.

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick salted butter, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup of Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce, plus 1/4 cup for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon, vanilla extract
pinch kosher salt
1-2 tablespoon milk


Prepare Cupcake Ingredients – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a measuring cup, whisk vanilla extract, buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee until combined.  In a stand mixer (if using a hand mixer, use a medium bowl), add unsalted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.

Make Cupcakes – Beat the butter and sugars on low and gradually increase speed to medium-high. Cream sugar and butter until pasty yellow, light, and fluffy about 3-5 minutes, scraping sides to ensure even beating.  Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.  Begin adding flour mixture and alternating wet ingredients, finishing with flour mixture.  Line muffin/cupcake pan with cupcake paper.  Fill cupcake paper about 2/3 of the way of batter.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes.  Take cupcakes out of the oven and rest for 10 minutes in the pan.  Remove cupcakes from the pan and cool on a wire rack until ready to frost.

Make Salted Caramel Frosting – Add cream cheese and butter to stand mixer and mix for about 1 minute.  Add confectioner’s sugar.  Beat on low and gradually increase speed to medium-high for about 2-3 minutes.  Add caramel sauce and vanilla. Beat for another minute or until frosting is smooth and fluffy. Add frosting to a piping bag. Frost each cupcake.  Drizzle caramel and sprinkle sea salt on top of each cupcake.

Make Peanut Butter Frosting – Add confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and salt to stand mixer and mix until combined.  Add milk if necessary and beat n medium until frosting is light and fluffy. Add frosting to the piping bag. Frost each cupcake.


  • If sea salt is not available, use any coarse salt to sprinkle.
  • If the frosting looks loose, add more confectioner’s sugar.
  • Add more confectioner’s sugar if you want a sweeter frosting.  I try to reduce the amount of sugar put into the frosting.



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