*These Yellow M&M Cupcakes & Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting are so fun and even more delicious! A tried and true yellow cupcake recipe with a secret ingredient gives these cupcakes the perfect soft texture and great taste! The Dark Fudge Frosting combines just a few simple ingredients to make an out of this world frosting that people will be requesting over and over again. I have never heard “How did you make these, they are amazing!” so many times!
I told myself when I started this blog I really wanted to share some of the tried and true recipes that I have been using for years, even if they seem “basic.” Sometimes I find the simplest recipes are the most delicious because they don’t take a ridiculous amount of time to put together and they also only take a second to scarf down without even breathing because they are THAT GOOD. Not only that, this is a ONE BOWL yellow cupcake recipe.
That’s right. ONE BOWL. Because I’m so tired of doing dishes I could just cry. 🙂
A few years ago while I was perfecting my yellow cupcake recipe I noticed a lot of them suggested the creaming method for mixing the batter. Having made dozens upon dozens of batches of cupcakes myself, I really found this unnecessary because…well…it is! Instead of creaming the butter and sugar, adding the eggs, and so forth I got really smart and mixed the batter the same way I mix my chocolate cupcake batter. They turned out just as perfect as any other cupcake I’ve made. This eliminates the need for a stand mixer if you don’t have one and just makes the recipe so much easier.
Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting
I think the Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting I put atop these delicious yellow cupcakes is absolutely, positively my favorite frosting. I have to say I will not, can not, ever in a million years do a fudge frosting without cream cheese.
Nothing. Else. Compares.
This is my most requested recipe when I bring goodies to events, and everyone always asks “What is in the frosting that makes it so good?” Cream cheese my friend, cream cheese. If you’ve never tried it, you will not be disappointed. You might even want to just dive head first right into a 5 gallon bucket of it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you! I prefer a little more tang then some people, so if you are feeling like the frosting is not quite sweet enough for you I’d suggest adding 1/2 cup to a cup more powdered sugar. I tend to go light on the powdered sugar compared to some recipes but that is just my taste. The nice thing about this frosting is you can really tweak it to fit your taste. I thought 3 cups was really balanced, and was a nice pipable consistency.
For these cupcakes I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, however I’ve made it dozens of times with the regular Unsweetened Hershey’s Cocoa and it is just as fabulous. If you are looking for a product similar to the Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, look for a dutch processed cocoa powder. Hershey’s uses a blend of regular cocoa powder and dutch processed cocoa powder in their Special Dark Cocoa, and that’s what gives the frosting the really dark chocolatey look. I love the dark brown/blackish color dutch processed cocoa powder produces.
If you read my Secret Ingredient Softbatch Sugar Cookie recipe, you may have noticed I’m a huge fan of canned Coconut Milk in baked goods. I used it in these cupcakes in place of regular milk, and let me tell you the texture and moisture in these Yellow M&M Cupcakes was out of this world! You literally cannot beat it! I got a great response from using coconut milk in place of highly refined vegetable oils in my cookie recipe, so I experimented with coconut milk in this recipe and the results were great. You can certainly substitute regular whole milk in this recipe but if you happen to have coconut milk on hand I would give it a try. I know it isn’t exactly an ingredient everyone keeps in their pantry but I promise if you start stocking up on canned coconut milk you will find a million ways to use it. It has been a pantry staple of mine for quite some time.
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter (1 and ½ sticks) melted
- 2½ cups all purpose flour (I used King Arthur's unbleached)
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups light coconut milk (the canned version, whole milk may be substituted)
- 1 cup mini M&M's (found in baking isle in bags) + More for decorating
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened (1 standard brick)- For Frosting
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (1 and ½ sticks)- For Frosting
- 3 cups powdered sugar- For Frosting
- ¼ cup Special Dark Cocoa Powder (or any dutch processed cocoa powder)-For Frosting
- FOR CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 15 cupcake tins with liners.
- Melt unsalted butter and set aside
- Place all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl including flour, sugars, baking powder and salt.
- Add eggs, vanilla, coconut milk, and melted butter to bowl (make sure butter is cooled so you don't scramble your eggs!)
- Gently fold all ingredients together, making sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl well. Mix until just combined. Fold in M&M's gently. Colors will run a bit, no worries!
- Fill each cupcake tin ¾ of the way full, bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I baked mine for exactly 18 minutes and my oven is true to temperature.
- FOR DARK FUDGE FROSTING: Soften butter and cream cheese on countertop.
- Beat cream cheese in bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment until very smooth.
- Add butter, beat until very smooth.
- Add powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time, allowing sugar to mix well before each addition.
- Add Special Dark cocoa powder and mix well.
- FOR DECORATING: Using a 827 large star tip and piping bag, pipe swirls on each cupcake and top with additional M&M's if desired.