Pale Yellow

Yes, the frosting is orange, however, these are not Halloween cupcakes.  They would be adorable for Halloween, but they are for a birthday girl.  I just wanted a frosting with a fun color and I was like hey, haven’t used orange in awhile, why not?  Now I remember why I don’t use orange very often, it’s kind of weird.

Despite the strange coloring of the frosting, these would make awesome fall cupcakes because of the yellow, orange, and brown colors.  Maybe I’m just ahead in my seasons.  This cupcake doesn’t have fall flavors, but the flavors are season neutral and would be delightful anytime of the year.

Homemade pudding, like homemade marshmallows, and basically everything homemade, is so much better than its store-bought siblings.  The pudding only takes a few minutes to cook and stir and then you have something rich and chocolatey and outstanding without any chemicals.

When my monitor, the monitor who I hope to have daughter just like one day, requested cupcakes with pudding inside I had no idea what she was talking about.  What was strange was she told me I had made them before.  It took me awhile to remember, but then I remembered making decorated cupcakes with a pudding filling from my cake decorating class.  For those I used snackpacks, these are totally an upgrade.

If the pictures look different it’s because I took them at school.  I made the cupcakes too late in the day to take photos at home so I lugged my camera + the cupcakes to work.  I don’t talk about my blog with my students because I like to keep some separation between home and work, but my monitors know about the blog and know we don’t talk about it.  So when I was standing on furniture taking photos, they were more than a bit curious!  The lighting in my room is fantastic, I wish I had so many windows and so much light at home.

Anyway, a little injection of chocolate pudding is the best way to make a boring vanilla cupcake extra special.  The pudding adds both flavor, contrast, and moisture.  The actual vanilla cupcake is super flavorful, tender, and moist.  A simple vanilla whipped frosting in whatever color you desire finishes off this sweet treat.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Brownies made with Beans

Print the Recipe!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from Tie Dye Cupcakes
Yield – 16 cupcakes

1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
2/3 cup whole milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer add the sugar and the seeds from the vanilla bean and massage together with your fingers.
  3. Add the flour, powder, soda, and salt to the sugar, mix slowly with the paddle attachment.
  4. Add the butter and beat for several minutes until the mixture becomes nice and crumbly.
  5. While the mixer is mixing, whisk together the yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Pour this in the mixer and combine.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  6. Slowly add the milk in and turn on high for a few seconds.
  7. Use a standard size ice cream scoop to portion the batter into lined cupcake pans.
  8. Bake 14-17 minutes until a toothpick in a center cupcake comes out clean.  Cool on cooling rack.

Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yield – 6 servings (1 to fill cupcakes and 5 to eat!)

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
6 ounces chocolate (I used a mixture of dark and semisweet)
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Place the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in the milk slowly, a little bit in the beginning to make a smooth mixture.  Once the mixture is smooth, you can whisk in more milk faster.
  2. Cook the mixture on a low temperature until it thickens and can coat the back of a wooden spoon.  This takes 15-20 minutes and requires some diligence.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate.  Stir to combine and then stir in the vanilla.  Place in your serving bowls with plastic wrap on top of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
  4. Refrigerate until cool.
  5. Insert the pudding into a piping bag with a cupcake injector tip.  Fill each cooled cupcake before frosting.  Eat the rest of the pudding at your leisure!

Whipped Vanilla Frosting
Yield – enough to generously decorate the cupcakes + extra

1 1/2 cups whole milk
7 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
electric orange gel food coloring

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour.  Keep whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and thick resembling pancake batter.
  2. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and allow to cool completely.
  3. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – beat for 8 minutes
  4. Add in the cooled flour/milk mixture and beat until the entire frosting is light and fluffy, about another 5-8 minutes.
  5. Add the food coloring and mix until well combined.
  6. Use a large round tip to pipe the frosting on the cupcakes, with bits of cookie.