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a moist vanilla cupcake with the paper pulled away

Brown Butter Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

  • Author: Jenna Barnard
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x


These moist vanilla cupcakes are made with brown butter to give them a rich and nutty flavor. They’re also topped with a delicious fudgy chocolate frosting and chocolate covered sunflower seeds.



Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, browned to make 1/2 cup
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup milk

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/3 cup Creamy SunButter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. First make the brown butter. See this post all about how to do so. Pour the browned butter into a measuring glass to ensure you have exactly 1/2 cup. If you have too much, take some out. If you don’t have enough, add a little water to level it off. Cool at room temperature before using.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a cupcake tray with 12 paper liners.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. 
  4. In another bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla, cooled brown butter, oil, and milk. 
  5. Mix in half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Once it’s almost combined, mix in the rest of the wet ingredients.
  6. Fill your cupcakes half way. You might have a little bit of batter leftover, enough to make one extra cupcake if you like. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  7. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and SunButter. Once smooth, mix in one cup of powdered sugar then the cocoa powder. Finish by mixing in the remaining cup of powdered sugar and vanilla.
  2. Pipe on your frosting and top with some chocolate covered sunflower seeds or sprinkles. Store in the fridge if you are not serving the cupcakes right away. Enjoy!


  1. *Dark chocolate cocoa powder will also work

Keywords: vanilla cupcakes, brown butter cupcakes, chocolate frosting

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