white chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream-cream-cheese frosting

white chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream frosting

I often joke that my friends no longer allow me to attend their parties without baked goods in tow. Cupcakes – to be more specific. Cupcakes topped with frosting generously slathered on, or piped in tiny dots, or with semi-Impressionist-looking flowers. But cupcakes in their most shining glory – a tiny, single-portion cake made just for you. It’s cake – personalized and it doesn’t get better than this. Somehow, in its miniature form is just that much cuter than its bigger cousin, but then again, baby anything is much cuter than its adult version.

instead of melting the white chocolate, i kind of just want to eat itwhipping the whites

To put another way, here’s my definition for a cupcake, aside from the generally accepted dictionary one:

cupcake: \ˈkəp-ˌkāk\ a single serving of an antidote to a case of the grumpies; something beautiful and sweet that makes it impossible to continue having a bad day.

I think my definition should be added to dictionaries world-wide – dietary habits aside, who doesn’t like a bit of cake? Really? Who?

a view from the topwhite chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream frosting

My feelings for cake border on fervent. I need dessert. Dessert is to dinner what the period is to the end of the sentence. (I did very well on this portion of the SATs!) I love the ritual of eating a cupcake, and yes, for me it is a ritual. I love tasting the frosting; love its lingering taste on my tongue; love carefully peeling the cupcake lining off to make a tiny plate around it. Somehow, I feel super-indulgent, but not overly guilty because they’re pretty small and there’s only so much damage I can do. Unless I’m having several.

omg, silver dragees!! HALP, am five, like sparkly stuff

Cupcakes are easier to make and frost than a cake, somehow feel and look more festive, take less time to serve (no cutting involved) and leave no cake stand to wash afterward. And while sometimes occasions call for cake, big, multi-layer, beautiful cake, around this time of year, cupcakes somehow seem more appropriate. They even had a National Cupcake Day a few days ago, and while I was trying to get this post out on time, work got the best of me and I had to postpone. But I guarantee you, if one of those babies was in my hand during the week, I would have made good on my deadline – cupcakes have that power of giving you extra strength, and maybe creating a few extra hours in the day, during a holiday season generally associated with being a bit overwhelming. Perhaps I just found an antidote to the holiday stress? I’d like to think so.

white chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream frosting

These are very holiday-appropriate: white chocolate base with a white chocolate buttercream-cream-cheese frosting. The tiny silver dragées and a single raspberry makes them feel so Christmasy and festive. These cupcakes come from the new Karen DeMasco’s book, “The Craft of Baking”, which I love love love and cannot wait to make just about everything from the book. I made a few notes in the recipe (below) which I implore you to read – as they’ll make this recipe, along with cooking from this book in general, a smoother experience.

White Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
8 oz white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
5 large egg whites

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream (I recommend you double the suggested amounts)
6 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1/2 tsp pure vanil extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 oz white chocolate, chopped


For the cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, and line 2 more cups in a second muffin tin.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set it aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and smooth, about 3 minutes.

4. Bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set it over the simmering water, and stir until it has melted. Add the warm, melted chocolate to the butter mixture and stir to combine. Scrap down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

5. With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the coconut milk, adding one third of each at a time and letting them fully mix in before adding the next. Transfer the batter to a medium mixing bowl.

6. Clean and dry the bowl of the electric mixer well. You want to make sure the bowl is absolutely dry to whip your whites. Add the egg whites, and using the whisk attachment on medium speed, beat to soft peaks, about 4 minutes. In three additions, fold the whites into the batter. Note that folding, is not mixing. To fold properly, drop 1/3 of the whites into the batter, gently lift the batter from the bottom and fold over the whites. Go around the bowl repeating. Add another 1/3 of the white and repeat the folding; and then finish folding in the remaining egg whites. Be careful not to over-mix. Folding takes a little bit to master.

7. Fill the muffin cups about three-quarters full with batter. Bake, rotating the tins halfway through, until the cupcakes spring back to the touch and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the tin to a wire rack. Invert the cupcakes onto the rack, turn them top side up and let them cool completely.

[Note: my cupcakes sank a tiny bit, I’ll play with the recipe again to see if it’s something recurrent. It’s possibly the egg whites sinking in a bit.]


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt on medium-high speed until light and smooth, about 3 minutes.

2. Bring about 2 inches of water to simmer in a saucepan. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, place the bowl over the pan, and stir until the chocolate is melted. Slowly add the melted chocolate to to the cream cheese mixture and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. If the butter-cream is too soft to spread, cover the bowl and chill it for 20 minutes; then white it in the mixer for 30 seconds before using. (The butter-cream can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month. Before using, bring it to room temperature and beat it for a few minutes until smooth.)

3. Spread the tops of the cupcakes with the frosting, swirling it decoratively.

The cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Salt in recipes from this book:
In November 12, 2009 article in the NYTimes T magazine ran an article on Karen DeMasco’s book and in it, they specified white type of kosher salt Karen uses. I didn’t think much on it, until I read that Morton’s weighs differently than Diamond Crystal, which affects baking, as it’s pretty precise. I’ve kept the excerpt below for you as well.

One thing to note: DeMasco’s recipes call for kosher salt, but she doesn’t mention which brand she uses, Diamond Crystal or Morton. (Though they look similar, the brands vary quite a bit by weight.) She said in an e-mail message that she uses Diamond Crystal kosher salt exclusively. When using this book, either use Diamond Crystal kosher salt or adjust the quantity accordingly: 1/2 teaspoon of Diamond Crystal kosher salt = 3/8 teaspoon of Morton kosher salt = 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea or iodized salt.

Melting white chocolate:
Because white chocolate has a very low melting point, around 111 degrees F, it’s tough to control melting in a microwave, a method that works for dark and/or milk chocolate. You really should melt white chocolate in a double boiler carefully over low heat, and once melted, use immediately as the chocolate dries out easily.

I recommend making twice the amount of frosting if you want to create lovely, generous dollops and not “ration” your frosting.


  • Brita

    Correction: you were DEFINITELY allowed to attend this party without cupcakes! But oh did they make it so much more complete ;)

  • Elizabeth

    *jaw drops* These look absolutely incredible! They’re so elegant looking. And white chocolate cream cheese frosting? Mmm… What a perfect treat for the holiday season (and before New Year’s resolutions kick in)!

  • Jason Sandeman

    I love these cupcakes. I suspect that the reason your cupcakes dropped is that the egg whites where either over-whipped, or the batter sat too long before baking. I have had a lot of mishaps with egg whites in souffles, and that is usually the culprit. I notice that the recipe calls for the egg whites in three additions. That might be your problem there. I usually just fold in the whole mess and go to town folding them in. Speed is the key here, and a gentle touch.

    As for salt, you are touching on the main reason I hate volume measurements. Indeed, the salt crystals are larger with diamond kosher salt, so weight is what is needed here.

    I love the photos that you took, and I would definitely have to have one at a party! You are welcome anytime at one of mine!

  • Gail

    White chocolate cream cheese buttercream is also mighty delicious paired with red velvet cake.
    It’s a great twist on an old favorite. I always recommend it to my clients when they request red velvet cake.

  • Internet Tasting Session December 20, 2009

    […] White Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting by Sassy Radish – What can I say, these cupcakes are so money, it is like robbing the bank eating them. Indulge in these, and see if your guests will even leave you one. They will go fast, so grab a few while you’re baking them! I won’t tell! Special thanks for the picture Olga! (I wish I had a quarter of the talent you have with the camera!) […]

  • kamran siddiqi

    Love this post! All of your recipes never let me down, and I think that I’ll have to give this one a try too! P.S. I think your definition would definitely need to be added to dictionaries world-wide!

  • Gaby

    omg these look amazing!!! Where can I get those cute little silver things? They make the cupcakes extra fabulous for the holidays!

  • Michaela at The Gardener's Eden

    These sound delicious, (as everything you post here does), and they also look spectacularly festive – almost like something from The Nutcracker. My favorite touch is the silvery little doo-dads on top. They look just like champagne bubbles floating on snow.
    xo Michaela

  • Radish

    Gaby – I found them at my local kitchen wares stores. I would look in baking supply stores or try Williams Sonoma?

  • Elizabeth

    I’m not sure if you’ll get this in time, but do you have any suggestions for substituting the coconut milk? I’m planning to make these tonight for my friend’s wedding tomorrow and I don’t have any on hand. Buttermilk? Cream? Thanks!

  • Radish

    Elizabeth- just got this, not sure if the substitutes work as I’ve not tested them :( let me know how you make out – hope it all goes smoothly.

  • Emily

    Have you ever tried this recipe with a strawberry or red velvet cake? It seems like strawberry with the butter cream frosting would be delicious! Do you have a strawberry cake recipe that you like to use?

  • Radish

    Emily – I don’t… YET!! But you’ve just given me a delicious idea. Willing to wait a couple of weeks? :)

  • Lilly Audrey

    We were so happy to see these pretty silver balls. We looked everywhere and we were told you can’t purchase them any more. Your post inspired us not to give up looking and when we find them we are going to use them on this tasty cupcake recipe.

  • couture dresses

    They are so cute! Perfect for a kids’ birthday party. And they must be delicious with white chocolate and butter cream cheese, and the raspberries! Yum!

  • Angela M.

    This is a fantastic recipe! I Sid not follow the steps as directed however the product was a light, fluffy cupcake with no sinking! My notes for this recipe, or at least the process I used was ; 

    -White chocolate cupcake notes as processed different than instructions
    -Beat butter and sugar added vanilla once mixed
    -Mixed in flour and coconut milk(from actual coconut) in 1/3 segments like instructed until completely mixed
    -Added same amount of melted chocolate as instructed once flour and coconut milk were completely mixed into batter allowing 1 minute to mix on medium speed while scraping down sides of the bowl
    -used 3/4 cup egg whites 
    -Used combination of folding and light mixing with rubber spatula to incorporate the egg whites into the batter 
    -Baked in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

    Batter yielded about 20 cupcakes as batter only filled 2/3 of liner

    I Used paper liners not tin as they get too hot and sometimes over cook the cupcake 


  • Internet Tasting Session December 20, 2009

    […] White Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting by Sassy Radish – What can I say, these cupcakes are so money, it is like robbing the bank eating them. Indulge in these, and see if your guests will even leave you one. They will go fast, so grab a few while you’re baking them! I won’t tell! Special thanks for the picture Olga! (I wish I had a quarter of the talent you have with the camera!) […]

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