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Chocolate-Filled Cupcakes

overhead view of Chocolate-Filled Cupcakes on a white surface

This recipe appeals to me because it’s simple, quick, and mixed in one bowl. Their simplicity, in preparation as well as flavor, can interest me enough to crank up my mixer on a day when I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

These cupcakes are simply adorned with confectioner’s sugar. Plus, the cakes are loaded with vanilla in addition to a chunk of bittersweet chocolate hidden inside.

I like to use vanilla bean paste in these cupcakes. I fell in love with vanilla bean paste ages ago. It’s a great alternative to vanilla beans, and it’s easier to have on-hand than the beans themselves.

inside view of the chocolate inside a Chocolate-Filled Cupcake

I do offer one helpful hint for baking these. When adding the chocolate to the batter, do not try to cover the chocolate completely with batter. The cakes will rise and cover it. If you push it in too far, it will settle to the bottom and maybe even come out of the bottom of the cakes.

We love these chocolate/vanilla cupcakes. The taste reminds me of vanilla bean ice cream. With chocolate sauce, of course. The flavor is fantastic!

Chocolate-Filled Cupcakes

Yield 12 standard-sized cupcakes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

These Chocolate-Filled Cupcakes are sweet vanilla cupcakes with a little chocolate surprise inside!

overhead view of Chocolate-Filled Cupcakes on a white surface


  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces (113g) bittersweet chocolate, cut into twelve 2-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 cups of a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites, milk, vanilla bean paste, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, and mix just until combined.
  5. Fill the prepared muffins cups about 3/4 full. Insert a piece of chocolate into the center of each, pressing down slightly to cover partially with batter. Bake 22-25 minutes, or until pale golden brown.
  6. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place directly on a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Dust with confectioners' sugar for serving.


Recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

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    28 Comments on “Chocolate-Filled Cupcakes”

  1. Love the photo! I think cupcakes are rather tasty with just a sprinkle of pwd sugar & I agree…frosting all them can be a messy chore (unless you assign it to a child–ha!) I have been tempted to buy the vanilla bean paste & your suggestion has convinced me!

  2. They look scrumptious, Jen!
    I’m not a fond of buttercream, so I usually go for chocolate icing or ganache. I prefer simpler cakes, though.
    And I have bought vanilla paste (I can’t find it here, luckily for me King Arthur delivers in Brazil) and can’t wait for my box to arrive… 🙂

  3. I too fell in love with vanilla bean paste- There’s nothing better than seeing those gorgeous flecks in your baked goods, and it just tastes so much more flavorful than the extract.

    The cupcakes look and sound wonderful, and filling the center with chocolate is a great excuse to leave off the fussy icing off the top!

  4. Sounds like a really good one–and these definitely don’t need icing. I recently tried filling muffins with peanut butter and my problem was that it exploded out the top:)

  5. JEP, I love that vanilla bean paste. I think you’ll be pleased.

    Patricia, I would be lost without King Arthur’s deliveries. If not for them, I would have to do without a lot of things.

    Hannah, those little flecks make me giddy!

    Julie, I can empathize with your cupcake filling problems. A few of these lost the chocolate completely out of the bottom. I’m glad I experimented a bit to get some of them to work.

  6. Wow, so simple yet so utterly irresistible! I agree, those cupcakes with huge domes of buttercream look cute but are kind of sickly to eat. Yours on the other hand I could definitely dig into!

  7. I’m so out of the loop — I’ve never seen vanilla bean paste before! I’m going to look out for it; it sounds like something I would like to work with.

  8. Based on Julie’s peanut butter experience, I think we should try them again but slathering a little peanut butter on the bottom of the chocolate. Maybe the two forces would cancel each other out?

  9. These sound delicious! I’m going to have to start looking for vanilla bean paste…

  10. Anita, those big tall cupcakes are pretty if not practical to eat. Maybe someday I’ll be brave and try them.

    Alicia, I love, love, love vanilla bean paste. Probably my favorite baking find of last year.

    Quinn, you are such an engineer.

    Deborah, if you can’t find the vanilla bean paste, try King Arthur Flour’s website or Williams Sonoma.

  11. I need to find some vanilla bean paste! And I’m with you, frosting is a pain!

  12. These sound scrumptious and look divine.

    Love your blog, great recipes and fab photos.

    We have featured you as our Blog of the Week. Here is the link if you would like to have a look.


  13. Brilynn, it seems that lots of people feel the same way we do about frosting. I’m glad I’m not alone.

    Thanks, Wanda! How wonderful!

  14. I think you can keep the chocolate from sinking by tossing them with flour before adding, it works well with fruit and I have seen it done before with chocolate chips. Maybe that would help?

  15. Megan, thanks for the tip! I’ll have to remember that one.

  16. Even seen I bought 1/4lb of vanilla beans from ebay few months ago I have been using them a lot in my bake. I think I may switch to vanilla bean paste after my stash runs out. Love the flecks in your cupcake.

  17. Mandy, that’s a lot of vanilla beans!

  18. Hi Jenn
    I love your page. I am going to make these when I get up this afternoon.


  19. Hendria, I hope you enjoy them!

  20. Your photos are awesome!

  21. Thanks, Kimberley!

  22. Try baking the cupcakes for a few minutes, then stick the chocolate in them. This may keep the chocolate from sinking to the bottom.
    It’s what I do when I make “lucky penny” sheet cake for St. Patrick’s Day for my class.

  23. Thanks, Julie! That sounds like a good idea.

  24. I hope you give the cupcake more of a chance. You don’t have to do pretty piping to make the frosting look nice. Sometimes I just shmeer it on and it works just fine. Yours sound great. I’ve never used vanilla bean paste and would like to check it out.

  25. Thanks, Stef! I’m sure this won’t be my last cupcake attempt. They’re far too good to ignore!

  26. These cupcakes sound awesome! I love this website! I am going to try these cupcakes this weekend! I am going to bake them in icecream cones! I’m sure you have seen those cupcakes baked in icecream cones! Well this sounds like the perfect batter for the icecream cones! I’m so excited to try it! I’m baking them for a little league fund raiser!

  27. Oh, a note about frosting! I totally blew myself away this weekend, because I had not made icing before. My mom had always made it and sadly she passed away a year ago. So, my first attempt turned out great! I was so happy! took 1 cup of confectioners sugar, 2-3 TBS of milk, 1 TBS butter, 1 half squeezed lemon juice, grated lemon rind of an organic lemon (organic b/c i want to avoid the pesticides). I mixed it all together until it was a good consistency. It was perfect for my lemon poppyseed muffins I made for an afternoon get together!

  28. Love this blog great pictures and thanks for the info on Chocolate-Filled Cupcakes ymm…………

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