Hydrangea Cupcakes Recipe
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
Big thank you to Sub-Zero and Wolf for sponsoring this recipe. Each of these hydrangea cupcakes is unique and beautiful, just like you. Did you know that March is Women’s History Month?
That’s why this post is dedicated to all of you moms, wives, sisters, daughters, and girlfriends–you’re awesome. I’ll take any excuse to celebrate, especially when I’m celebrating YOU. I hope you have a sweet and super blessed day. P.S. Make sure to enter the great giveaway at the end of this post!
Can I tell you a story? I worked as a realtor for 4 years while I was getting my first degree in business (what haven’t I tried?). Can’t imagine me as a realtor? Yeah… I’m much better at making food ;). Anyway, on the days my hubby wasn’t working, we toured gorgeous homes (our idea of fun).
I’ve seen hundreds of incredible homes and you know what they all seem to have in common? A quality range–a Wolf range. I’m pretty sure I touched every single one of them. They are hard to resist. Some people are obsessed with socks, but ranges really do it for me.
Quality equipment, like Wolf, matters in delivering the performance that you need for achieving delicious dishes. I don’t own a Wolf range yet, but I will and when I do, I’ll share a picture of myself hugging it on Instagram and tell you all about it.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS:
Now, I’ve always said, “If you can read, (a well-written, well-photographed, tested recipe) you can cook!” So let’s talk about what you’ll need to be successful with this recipe.
#1: a great cupcake base. I love the contrast of the chocolate cupcake and it kind of looks like the dirt in a flower pot ;). This chocolate cake base is a tried and true recipe that I’ve used before for my chocolate cupcakes with prague frosting (originally adapted from Simply Recipes). Why re-invent the wheel, right?
#2: a frosting that is color friendly. i.e. something that will still keep it’s form when food coloring is added. This frosting is just right and holds up beautifully. It also keeps its form once it’s piped onto the cupcakes.
#3: The right cooking tools: Gel food colors, a Wilton 2D tip (a large, drop flower decorating tip) and piping bags (preferably one-time use bags to save washing time if you want to use different colors).
#4: A reliable range. For the recipes I post, I generally use the regular baking setting (since not everyone has convection), but when I’m in a pickle (and I love pickles, but not this kind!), I turn to my convection setting. Wolf offers dual convection – two fans and four heating elements producing a more uniform heating than most ovens with a single convection fan.
You’ll have greater consistency with food (no more browning on one side or half-cooked cupcakes!) and you can put foods on multiple racks with perfect results. Imagine: multiple racks of cookies perfectly browned, without even rotating the trays.
Click here to learn more about the Wolf range’s features (prepare to be dazzled). I like that Wolf knows moms put great care into the food they provide their families, and they make appliances that help us all do just that. I served these cupcakes to all the women in my family – after my husband and son took their 10% cut. I guess they’re entitled ;). On to the recipe!
Ingredients for 12 chocolate cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour *measured correctly
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm coffee (freshly brewed)
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup olive oil
1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
8 oz (1 stick) cream cheese, softened to room temp and cut into 8 pieces
Blue, Red, Green food coloring gel (whatever colors you want)
How to Make Hydrangea Cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Brew your coffee.
2. In a large bowl combine your dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, sift in 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt and whisk together until there are no more cocoa lumps.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together your wet ingredients: 1 cup coffee, 1 Tbsp vinegar, 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/3 cup olive oil.
4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until they come together. Your batter will still be a little lumpy.
5. Use an ice cream scoop to pour your batter into the lined cupcake pan. They should be about 2/3 full. Bake 18-20 minutes on the center rack or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack.
Making Hydrangea Cupcakes Frosting:
1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the 1 stick of softened butter with 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and salt on low speed or until combined, scraping as necessary ~ 1 min.
Don’t start on high speed or you will be surrounded in a cloud of powdered sugar (lessons learned). Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy (2-3 min).
2. Add cream cheese 1-piece at a time and mix until combined. (I waited maybe 3 seconds in between each piece; just one after another). Once all of the cream cheese is incorporated, continue to beat 1 more minute until fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
You need your frosting to be super smooth without any globs of cream cheese or they will get stuck in the piping star, so if you see globs, keep mixing.
3. Separate frosting into as many bowls as you want different colors. I had ramekins for: white, pink, light blue, lavender and green). If you don’t like food coloring or just don’t have any, feel free to make beautiful pure white hydrangeas.
How to Make a Hydrangea Frosting Flowers:
1. Start with placing a Wilton 2D tip into a piping bag. Place the prepared bag into a tall glass and fold the bag over the glass. Blend food coloring into the frosting to get your desired colors. For purple, I used 2 parts red and 1 part blue, for blue I used 3 parts blue and 1 part red to tone it down a little.
2. Add one color on the left side of the bag and a second color on the right side of the bag.
3. Pipe a little into a plate until you see both colors coming through. Start by piping the border of the cupcake and work your way in.
Place the tip right over the cupcake, pull directly away from the cupcake about 1/3″ and release creating a petal-like design. Work all the way around keeping the petals close together so you don’t see the cupcake through the flowers.
Tip for success:
Your hands will cause the frosting to warm up as you pipe, so try not to handle it too much between cupcakes. If the petals start to soften and aren’t holding their form, place the piping bag into the fridge to firm up for 5 minutes or so, then continue.
P.S. If you are doing a variety of colors, disposable frosting bags would be a good idea. It was a little tedious to wash it over and over… and over. But you must know, I did it for you! Happy Women’s History Month! I’d pass one of these to you if I could.
Here’s the Print-Friendly Recipe 😉
Easy and Delicious Hydrangea Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup warm coffee, freshly brewed
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 stick, 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temp
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- 8 oz 1 stick cream cheese, softened to room temp and cut into 8 pieces
- Blue, Red, Green food coloring gel (whatever colors you want)
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Brew your coffee.
In a large bowl combine your dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, sift in 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt and whisk together until there are no more cocoa lumps.
In a separate bowl, mix together your wet ingredients: 1 cup coffee, 1 Tbsp vinegar, 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/3 cup olive oil.
Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until they come together. Your batter will still be a little lumpy.
Use an ice cream scoop to pour your batter into the lined cupcake pan; They should be about 2/3 full. Bake 18-20 minutes on the center rack or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack.
Making the Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the 1 stick of softened butter with 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and salt on low speed or until combined, scraping as necessary ~ 1 min. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy (2-3 min).
Add cream cheese 1-piece at a time and mix until combined. Once all of the cream cheese is incorporated, continue to beat 1 more minute until fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary. You need your frosting to be super smooth without any globs of cream cheese or they will get stuck in the piping star, so if you see globs, keep mixing.
Separate frosting into as many bowls as you want different colors. I had ramekins for: white, pink, light blue, lavender and green. If you don't like food coloring or just don't have any, feel free to make beautiful pure white hydrangeas.
How to Make a Hydrangea Cupcake Topping:
Start with placing a Wilton 2D tip (a large, drop flower decorating tip) into a piping bag. Place the prepared bag into a tall glass and fold the bag over the glass. Blend food coloring into the frosting to get your desired colors. For purple, I used 2 parts red and 1 part blue, for blue I used 3 parts blue and 1 part red to tone it down a little.
Add one color of frosting on the left side of the bag and a second color on the right side of the bag.
Pipe a little into a plate until you see both colors coming through. Start by piping the border of the cupcake and work your way in. Place the tip right over the cupcake, pull directly away from the cupcake about 1/3" and release creating a petal-like design. Work all the way around keeping the petals close together so you don't see the cupcake through the flowers. Your hands will cause the frosting to warm up as you pipe, so try not to handle it too much between cupcakes. If the petals start to soften and aren't holding their form, place the piping bag into the fridge to firm up for 5 minutes or so, then continue.
P.S. If you are doing a variety of colors, disposable frosting bags would be a good idea. It was a little tedious to wash it over and over... and over.
For amazing kitchen design and cooking inspiration, hop on over to the Sub-Zero and Wolf website and Facebook page.
This cupcake recipe was a fail. The cake sticks terribly to the cupcakes like liner. The cake is very dense. Natasha has an excellent chocolate cupcake recipe on this site, Easy Chocolate Cupcake Recipe. If I could rate the frosting recipe separately, i’d give it a 4 – follow her directions to ensure a lump-free frosting.
Hi Maria, it sounds like maybe the batter was overmixed? Also, make sure you are measuring ingredients correctly and not adding too much flour. Lastly, make sure your leavening is still active and not expired which can affect the rise. If you find that cupcakes stick too much, one product that I really love is parchment paper cupcake liners – they come off really easily.
hi Natasha, Can u please tell a sub for cream cheese because here in Pakistan in most of the places here, cream cheese is not available
Hi Armin, I haven’t tried any other substitute for cream cheese to advise. You can try plain greek yogurt but I haven’t tested it yet to recommend if it would work!
made this with my kids and we loved it we love everything on natasha’s kitchen
Awww that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! I’m all smiles
im so impressed, about this cupcake so moist, and colorful frosting. Frist time for me to baked without using egg and Im so please the outcome flavor.
I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!
Hi! I haven’t the cup for measure the ingredients. Can you tell me how much (approximately) are the ingredients in grams, please?
ciao! io non ho le tazze per misurare gli ingredienti. potresti dirmi quanto misurano (più o meno) gli ingradienti in grammi in grammi, perfavore? (in italian because i’m not sure the english version is right)
Hi Anna, we are slowly working through all of our recipes to add nutrition info but it is a time-consuming process as they have to be added one at a time. Thank you for being patient!
Hi, can I replace the cocoa with flour and use regular water to make a vanilla cake? This is super easy and I prefer egg free.
Hi Jami, in theory, it could work but I haven’t tested it to say for sure. I have turned this into a 9″ chocolate cake but have not tried making it into a vanilla cake. If you experiment, please let me know how it goes.
In the recipe no eggs, right?
Hi Tetiana! That is correct! This recipe has no eggs!
Do I have to put coffee in there or is it required.?
Hi Jen, coffee amplifies the chocolate flavor but I think it would still work with water.
Thank you for your detailed blog! Can I use your swiss meringue recipe to pipe the hydrangea flowers?
Hi Cathy, I think that would work really well. I love that idea!
Can the cupcake recipe be doubled or should I make separate batches of 12 cupcakes? These are a great hit with my daughter’s school as they prefer eggless cakes for their events.
Hi Romanie, you could double the recipe if you have double the cupcake pans and can bake at the same time since you don’t want to have half of the batter sitting too long before it is baked, otherwise, I would do 2 separate batches.
I love your recipes – I’m excited to try this one here. Listen, I was wondering if you used to have a blue/green dessert recipe on your site that you possibly removed? It was for the Seahawks, and it looked delicious (that’s why primarily intrigued me, I’m not a big sports fan lol). I think they were cupcakes…? I have a faint memory of seeing it on your site – can you tell me if you do and where I can find it? I really hope I’m making sense. 🙂
Hi Darya, I’ve never had anything like what you are describing, sorry! You might scroll through my dessert category to double check but I don’t recall anything like that.
No worries, I might just be thinking about something else and imagining it differently. I might have seen a super bowl dessert somewhere and thought it was you. 🙂 I’m sorry for the confusion.
Can i use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar and get the same result? And do you think I can increase the amount of coffee in the recipe to make the cupcakes a little more moist?
I’m not sure how apple cider vinegar would work in this recipe or if the flavor would be off from using it. Without testing it myself, I can’t say for sure. I haven’t tested different amounts of coffee either so it will have to be an experiment, but coffee doesn’t usually affect how moist they are – it acts to amplify the flavor of the cocoa. Let me know how it goes!
hi natasha! would i be able to not use cupcake liners but just spray the form with pam?
I haven’t tried it that way, but I think it should work with the amount of oil in these cupcakes. Definitely use a non-stick cupcake pan.
I just made these today and they were amazing!!! The cream cheese frosting compliments the cupcakes so beautifully because the cupcake itself isn’t so sweet! I love it and it definitely will be in my top 5 cupcake recipes! I will be referring this page on my blog! Thanks Natasha!
Thank you so much for such a wonderful complement!
I just can’t wait to try out this recipe! the cupcakes look simply perfect! but I have a couple of questions how can I make sure that the cupcakes are perfectly baked because I always have problems when it comes to baking and the second one what type of food coloring do you use? can I use Wilton food gel instead?
Yes Wilton food gel will work fine.
Would love to have a Kitchen Aid mixer to help me make these wonderful cupcakes!
my husband did not like…
I’m sorry to hear that :(. What did he not like about them?
This is so incredible! Such a cute and fun frosting idea! Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you! I’m so glad you like them 🙂
Can i make these a day in advance for the party? Or should I bake the cupcakes in advance and pipe the buttercream a few hours before the party? how long can the piped buttercream stay at room temperature?
Nelli, you can make everything a day in advance and keep cupcakes refrigerated overnight. Buttercream can stay at room temperature for around 3 hours. Hope this helps :).
I would like a Wilton cake decorating kit! 🙂
How long can you keep these cupcakes once iced out of the fridge? I want to make it for my daughters 4th birthday to take to kindy. She will love them.
It depends on the temperature they are going to be left in. If it’s room temp (about 70˚F), I have left them out up to 4 hours on the counter.
your cupcakes are beautiful….My daughter is getting married in august and wants cupcakes instead of cake. You don’t happen to sell these do you or would be interested in making 130 of them? Can’t hurt to ask…please let me know thank you!!
Congratulations to your daughter! I’m flattered that you ask, but unfortunately I can’t commit to such a large project. I don’t do any catering currently. Between work and family and the blog; I’m up to my ears in things that keep me busy 🙂 But, thank you!
I would love to have a new kitchen Air mixer, to help me make yummy cupcakes and frosting, Thank you!
A kitchenaid mixer
The appliance that I would love to have in my kitchen, to help me make the perfect cupcake is a brand new oven. Mine is so inconsistent, in temp, and doesn’t bake anything evenly.
I shared on twitter
I’d love to have a Wolf range in my kitchen. It would make my baking and cooking so much more enjoyable 🙂
A Kitchen Aid Mixer would definitely help me in making cupcakes!
I would like to have another set of silicone baking cups for my cupcakes for my kitchen!
A Kitchen aid mixer would be great
i want to get a kitchenaid mixer for my baking.
Tweeted the giveaway -> https://twitter.com/DarkMysticNight/status/455462202997477376
I would love a kitchen aid mixer as a convenient option to help make the perfect cupcakes.
I would definitely love to own a brand new oven.
I would like to have a new mixer.
An electric mixer with a turn table would make things a lot easier .
I would really like a new stove.
Tweet – https://twitter.com/willitara/status/455390310500429825
I’d love to have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. My little hand mixer just doesn’t do the job well.
A mixer would be great for making cupcakes!
I would like a Kitchen Aid mixer.
I would love to have a new stove.
I would have to agree that I would need a better mixer. Thank you
I tweeted https://twitter.com/2BeFitBy50/status/455321666080759808
I would love a new range with a double oven
I’d like a dishwasher to make the cleanup easier
I want a new dish washer to replace the one that’s 25 years old so I can clean up after making the cupcakes.
Thanks for the contest.
Even a toaster oven would be better than the propane oven I have now.
I would say I need a new Kitchenaid Mixer! I wish I could make frosting like you!!
LIKE SERIOUSLY… THESE ARE TOO CUTE FOR EASTER… I WOULD LOVE A DISHWASHER 🙂
I would love a new oven.
I tweeted! https://twitter.com/Ladies_Lounge1/status/455147833877090304
elizzzzzabeth at yahoo dot com
I would love a new oven and a new mixer!
I need you in my kitchen to make the perfect cupcakes 🙂 LOL! But I think I need a nice mixer to mix all the ingredients up
elizzzzzabeth at yahoo dot com
I would love to have one of those kitchenaid mixers.
Those cupcakes are really pretty. I would love to have a double oven in my kitchen.
I have been wishing for a Kitchen Aid mixer for a while now.
A new oven
I would like to have a double oven.
I would love a kitchen aid mixer.
I would love to have a gas oven 🙂
I would love the 36″ Unframed Electric Cooktop I could cook up lots of yummy goodies with that 🙂
I would love a professional oven.
I would love to get some new cupcake pans. Mine look like they went thru a war. lol
And I blogged about it!
I would want double ovens. Things bake so much more evenly when the oven isn’t crowded!
I would love to have a new gas stove, I love the look of the Wolf brand.
I would really like to have a convection oven in my kitchen.
To achieve the perfect cupcake I’d love to have a Kitchen Aide mixer.
I’d like to have a decent oven that heats evenly and a stand mixer to save my poor arms 😉
I would want some piping bags and tips! These look so awesome!!!
I would want a really good stand mixer. I’ve never had one and everyone tells me what I am missing. Mixing the batter well enough would enable me to make the ultimate cupcake.
Link to tweet:
All of my appliances need replaced! I would love to have a new oven and a new mixer!
I would like to buy new serving dishes!
I’ve been wanting to make some yummy waffles lately, so I would want a waffle maker.
A better oven.
would love a kitchaid mixer
I would like to have a new stove
Here’s my tweet!
I wish I could have a kitchenaid in my Kitchen! I’ve been begging my husband forever now!
A new stove!
A working oven/stove 🙂
This cupcakes is very lovely!
And I tweeted: https://twitter.com/natashafaucher/status/454710641803014144
I think a new oven would be so helpful, as well as a good coffee maker to help me achieve the perfect cupcake! 🙂 By the way, they look soo amazing. I’m totally making these for Easter! 🙂
I would like to have
a new Wolf range,refrigerator or stand mixer.Thank you.
I’d love a new mixer!!!
I would like to have new oven
I would LOVE to get some decorating equipment! Just recently started baking (thanks to you <3 ) and still haven't gotten around to getting some!
I would like Kitchen Aid mixer.
I would definitely like to upgrade my KitchenAid mixer to a bigger, professional version. These cupcakes look amazing!!! I am going to have to try them out!
l would love to have a new oven with a peacking window, so that no heat escapes when checking on the progress.
New nonstick cupcake pans, since mine are over 10 years old, and new decorating utensils!
A new oven would be great to have to make perfect cupcakes and more!
I would really like a nice food processor
I would love to have new cupcake pans and frosting bags!
I tweeted this as well – https://twitter.com/Lorleemurray/status/454671688505229313
A kitchenaid mixer would be great. Or an updated oven!
I love a good new mixer.
I’d love a stand mixer.
I would love a stand mixer. The frosting on these is so very pretty.