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Hydrangea Cupcakes Recipe

Hydrangea Cupcakes tutorial, plus a recipe for incredible, moist chocolate cupcakes! How to make beautiful hydrangea cupcakes - it's easier than you think! | natashaskitchen.com

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.

Hydrangea Cupcakes tutorial + recipe for incredible, moist chocolate cupcakes!! @NatashasKitchen

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

Hydrangea Cupcakes tutorial + recipe for incredible, moist chocolate cupcakes!! @NatashasKitchen

Frosting Ingredients:

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)

Hydrangea Cupcakes-17

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.

Hydrangea Cupcakes Recipe - 1

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.

Hydrangea Cupcakes Recipe - 2
Hydrangea Cupcakes-10

4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until they come together. Your batter will still be a little lumpy.

Hydrangea Cupcakes Recipe - 3

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.

Hydrangea Cupcakes Recipe - 4

 

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).

Hydrangea Cupcakes-18

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.

Hydrangea Cupcakes Recipe - 5

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.

Hydrangea Cupcakes-21

2. Add one color on the left side of the bag and a second color on the right side of the bag.

Hydrangea Cupcakes Recipe - 6

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.

Hydrangea Cupcakes Recipe - 7

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.

Hydrangea Cupcakes tutorial + recipe for incredible, moist chocolate cupcakes!! @NatashasKitchen

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

4.78 from 72 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Hydrangea Cupcakes tutorial, plus a recipe for incredible, moist chocolate cupcakes! How to make beautiful hydrangea cupcakes - it's easier than you think! | natashaskitchen.com
The chocolate cupcakes don't have eggs or butter but still have that craving inducing richness. They're wonderful. The cream cheese frosting is perfect for coloring and piping making it the ideal hydrangea cupcake combo!
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $6-$8
Keyword: Hydrangea Cupcakes
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes Ingredients:

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 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)

Instructions

  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 the 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. 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. 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 Cupcake Topping:

  1. 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.
  2. Add one color of frosting 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. 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.

Recipe Notes

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.

Final Final Picmonkey Hashtag banner

Hydrangea Cupcakes tutorial + recipe for incredible, moist chocolate cupcakes!! @NatashasKitchen

For amazing kitchen design and cooking inspiration, hop on over to the Sub-Zero and Wolf website and Facebook page.

 

FREE BONUS: 5 Secrets to Be a Better Cook!

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Karen
    April 10, 2014

    I’d love a new SubZero refrigerator.

    Reply

  • maria cantu
    April 9, 2014

    dishwasher would be nice for cleaning up after

    Reply

  • Douglas Houston
    April 9, 2014

    I would love to have a French door Fridge

    Reply

  • Christina Sparks
    April 9, 2014

    I would like a double oven so I can cut down on my cooking time.

    Reply

  • Lisa V.
    April 9, 2014

    A good blender would be helpful.

    Reply

  • Danielle
    April 8, 2014

    I had my mixer break on me a year ago and I have never replaced it. That would be the first thing on my list

    Reply

  • Kerry
    April 8, 2014

    tweeted: https://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/453674972779520000

    Reply

  • Lina
    April 8, 2014

    Tips and a piping bag!

    Reply

  • Hope T.
    April 8, 2014

    Your cupcakes look sooo yummy! This is my next dessert, maybe with a little surprise inside.
    A new oven would be nice.

    Reply

  • Neiddy
    April 8, 2014

    my tweet https://twitter.com/neiddy_ruiz/status/453413339478364160

    Reply

  • Neiddy
    April 8, 2014

    I would like to have a “Baking Center” where I can have all of my baking gadgets. For me, a good quality stand mixer, double oven, silicone molds and a professional decorating kit are must.

    Reply

  • Sylvie W
    April 7, 2014

    A hand-held mixer suits me for making cupcakes.

    Reply

  • Linda G.
    April 7, 2014

    i would to have a stand mixer

    Reply

  • joe gersch
    April 7, 2014

    i wouldl love a kitchenaid mixer

    Reply

  • Terri Moore
    April 7, 2014

    I love to bake and never thought of using an ice cream scoop for cupcakes, thank you for that! I have a vintage Kitchen aid mixer that has worked well but only has one beater bar. I would love to have a new one with a bread hook.

    Reply

  • Jessica
    April 5, 2014

    I would like a new gas stove!

    Reply

  • Erica Best
    April 5, 2014

    https://twitter.com/purplelover04/status/452538602061176832

    Reply

  • Erica Best
    April 5, 2014

    i love a dish washer

    Reply

  • amy pugmire
    April 5, 2014

    tweet
    https://twitter.com/1amypugmire/status/452454917668495360

    Reply

  • amy pugmire
    April 5, 2014

    I would love a nice mixer.

    Reply

  • nadia
    April 4, 2014

    A professional size Kitchen Aid mixer!

    Reply

  • Shanna
    April 4, 2014

    A mixer!!!!!! Specifically a Kitchen-Aid

    Reply

  • Galina
    April 4, 2014

    I would love to have it cake decorating kit

    Reply

  • courtney b
    April 4, 2014

    i would love to have one of those kitchen aid mixers- the really pretty expensive ones!

    Reply

  • Olga
    April 3, 2014

    I would love to get a kitchen aid stand up mixer!

    Reply

  • Cori Westphal
    April 3, 2014

    Tweet: https://twitter.com/coriwestphal/status/451833210293321728

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    Reply

  • Cori Westphal
    April 3, 2014

    I don’t know if it would help me make better cupcakes, but I’ve always wanted a double oven! I’m thinking maybe I could make these killer cupcakes at the same time I’m making dinner, though!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    Reply

  • joni
    April 3, 2014

    https://twitter.com/smilekisses/status/451638121911029760

    Reply

  • joni
    April 3, 2014

    A double oven would come in handy. Lots of cupcakes!

    Reply

  • tara pittman
    April 2, 2014

    https://twitter.com/kj20082006/status/451596916187353088

    Reply

  • tara pittman
    April 2, 2014

    I need a kitchen aid mixer and a better oven.

    Reply

  • Lily
    April 2, 2014

    ok, I tried making these couple days ago and they were very tasteless, they were crumbly (cuz there is no egg involved) and very very tasteless. I knew I shouldn’t follow this recipe and I did! (blaming myself for it). I would love to see some real ppl’s comments on some recipes not just “oh look good, I will have to make it” or “so pretty ill make it someday”. It seems like ppl who visit this site don’t have a clue bout how to prepare food or their comments doesn’t get approved by Natasha if they are not in positive way written. sorry, but I had to write this.

    Hi Lily! It’s good to hear from you again! Thanks for sharing that recipe for your cheesecake! Sorry I didn’t get to your comment sooner. I wanted to take some quality time to reply and I worked a 12-hr shift today so I just got home. I’m really bummed to read that the recipe didn’t work out for you. I hope you’ve had a chance to click over to the original recipe where there are more comments from folks who have actually tried the recipe (comments 52, 55, 57, 59, 77 (especially 86 ;), etc., etc.,), anyway, it’s one of my most popular cupcakes! I’ve made them dozens of times and they are always a hit at parties. https://natashaskitchen.com/2013/01/23/moist-chocolate-cupcakes-with-prague-frosting/. I thought enough of it to use it twice on my blog. It’s so hard to say what could have gone wrong with your batch since I wasn’t there in your kitchen. Thanks for sharing your experience; I hope you give these another try. Is there anything that you changed? Did you use some kind of special flour? Maybe they were over-baked?

    About the comments: I appreciate every comment on my blog. There have been over 33,0000 comments in the past 4.5 yrs on my blog and I have read every single one of them and try my best to reply to all of them because I care about the people who read my blog. My readers make me a better chef. I always appreciate constructive criticism and if someone makes suggestions or fixes my typos, I am extremely grateful to them. I’m also blessed by peoples compliments and that they take the time to say encouraging things.
    – 🙂 Natasha

    Reply

  • Susan Chester
    April 2, 2014

    I would love a new oven. Mine always burns baked foods.
    smchester at gmail dot com

    Reply

  • Kerry
    April 2, 2014

    I would love a stand up mixer!

    Reply

  • Jacob LaFountaine
    April 1, 2014

    I could use a good stand mixer to help

    Reply

  • kjasus
    April 1, 2014

    https://twitter.com/raggammuffin/status/451012805517660160

    Reply

  • kjasus
    April 1, 2014

    i’d love to have a new oven

    Reply

  • Melissa L.
    March 31, 2014

    I would actually love a new oven to make the perfect cupcakes. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply

  • sharon
    March 31, 2014
  • sharon
    March 31, 2014

    A new Kitchen Aid mixer in red.

    Reply

  • Ally
    March 30, 2014

    Getting married so I need just about everything!! So I will go with an electric stand mixer! Thanks Natasha!!

    Reply

  • Kristy Clearman
    March 30, 2014

    I would LOVE a new Kitchen Aid electric mixer!
    Mine is almost 20 years old & still does the job, but with 5 kids still at home & many more goodies to make – a new colorful one would be especially nice : )

    Reply

  • Tamar
    March 30, 2014

    I’d like to have an immersion blender.

    Reply

  • Christina Y.
    March 30, 2014

    I definitely need a new oven and maybe a new mixer as well. 😀

    Reply

  • Barbara M
    March 30, 2014

    Tweet

    Reply

  • Barbara M
    March 30, 2014

    I’d like to be better mixer – thank you.

    Reply

  • RICHARD HICKS
    March 29, 2014

    https://twitter.com/ardy22/status/450147822055079936

    Reply

  • RICHARD HICKS
    March 29, 2014

    I would love to have a new stand mixer!

    Reply

  • Debbie B
    March 29, 2014

    i posted a tweet:

    https://twitter.com/bellows22/status/450104506572107777

    Reply

  • Debbie B
    March 29, 2014

    i would love a new oven and a new stand mixer

    Reply

  • Tina M
    March 29, 2014

    https://twitter.com/HappyTina0115/status/450091186334605312

    Reply

  • Tina M
    March 29, 2014

    I would like to have a kitchen mixer.

    Reply

  • Lauren-Olivia Wood
    March 29, 2014

    I’d have a Professional Grade Kitchenaid Mixer and a Convection Oven! olivia41393@yahoo.com!

    Reply

  • Sarah Hirsch
    March 29, 2014

    i’d love to have a whole suite of top of the line appliances. a girl can dream, right?

    Reply

  • Christine
    March 28, 2014

    I would want a new oven. My current oven isn’t very good for baking because the heat isn’t even.

    Reply

  • janna johnson
    March 28, 2014

    a new stove with double boiler

    Reply

  • mickeyfan
    March 28, 2014

    A double oven would be awesome!

    Reply

  • Stephanie V.
    March 28, 2014

    an oven that actually works and doesn’t shut off whenever it likes
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

    Reply

  • HilLesha O'Nan
    March 28, 2014

    I’d love to have a better oven. 🙂

    Reply

  • Jimmy
    March 28, 2014

    I would like a stand mixer

    Reply

  • Theron Willis
    March 28, 2014

    Like many other people, I could use a new mixer.

    Reply

  • paige chandler
    March 28, 2014

    I’d like a new wold oven in my kitchen.

    Reply

  • Tari Lawson
    March 28, 2014

    I would love a Kitchenaide mixer.

    Reply

  • Mila
    March 28, 2014

    New piping bags and tips for decorating 🙂

    Reply

  • Cynthia C
    March 28, 2014

    Tweet
    https://twitter.com/clc408/status/449617862387576832

    Reply

  • Cynthia C
    March 28, 2014

    I already have a good mixer and a decent range, but I could sure use a new refrigerator to keep my ingredients in.

    Reply

  • Deborah Wellenstein
    March 28, 2014

    To help me achieve the perfect cupcake, I could use a new oven, preferably convection. A new mixer would be helpful, as well.

    Reply

  • Kiara
    March 28, 2014

    A new oven.
    austma7@aol.com

    Reply

  • BusyWorkingMama
    March 28, 2014

    I love to make French Onion soup from scratch. Friends tell me they buy it frozen but I’m not going that route!

    Reply

  • Denise S
    March 28, 2014

    I could use a new refrigerator and a nice stand mixer.
    lazybones344 at gmail dot com

    Reply

  • Natalie
    March 28, 2014

    I would love to have a Kitchenaid stand mixer and a better oven so it heats more evenly for the cupcakes.

    Reply

  • Kimmy Ripley
    March 28, 2014

    I need a food processor and I would also love to have a wok.

    Reply

  • Julia Barnes
    March 28, 2014

    A good batter scoop would do wonders for my cupcakes and muffins. The one I have just drips everywhere!

    Reply

  • Anastasia
    March 28, 2014

    Tweeted 🙂 – https://twitter.com/Enter_Now/status/449517062244016128

    Reply

  • Anastasia
    March 28, 2014

    I’d love a nice mixer! I’ve been eyeing those Kitchenaid mixers with all their pretty colors and awesome attachments. That would be awesome 🙂

    Reply

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