Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes

A Small Batch of Vanilla Cupcakes that are fluffy, moist and topped with chocolate chip buttercream.  To make it even better, the center is filled with a creamy chocolate pudding filling.  

Single vanilla cupcake with chocolate chip frosting

Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes

I think cupcakes are a PERFECT recipe for small-batch desserts.  Even for a small family, it is nice to be able to enjoy the fresh cupcake for dessert.  And because these have a filling in them, you don’t want extras sitting around for too long.  Otherwise, the laws of food (this isn’t really a thing), will start to alter the texture of your beloved little cupcake.  Translation:  they can get soggy.  

The other thing I love about small-batch cupcakes is you can try multiple flavors, again without the concern of what to do with the leftovers of flavor #1.  They are fast and easy to make, and once you get accustomed to making the smaller batches, you can make them in one bowl.

Vanilla chocolate cupcakes on a platter

Chocolate Pudding Cupcake Filling

There is no magic about this cupcake filling.  It is just chocolate pudding.  Well, maybe that is magic because it is pudding.  My point is, you don’t have to have some special texture or consistency to shove something in the middle of the cupcake.  These cupcakes are sturdy enough to hold anything in and on them!

I’ve given you a bonus with this pudding recipe.  You are going to make more than you need to fill four cupcakes.  So, you are welcome.  Put the extra pudding in a fancy bowl, top with some whipped cream.  And POOF!  Now you look like a rockstar because you slaved over the stove and made TWO desserts!  You’re welcome 🙂

Please do yourself a favor and practice making pudding – any flavor – at least once a week.  I promise after about the second/third time you will be such a pro that you won’t need to follow a recipe, and you will be able to make it from start to finish in 10 minutes.  Plus the chill time, of course.  

Vanilla cupcake with chocolate chips on a table

Chocolate Chip Buttercream Frosting

Mini chocolate chips are just too cute.  Put them in and on some buttercream frosting, and they turn into supermodels.  Sure, you could do a plain ‘ol vanilla buttercream.  But you’ve gone through the expense of putting the dreamy chocolate pudding in these cupcakes.  So why not accessorize them accordingly?  

It really couldn’t be easier.  Simple vanilla buttercream with mini chocolate chips mixed in.  Then, of course, add more chocolate chips to the outside of the buttercream once you frost the cupcakes.  

So, there you have it!   A lot of words for some pretty simple, yet perfectly worth it, small-batch vanilla cupcakes!!

Close up of vanilla chocolate cupcake
Single vanilla cupcake with chocolate chip frosting
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Vanilla Cupcakes Filled with Chocolate Pudding

Small Batch of Vanilla Cupcakes that are fluffy, moist and topped with chocolate chip buttercream.  To make it even better, the center is filled with a creamy chocolate pudding filling.  
Prep20 mins
Cook20 mins
Total30 mins
Servings: 4 Cupcakes
Author: Erin | Butter and Bliss


  • 1 – Muffin/Cupcake Pan



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk - room temperature
  • 1 large egg - room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste - or vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Chocolate Chip Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk, or heavy cream - room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste - or vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips - plus more for decorating

Chocolate Pudding Filling

  • 1 large egg yolk - room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into cubes


  • Make the pudding first.  This can be done one to two days ahead of time.  You will have extra pudding, which means more to enjoy!

Chocolate Pudding Filling

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, cream, and sugar over medium heat until the maple syrup melts and bubbles start to form along the sides of the pan. Be careful not to boil. 
  • While the milk mixture is heating, whisk the egg yolk and cornstarch in a medium bowl, until thoroughly combined.
  • Once the milk has heated, slowly drizzle in about half the mix into the bowl with the egg yolk. Whisk constantly – this makes sure the egg yolk does not scramble. Then, add the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan.  Still whisking constantly, cook the pudding over medium heat until it thickens and bubbles – about 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the chocolate chips, vanilla, and butter. Mix until the chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is thoroughly combined. 
  • Strain the pudding over a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap – with the wrap directly touching the top of the pudding. This will keep a skin from forming on the top of the pudding.
  • Refrigerate the pudding for at least 2 hours to set fully. 


  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.  Line four cups in a muffin pan with paper liners
  • In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, and salt.  
  • In a liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, egg, vanilla bean paste (or extract) and sugar.  Mix until well combined.  Add the sprinkles (if using) and stir a couple of times until incorporated.  
  • Add the liquid ingredients and the melted butter to the dry ingredients.  Whisk until no streaks of dry flour remain.  Using a spoon or a small cookie scoop, evenly portion the batter into the 4 prepared cups in the muffin pan.  Fill each 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Chip Buttercream Frosting

  • In a small bowl, use a handheld mixer to beat the butter until light and fluffy – about 1 minute.  Add the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of the milk or cream, and vanilla bean paste (or extract).  Beat until very light and fluffy – about 2 minutes.  Add the chocolate chips and mix just until the chips are incorporated.  If the frosting is too thick, add a little more milk or cream as necessary.  
  • To frost the cupcakes, spoon a dollop of buttercream on top of the cupcakes and smooth out the tops and sides with an offset spatula.  Roll the frosted cupcakes in additional mini chocolate chips, to coat the sides of the frosting. The cupcakes are best enjoyed the day they are baked.  
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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