Ask and you shall receive my friends. Last month, I polled my Facebook followers asking them to select a perfect pair to feature in a recipe for February. The overwhelming winner was the classic combination: chocolate and vanilla. So that’s why we have black and white cupcakes from Sarah Levy.
I adore the two of these flavors together. For the longest time, I always ordered ice cream with a scoop of both or soft serve swirled with both. I definitely had a fixation. I just felt the two belonged together like soul mates.
I definitely wanted to please the followers with the ultimate chocolate and vanilla recipe. The first recipe that came to mind for me was one I dreamed about last year, Pastry Chef Sarah Levy’s Black and White cupcakes that were famous in Chicago (I interviewed her last year, and you can check our interview out here or you can check out her company S.Levy Foods here). And these black and white cupcakes are quite the treat let me tell you.
I think what made this recipe so awesome was having my husband help. It requires someone to help out when piping the two flavors simultaneously into the cupcake liners, and boy oh boy was it fun! This recipe does take a bit of time so think about making it for a special occasion.
- For the white cake batter:
- 1 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs whites, warmed to room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- For the supreme chocolate cake batter:
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons boiling water (put a ½ cup of water on to boil, and once it reaches the boiling point, pour 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of the water back into a glass measuring cup and discard the remaining water)
- ½ cup, scant cake flour
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
- 1 ½ large whole eggs, warmed to room temperature
- ½ tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Fantastically Fudgy Vanilla and Cocoa Icing
- 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
- 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- To make the white cake batter, Combine the flour, baking powder, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and mix briefly.
- Add the butter and roughly 75% of the milk to the dry ingredient mixture and mix on low speed until the butter is thoroughly incorporated.
- Increase the mixer’s speed to medium and beat until well combined. Then continue to beat at medium speed for 1 ½ minutes longer in order to build the cake’s structure.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites by hand to incorporate considerable air into the mixture. Whisk the whites until they are frothy (but not so long that soft peaks form).
- Combine the remaining milk, the egg whites, and the vanilla into a small mixing bowl and add it in 3 separate batches to the batter, mixing well between each addition.
- To make the Supreme chocolate cake batter, In a mixing bowl, combine the cocoa powder and boiling water and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a large measuring cup.
- In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for 30 seconds. Set aside.
- In a third mixing bowl, gently mix together the eggs and the vanilla extract. Add a third of the cocoa mixture to the egg-vanilla mixture.
- Add the remaining cocoa mixture and the butter to the dry-ingredient mixture and mix together for 1 ½ minutes.
- Add the cocoa-egg mixture to the cocoa-dry ingredient mixture in 2 separate stages mixing for 30 seconds between each addition. Scrape the bowl to ensure that all of the cocoa-egg mixture has been added.
- To make black and white cupcakes, Once you have prepared both the white and chocolate cake batters, fill 2 piping bags fitted with round #8 tips until they are ½ full (I used Ziploc bags and cut off the bottoms). One bag should contain the white batter, and the other should contain the chocolate batter.
- Prepare the cupcake pans.
- It’s important to pipe both cupcake batters simultaneously, so ask your hone to hold one of the bags. Each of you should begin to pipe the batter at the same time, filling each liner until it is ¾ full.
- Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Ice your cupcakes with Fantastically Fudgy vanilla and Cocoa Icing.
- To make the Fantastically Fudgy Vanilla and Cocoa Icing
- Combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, whipping cream, and salt in a saucepan and cook on medium heat until the sugar syrup mixture reaches 239 F. Remove from heat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a mixing bowl (if using a hand mixer), mix together the butter and sifted confectioners’ sugar on medium speed.
- Slow the mixer to low speed, and slowly add the sugar syrup mixture to the butter-sugar mixture.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and pour in the vanilla. Continue beating the mixture until the icing is smooth and spreadable.
- Pour half of the mixture into a separate covered container and set aside. That’s your vanilla fudge icing.
- Add the cocoa powder to the remaining mixture still in the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly making the cocoa fudge icing.
- You should spread the icing on the black-and-white cupcakes while it is still warm, but the cupcakes themselves should be thoroughly cooled. Frosting the cupcakes, like piping the batter, is best done as a team effort. Using offset spatulas, one person should spread the cocoa fudge icing while the other spreads the vanilla fudge frosting. Start by making 2 separate lines of the white and black frosting down the center of each cupcake, and use the offset spatulas to spread the respective colors around each cupcake half, making sure to cover the edges.
- *Tip: In order to synchronize your piping, try counting to five together as you pipe.
Black-and-White Cupcakes - From Sarah Levy's Sweetness: Delicious Baked Treats for Every Occasion Cookbook