Chocolate and Vanilla Zebra Cupcakes

First of all, thanks so much for all of your sweet comments here on the blog, Instagram, FB, and Twitter in regards to the Macbook incident we suffered through last week.
It was a tough loss, but I’m surviving it with the help of lots and lots of dessert :)
Second of all, I’m super excited to post about these cupcakes. Mostly because it’s an opportunity to post two of my staple recipes: my favorite chocolate cake and my favorite buttercream.
(of course, the buttercream is actually two buttercreams in one: a chocolate and vanilla swirl, but you only have to make one batch for the both of them! How great is that??)
I spend a lot of time coming up with and posting unique recipes, and it isn’t that often that I take time to step back and focus on the basics. And where would we be without the basics?? 
I’ve used this chocolate cake recipe in the making of 108 Oreo Cake, German Chocolate Cupcakes, and Nesquik Buttercream Cupcakes, plus any other time I need to make cake for family or friends. It’s by far the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever come across– and the best part? It starts with a mix!!

You can save this recipe to your own Recipe Box via ZipList. And they’ll take the ingredients from the recipe and generate a shopping list just for you accessible on your computer or mobile device! I use mine all the time. If you aren’t already using this really awesome recipe tool, take a minute to sign up at ZipList.com (it’s free)!


Chocolate and Vanilla Zebra Cupcakes
Cake Recipe Slightly Adapted From: Kevin and Amanda
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Ingredients

    For the Cake:

    • 1 box devil’s food cake mix
    • 1 small pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
    • 1 cup sour cream*
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/2 cup chocolate milk (the good kind)*
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

    For the Buttercream:

    • 1/2 c. butter, room temperature or margarine
    • 1/2 c. shortening
    • 4 c. powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 2-3 tbsp. milk
    • 1/4 c. cocoa powder

    Optional:

    • Melting chocolates, both chocolate and white chocolate
    Instructions

    For the Cake:

    1. Mix all ingredients until smooth batter forms, reserving the chocolate chips.
    2. Mix in the chocolate chips with spatula.
    3. Divide evenly among 24 cupcake liners. Bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
    4. Let cool before frosting.

    For the Buttercream:

    1. Whisk together the shortening and butter or margarine until smooth.
    2. Alternately add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and the liquids– whisking in between additions until smooth.
    3. Remove half of the buttercream to a bowl. Cover and set aside.
    4. Add 1/4 c. cocoa powder to the remaining buttercream. Whisk and add additional milk if needed to thin out a little.

    Assembly:

    1. Use this saran wrap method to fill your frosting bag– with one scoop of the vanilla frosting beside one scoop of the chocolate frosting.
    2. Pipe buttercream onto the cupcake.
    3. Melt the chocolates and drizzle over top of cupcakes if desired.

    *I’ve substituted yogurt before, and it still tastes great.
    *You can use regular milk here also. I just love using chocolate milk for that extra little bit of chocolaty goodness! I like to buy the organic kind that comes in glass bottles straight from the dairy!
     

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    Ashton Swank

    Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.