Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Flowers

Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream flowers by Sweet Things by Lizzie

Spring is finally here, and these cupcakes just look like Spring with their pastel flowers and pretty colors!!  Recently, my Mom bought me these amazing piping tips called, Russian tips, and they are so much fun to use!!  If you google, “Russian piping tips”, you can find them all over the internet.  They are fairly inexpensive but take a little bit of practice to use properly.  I will give you some tips and photos to make really pretty flowers with any type of piping tips in this blog post too!!  These chocolate sour cream cupcakes are really delicious and are not overly sweet, so the vanilla buttercream balances out the flavors perfectly!!  If you have had any practice making flowers with buttercream, you can choose any type of decoration that you love for these cupcakes.  I really enjoyed creating different colors and combining them for a subtle effect with the flowers, and I think they came out so great!!  Have fun experimenting with different techniques and types of piping tips and let me know what you think!!  If you just want to frost these without decorating them, they will be just as delicious!!

If you want to make these flowers, you will need to purchase the Russian Piping tips online.  I also used AmeriColor gel food coloring, which I purchased online, as well as disposable piping bags.  You will also need a leaf piping tip and a coupler to hold the leaf piping tip in place in your disposable bag.  Amazon is a great one stop shop for all your baking supplies, and they deliver quickly.

Gather all of your ingredients and allow them to come to room temperature.
Your batter will look like this.
Fill your paper liners 3/4 of the way full.Make sure not to over bake your cupcakes.The tops will crack a bit and puff up.Your buttercream will be very thick so it can stand up when you make your flowers.This is how the colors will look after one drop of the gel food color.Spread your buttercream within the wax paper leaving a border.Spread your next layer on top of the pink.Spread another layer of the pink over the orange. Spread some of the yellow in the center.Roll the buttercream up in the middle from both of the long sides to make a tube.This is the tip and piping bag I used to make the flowers.  Place the tip in the large piping bag and cut the tip off before inserting the tube of buttercream.

Look at how beautiful they are!! Perfect for your Easter table!!!

Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Flowers

Makes: 12 cupcakes Prep time: 1 hour bake time: 15-18 minutes


1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon fresh baking powder

1/4 teaspoon fresh baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 canola oil or vegetable oil

1/2 cup full fat sour cream

1/4 cup warm water

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon chocolate extract  ( If you don’t have chocolate extract, you can use 2 teaspoons vanilla total)

Vanilla Buttercream

2 cups room temperature unsalted butter

2 teaspoons best quality vanilla, ( not imitation)

7 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream

pinch of salt

AmeriColor Gels:

#107, yellow

#113, orange

#162, green for the leaves

#164, pink


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake pan with 12 liners.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla extract, chocolate extract,sour cream and eggs.  Scrape down the bowl after each egg addition.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add water and oil and mix thoroughly.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until just combined.  Be careful not to over mix, as this will make for a tough cupcake.

Fill each liner 3/4 full.  I use an ice cream scoop for accuracy.

Bake for 10 minutes and rotate the pan.  Bake for another 3 minutes and test the cupcakes for doneness.  They should be moist but firm in the center.  Remember that they will still bake in the pan after you remove them from the oven.  You may need less or more baking time depending on your oven.  Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack while you make your buttercream.


In your stand mixer with a wire whisk, beat butter and vanilla until creamy.  Slowly add the confectioners sugar and heavy cream.  Add in a pinch of salt.   Beat until fluffy.  This may take a few minutes.  The buttercream will be very thick, but it needs to be in order to make the flowers.  If you aren’t making the flowers, you can add a few more tablespoons of heavy cream so the buttercream will be less thick.  You will have quite a bit of frosting leftover, but this is a great way to practice your piping skills, and use it for your next dessert 🙂

Divide the frosting into 5 separate bowls.   One will be just the plain frosting, and the rest will be for tinting. Set the plain frosting aside for use with another dessert or for practicing.

Use one drop of each different food color per each of the 4 bowls of buttercream.  Stir well to combine.  This will provide  you with the same colors I have in my flowers.  You can certainly add more or different colors based on your preference!!

One a piece of wax paper that is about 12″x15″, begin to layer the buttercream with an small offset spatula, starting with the pink color first. ( See my photos )

Next, layer the orange on top of the pink.

Spread another layer of the pink over the orange.

End by spreading the yellow in the center, (see the photos for how I did this).

Start with the long end and roll the buttercream on the paper halfway.  With the other long end, roll it up to meet in the middle, creating a log.

Place your piping tip in your large bag, and cut the tip off.

Now, place the whole buttercream log into your piping bag.  You should have an open end where the frosting will come out of through the piping tip.

Twist the piping bag and practice a few buttercream flowers before you start placing them on your cool cupcakes.

Place your leaf piping tip and coupler in a smaller piping bag.  Add your green buttercream and place leaves all over the cupcake around the flowers. ( See my photos ).

Store the finished cupcakes in an airtight container for a few days.  They really don’t taste as good after 2 days, if you should have any leftovers 🙂


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