These Birthday Party Cupcakes present soft & fluffy yellow cupcakes topped with homemade Swiss meringue and dipped in a chocolate shell. Oh, and don’t forget sprinkles! Kids will love these cupcakes!

A Birthday Party Cupcake with a bite taken out.

If you’re looking for the ultimate birthday party cupcake, you’ve certainly come to the right place. These aren’t your typical cupcakes with chocolate or vanilla buttercream. These cupcakes will remind you of soft-serve ice cream dipped in a chocolate shell, and they will definitely surprise anyone who bites into them.

A plate of party cupcakes with chocolate, sprinkles, and candles on top.

3 Parts to Birthday Party Cupcakes

  1. Yellow Cupcakes: These cupcakes are super soft & fluffy. It takes no time to make them, and they make about 12 to 14 cupcakes, depending how big you make the cupcakes. I don’t recommend filling the cupcake lingers more than 2/3 full.
  2. Swiss Meringue: Swiss meringue frosting is so delectable. It tastes like homemade marshmallows in soft serve form. It’s made by adding sugar, egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar to a heat proof bowl and placing the bowl over a pan of simmering water. It gets heated for about 4 minutes until the sugar completely dissolves and the eggs have time to cook to a safe consumption temperature, (160 degrees). After the mixture is heated, it gets transferred to a stand mixer where it gets beat on high speed until it forms stiff peaks.
  3. Chocolate Shell: This is so easy! It’s done by simply melting chopped chocolate with a small amount of canola or vegetable oil in the microwave. Once the meringue topped cupcakes are dipped in the chocolate, it hardens just like the chocolate shell on a vanilla ice cream cone.

Steps in Making the Swiss Meringue

  1. Add the egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar to a medium heatproof bowl.  (I use the bowl to my stand mixer.)   Whisk to combine.
  2. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  3. Whisk the egg white mixture constantly for 3 to 4 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Test by rubbing a tiny bit between your fingers.  If it’s gritty/grainy, it’s not ready.  Once it’s no longer grainy, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla. If you’re worried about eating uncooked egg whites, use a candy thermometer and remove from heat when the mixture reaches 160 degrees.
Swiss Meringue Frosting.

4. Transfer the mixing bowl to your stand mixer.  (If using a regular bowl, transfer the mixture to your stand mixer mixing bowl.)  Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on low speed for a few seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. 

5. Whisk until the mixture becomes stiff, and looks glossy and shiny but not dry, (see pictures above recipe).  The peaks should stand on their own.  The meringue will still be slightly warm. Refrigerate the bowl for about 10 minutes until the swiss meringue is fairly chilled.

Tips for Piping the Swiss Meringue onto the cupcakes

The picture on the left is a piping bag full of Swiss meringue frosting and the picture on the left is Swiss meringue frosting on a cupcake.
  • Use the right tip. I used a Wilton 1M closed star tip here. You can use a tip you prefer, but make sure it’s a tip that will result in a whipped ice cream look.
  • Pipe the meringue pretty high. Why? Because, when you dip the swiss Meringue in the chocolate shell, it will somewhat shrink and won’t be as tall as when it was first piped.
  • Place the cupcakes topped with the Swiss Meringue in the freezer for about 15 minutes before dipping them in the chocolate. The colder the Swiss Meringue, the easier it will be to dip them.
A plate full of birthday party cupcakes.

The chocolate shell and the dipping process

Party cupcakes being dipped in a chocolate shell topping.
  • Start by using a good quality chocolate. Don’t use chocolate chips. I used Ghirardelli bittersweet baking bars. Feel free to use semi-sweet or your favorite baking chocolate.
  • The chocolate shell is easy. Simply chop the chocolate, add some canola or vegetable oil and melt in the microwave for a couple 30 second increments. Allow the chocolate to cool for about 10 minutes while you have the cupcakes in the freezer.
  • Turn each cupcake upside and quickly dip and swirl it in the chocolate and immediately place it upright on a wire rack over a piece of parchment paper.
  • Immediately garnish with sprinkles and if using candles, place a candle in the top at the same time, while the chocolate is still semi-soft.
  • Place the cupcakes in a refrigerator for about 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set and harden.
A party cupcake topped with swiss meringue and a chocolate shell cut in half on a dessert plate.

More party recipes you might like,

Chocolate Peanut Butter Hi-Hat Cupcakes

Light & Fluffy Yellow (Birthday) Cake

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A Birthday Party Cupcake with a bite taken out.

Birthday Party Cupcakes

  • Author: Cindy @mycountrytable
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 13 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Birthday Party Cupcakes present soft & fluffy yellow cupcakes topped with homemade Swiss meringue and dipped in a chocolate shell.


Ingredients

Units Scale

CUPCAKES

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup full-fat buttermilk, room temperature

SWISS MERINGUE

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

CHOCOLATE SHELL

  • 2 4ounce bars bittersweet Ghirardelli bars, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • Sprinkles for tops, optional

Instructions

CUPCAKES

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.  You might need to line a second muffin tin with 1 or 2 liners.  This recipe makes 12 to 14 cupcakes, depending on the depth of your cupcake pan molds.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the butter sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix on high speed until the mixture is light and creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.   Add the buttermilk and dry ingredients alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  4. Divide the batter equally between the cupcake liners, filling each one no more than 2/3 full. Don’t overfill or you’ll end up with “muffin top” cupcakes that will break right off the tops later.
  5. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean and the tops spring back when touched.
  6. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes and transfer them to a wire rack to completely cool.

SWISS MERINGUE

  1. Make the meringue: Add the egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar to a medium heatproof bowl.  (I use the bowl to my stand mixer.)   Whisk to combine.
  2. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  3. Whisk the egg white mixture constantly for 3 to 4 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Test by rubbing a tiny bit between your fingers.  If it’s gritty/grainy, it’s not ready.  Once it’s no longer grainy, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla.
  4. Transfer the mixing bowl to your stand mixer.  (If using a regular bowl, transfer the mixture to your stand mixer mixing bowl.)  Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on low speed for a few seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high.  Whisk until the mixture becomes stiff, and looks glossy and shiny but not dry, (see pictures above recipe).  The peaks should stand on their own.  Refrigerate the bowl for about 10 minutes until the swiss meringue is fairly chilled.
  5. Pipe the meringue: Pipe the meringue onto the cupcakes.  I used a Wilton 1m closed star tip.  Try to pipe them fairly high.  Once you’ve piped the meringue onto the cupcakes, place the cupcakes in a freezer for about 15 minutes while you make the chocolate shell.

CHOCOLATE SHELL

  1. Make the chocolate shell:  Add the chocolate and oil to a small bowl or cup and melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each one until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Allow the chocolate to cool for about 10 minutes.
  2. Dip the cupcakes:   Holding a cupcake by the bottom, carefully and quickly dip each cupcake into the chocolate, trying to coat most all of the meringue.  Add sprinkles if desired.  If using birthday candles, place them in the tops too at the same time, before the chocolate has time to harden.  Refrigerate the cupcakes for about 15 minutes to set the chocolate.
  3. Cover and store cupcakes for up to 1 day at room temperature.  After one day, cupcakes should be refrigerated or the swiss meringue will start breaking down.  Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  4. Do not freeze cupcakes.

Keywords: party cupcakes, birthday cupcakes, hi-hat cupcakes, birthday desserts, cupcakes, yellow cupcakes,