Chocolate and Vanilla Bean “Dreaming of Sicily” Cupcakes…


The inspiration for these Dreaming of Sicily cupcakes came from this box of chocolates. You see my momma always used to say that life is like a box of chocolates… Oh forget it, I could never pull off Forrest Gump’s wisdom. The truth is on Saturday we celebrated my dear friend Angela’s birthday. I wanted to make her a cake, but unfortunately even after what seemed like an hour of questioning her she wouldn’t tell me what kind of cake she wanted! Angela is Italian and although she loves England with all her heart she misses the sea and the warm sun of her native Sicily. What could be better cupcakes for her than the ones evoking the memories of sunshine, pizza and cannoli!

Angela is a fellow foodie and therefore is easy to please! She will be happy with almost any kind of food as long as it is delicious! On a side note, we are planning to write a joint blog post on wonderful Italian food! I am not going to lie to you, it will be legendary. I am not sure why I am so prone to TV and movie quoting today but I promise to stop.

Back to cupcakes. Not only did they turn out absolutely gorgeous but they were also out of this world delicious. You will love them if you are into cakes, chocolate and silky vanilla frosting type of thing!

Dreaming of Sicily Cupcakes

Convinced yet? If yes, here is the list of…

Ingredients for the cupcakes {Makes 24}:

  • Flour -1 3/4 cups
  • Cocoa- 3/4 cu
  • Sugar- 2 cups
  • Baking powder- 1 1/2 tsp.
  • Baking soda- 1 1/2 tsp.
  • Salt- 1 tsp.
  • Eggs- 2 large
  • Milk- 1 cup
  • Oil- 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla essence- 2 tsp.
  • Strong hot coffee- 3/4 cup


Preheat your oven to 325 F/160 C and line your cupcake tins with cupcake papers.

Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until combined. In a separate bowl mix eggs, milk, oil and vanilla essence. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and beat with an electric mixer until well incorporated. Now make your coffee and pour  3/4 cup of it in the ingredients ( enjoy the rest!) and quickly mix everything together. I promise you the cupcakes don’t taste anything like coffee but it is a magic ingredient 🙂

Fill your 2 lined cupcake tins 3/4 full and bake them for 15 minutes, test for doneness with a toothpick.

If your oven is big enough you can bake both tins at the same time but mine isn’t, so I baked them separately.

Dreaming of Sicily Cupcakes

Ingredients for Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • Egg whites- 6/150gr
  • Granulated Sugar-1 cup
  • Butter- 1 2/3 cup/340gr.
  • Vanilla Bean (seeds scraped out) -1
  • Salt-pinch
  • Blue colour paste- a tiny smidge  (I don’t use a liquid colour as the frosting might curdle)
  • Chocolate sea creatures to use as the cupcake toppers

I have written extensive instructions on Swiss Meringue Buttercream in Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcake recipe, so please follow the link to get the method but skip adding the coffee flavour at the end of the process and add vanilla bean seeds instead.

When your buttercream is done, add a tiny amount of blue colouring paste to tint your frosting light aqua blue which is reminiscent of a sea wave and blend well.

Use a star tip to pipe frosting on the cupcakes and top each of them with chocolate sea shells, seahorses or any other sea creatures you manage to find. Angela’s favourite was this Starfish!

Dreaming of Sicily Cupcakes

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