The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

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If you had asked me when I was younger (heck, if you asked me a year ago) what my favorite cupcake flavor was, I would have 100% definitely said vanilla with vanilla frosting. Not that I’m the most boring person in the world, but I like to judge a cupcakery/bakery on their execution of the basics, so that’s typically what I order. I’ve also just never been a huge fan of chocolate cakes, so that would never be in the realm of possibility.

Suddenly, over the last few months, everything I’ve known and loved has been thrown out the window (well, I mean I’ll still eat a vanilla cupcake if someone gave one to me!). Out of nowhere, there’s nothing I need more than a chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream. Who am I?!

This has always been my go-to recipe for birthdays or occasions if someone has specifically requested chocolate and they have always been a hit. The recipe is literally so easy (as in, dump everything into a bowl and mix, easy), and has a bunch of coffee in it, which makes the chocolate flavor explode. It can veer towards mocha-flavored, depending on the strength of the coffee you use, so feel free to use half coffee and half water if you don’t want to taste the coffee. I’m a huge fan of coffee with chocolate, so I go all-in, all the time.

Yes, I know they look the poo emoji…you’ll get over it real quick, once you taste them! 😉

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place cupcake liners into muffin tin (or mini muffin tin).

Mix together all of the cupcake ingredients until fully blended into a cohesive batter. I know this seems wrong, since it literally breaks all the baking rules I’ve ever known. However, don’t be scared, it works!

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Fill the liners 2/3 of the way (for the regular or mini cupcakes).

For regular-sized cupcakes, bake for 18-20 minutes, for mini-cupcakes, bake for 12-14 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean, they’re done.

Place onto cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.

In a stand-mixer with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter for a few minutes.

Sift in the cocoa powder and confectioners sugar.

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Mix on the lowest speed, so you don’t get sugar and cocoa powder everywhere, until the sugar and cocoa powder are incorporated with the butter.

The frosting, at this point, will look like you did something wrong (like lumps of dirt), but you’re on the right track.

Add in the salt, vanilla extract, and heavy cream, and mix.

Keep mixing until the frosting is light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).

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Using a piping bag (or Ziploc bag, who am I kidding), frost cupcakes so they look like the poo emoji.

Eat instantly.

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Note: These will need to be kept in the refrigerator if not served immediately because of the heavy cream in the frosting. Remove them from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving to let the frosting come to room temperature (or serve cold, if your friends/family prefer cupcakes with firm frosting – mine do!)


Adapted from: Food.com and Savory Sweet Life

Makes: 16 cupcakes (or 40-48 mini cupcakes)

Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 12-20 minutes, Total: 27-35 minutes

For cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup room temperature brewed coffee (or 1/2 cup coffee and 1/2 cup water for less-pronounced coffee flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

For frosting:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream (half and half or whole milk will work here)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place cupcake liners into muffin tin (or mini muffin tin).

Mix together all of the cupcake ingredients until fully blended into a cohesive batter.

Fill the liners 2/3 of the way (for the regular or mini cupcakes).

For regular-sized cupcakes, bake for 18-20 minutes, for mini-cupcakes, bake for 12-14 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean, they’re done.

Place onto cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.

In a stand-mixer with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter for a few minutes.

Sift in the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder.

Mix on the lowest speed, so you don’t get sugar and cocoa powder everywhere, until the sugar and cocoa powder are incorporated with the butter.

The frosting, at this point, will look like you did something wrong (like lumps of dirt), but you’re on the right track.

Add in the salt, vanilla extract, and heavy cream.

Mix until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Using a piping bag (or Ziploc bag, who am I kidding), frost cupcakes so they look like the poo emoji.

Eat instantly.

Note: These will need to be kept in the refrigerator if not served immediately because of the heavy cream in the frosting. Remove them from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving to let the frosting come to room temperature (or serve cold, if your friends prefer them that way – mine do!)


4 thoughts on “The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

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