Chocolate Cupcakes!

Since it’s February and since Friday was Valentine’s Day AND since everyone needs a chocolate cupcake recipe, I bring you…



Cupcakes have definitely been on the upturn and have become almost a fad over the past few years and with good reason. They’re sweet, cute, easier to tote than a cake and have an infinite amount of flavor possibilities.

I jumped on the cupcake-making bandwagon about three years ago and have never looked back. They are a big crowd pleaser and are super fun. I’m working on improving my piping skills, which is definitely a labor of love when you first get started. I’m still trying to figure out a way to practice piping without making a big batch of frosting; for the record, playdoh doesn’t work. 🙂

With that being said, I bring you……



I have been trying out different chocolate cupcake recipes to find “the one” and recently stumbled upon this one. It is certainly chocolatey and moist; just what you would want in a simple chocolate cupcake. This recipe only makes 12 cupcakes, which is nice for a small crowd. I will say though, the batter could fill more than 12 cupcakes. Most cupcake recipes instruct you to fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. This one did not specify, so of course I went against my gut and almost filled them completely. They were fine, but when baked, did hang over the edge a bit more than I would’ve like. I suspect that if I would’ve filled them 2/3 full, I could’ve gotten 15 or so. I prefer my cupcakes to have a nice peak as opposed to a flat top. Either way, these are pretty and they taste great.

It does call for buttermilk, which I never buy. You can easily make your own by adding one tablespoon of white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Then just fill it up with milk to the one cup mark. This particular recipe only needs 1/2 cup of buttermilk, so use 2 tsp of vinegar and then fill to the 1/2 cup mark with milk.

I have been using this frosting recipe for years. This chocolate and its vanilla counterpart are definitely my “go to” frostings. Actually, it is a whipped buttercream. Simple ingredients, rich flavor…..totally addicting. You could use this buttercream to top any cupcake or cake , or you could just eat it straight from the piping bag, I mean, whatever works. 🙂

Oh yea, this frosting calls for room temperature butter, so make sure you take your butter out of the fridge a few hours before you plan on whipping up this frosting. Just so you know, melted butter does NOT work. Please don’t go against your better judgement and attempt to nuke it in the micro unless you are absolutely positively sure you know what you are doing. Melted butter does not make the buttercream whip to the right consistency. So to not be disappointed, take good care of your butter. 🙂

Happy baking!

Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (see above note if you don’t have any)

Line a 12-cup cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. If your butter is cold, melt the butter/chocolate mixture for 45 secs and then stir. If it needs to be heated more, I would go in 20 second increments. You don’t want to over heat the chocolate or it will be icky.

In a medium sized bowl, using a fork, mix the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until combined. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until nice and smooth. Add the butter/chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Change the whisk attachment to a paddle and on med-low, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients then 1/2 of the buttermilk, scrapping down after each addition. Repeat this step, ending with the dry ingredients. Don’t over beat! Just beat until combined.

Divide the batter between 12 (or 15!) liners in your cupcake pan. Bake for 18 minutes on the middle rack, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes sit for a minute or two in the pan before taking them out to cool. Allow to cool on a rack completely before frosting.

*Note: Pretty please don’t over bake cupcakes or cake of any kind. Doing so will leave you with a dry cupcake and a sad face.

Whipped Chocolate Buttercream
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp (if you only have salted, omit the salt from this recipe. Also, don’t use melted butter. It won’t work)
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (not dutch pressed)
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.  Spread Frosting on with a knife your use your favorite tip and piping bag.  If you don’t have a piping bag, you can always put the frosting in a gallon size storage bag and cut off a bottom corner to pipe.  🙂

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