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These Dark Chocolate Cupcakes are easy to make and are the ultimate moist chocolate cupcake recipe you have been looking for. Rich, decadent and packed with tons of dark chocolate flavor, these Dark Chocolate Cupcakes will be your favorite go-to easy cupcake recipe.
When it comes to cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes are hands down my weakness. I mean, what’s not to love about a decadent moist chocolate cupcake slathered in chocolate buttercream? .. sprinkles optional but highly recommended! So when I was deciding on what easy dessert recipe to make this past weekend, chocolate cupcakes were at the top of my list. Then it occured to me that instead of just making plain chocolate cupcakes, why not kick that happiness radar up even more and make this an easy cupcake recipe for super indulgent Dark Chocolate Cupcakes using dark cocoa powder and topped off with dark chocolate buttercream frosting? Oh yeah .. we went there!!
These Dark Chocolate Cupcakes are super easy to make and you probably already have all of the ingredients on hand. What really makes these chocolate cupcakes special is the dark cocoa powder we are going to use for the chocolate cupcake batter and also in the chocolate buttercream. You always want to make sure you grab the dark unprocessed cocoa powder from your baking aisle because that cocoa powder is what really makes these dark chocolate cupakes irrisistable. Super decadent and then when you top these cupcakes with homemade chocolate buttercream … well, what chocolate lover could resist them?
Want to know another secret to irrisistable dark chocolate cupcakes? We are going to infuse just a little bit of coffee flavor in our chocolate cupcakes by adding just a touch of espresso powder to our chocolate cupcake batter. Why are we adding coffee to our dark chocolate cupcake recipe? We are adding the espresso powder to our cupcake batter because the rich flavor of coffee compliments chocolate in baked goods perfectly and will really bring out the rich flavor of the chocolate cupcakes. Trust me, espresso powder is a game changer when it comes to chocolate desserts. But if you don’t care to add the espresso powder into the recipe, feel free to leave it out. These are mighty tasty chocolate cupcakes without the added ingredient.
When it comes to making super moist chocolate cupcakes, we are pulling out all the face cards on this cupcake recipe. So many cake recipes use butter instead of oil and the secret to really moist cakes is using that oil instead of butter. I get it .. we all love that buttery flavor that only real butter can bring but when it comes to cakes and cupcakes, you want to use vegetable or canola oil because that oil is what is going to give you the perfect moist cake. We are also going to use buttermilk in this recipe and if I had a quarter for everytime I bought buttermilk, used it for one recipe and then had to toss it out because it sat unused in the refrigerator too long. Guess what? You don’t need to buy buttermilk if you don’t want to.. I am going to teach you a trick to make your own buttermilk with the milk you already have in your fridge.
So how do you make Dark Chocolate Cupcakes? Easy! Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, espresso powder baking powder and salt. Add in the room temperature eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, pour in the hot water and combine until mixed. Fill each cupcake 2/3 full. and bake for 20-22 minutes then remove from tins and cool completely on a baking rack.
To make the chocolate buttercream frosting, add butter to a large bowl and using a mixer, beat until fluffy. Add in cocoa powder and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Mix in sifted powdered sugar slowly and in increments and then add in the milk until the desired consistancy is reached. Transfer frosting to a piping bag or large zip top bag and frost your completely cooled chocolate cupcakes.
- Bring your eggs and buttermilk to room temperature before using them. Room temp eggs emulsify better and are fluffier than eggs right out of the refrigerator. A trick for bringing refrigerated eggs to room temperature quicker is to let them sit in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.
- I can’t stress this one enough … kids, sift those dry ingredients when it comes to making the buttercream frosting. I can tell you I have skipped this step before and regret it every time. Every. Time. No one wants to serve up the perfect chocolate cupcakes slathered in a chocolate buttercream frosting with lumps of white powdered sugar speckled through out. Sift!!
- Buy milk while you are at the store. Chocolate cake needs to be eaten with a big glass of milk. Buy milk.
- If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, simply use 1/2 cup of whole milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice instead of buttermilk. I learned this trick from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
- If you don’t have everything on hand to make homemade chocolate buttercream, don’t stress about it!! These are perfect with your favorite store bought frosting 🙂
DARK CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 ounce packet of espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk .. room temperature
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs .. room temperature
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups softened butter ... 3 sticks
- 3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder .. sifted
- 4 cups powdered sugar .. sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- To make your Dark Chocolate Cupcakes, start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, espresso powder baking powder and salt. Add in the room temperature eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, pour in the hot water and combine until mixed. Fill each cupcake 2/3 full. and bake for 20-22 minutes then remove from tins and cool completely on a baking rack.
- To make the chocolate buttercream frosting, add butter to a large bowl and using a mixer, beat until fluffy. Add in cocoa powder and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Mix in sifted powdered sugar slowly and in increments and then add in the milk until the desired consistancy is reached. Transfer frosting to a piping bag or large zip top bag and frost your completely cooled chocolate cupcakes.