Make mine dark, sinful, rich and gooey. Make me want to lick my fingers. Make me the best chocolate cupcakes ever. But wait! Don’t use any sissy milk chocolate or not-really-chocolate white chocolate in my cupcakes. Make my cupcakes with dark, bold and slightly bitter chocolate. Please. Pretty please. And while you’re at it, add some aromatic full-flavored coffee to the batter. Yes, they will be perfect, down to the very last delicious crumb. Click on the photo to go to chocolate heaven. Mmmmmmm . . .
The Best Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe based on Hershey’s Black Magic Cake
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa (100% Cacao Special Dark Cocoa)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup strong brewed black coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees F (175° degrees C).
2. Grease and flour a cupcake tin or use paper liners.
3. Combine dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together and make a well in the center.
4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients: eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
5. Beat at medium-speed for two minutes. Batter will be thin.
6. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tin.
7. Bake at 350° degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
8. Cool on wire rack.
9. Combine frosting ingredients and mix. Spread on cooled cupcakes.
1. The moist and rich cupcake batter will saturate light-colored paper liners. See photo above. Not a bad thing, but the next time I make these I will use grease-proof liners.
2. If you prefer to grease and flour your cupcake tin, instead of rubbing butter and shaking flour in each section, make your life easier by using a cooking spray that contains flour.
3. In lieu of fresh brewed coffee, you can use 2 teaspoons instant coffee dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water.
4. If you don’t have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to enough milk to make 1 cup (250 ml). Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes.
5. This recipe yields about two dozen cupcakes.
Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Robyn Stone of Add a Pinch
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
2½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
1. Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
2. Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
3. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
4. Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
5. If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears too wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
1. *The ingredients as posted make half of the original frosting recipe. I cut it in half because I was making cupcakes and not a three-layer cake. I had enough frosting to decorate 25 cupcakes, with some to spare.
2.** I added a pinch of salt with the vanilla and the espresso powder, because I use unsalted butter.