Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Who can resist the classic combination of chocolate cupcakes topped with creamy buttercream frosting? It’s a treat that never fails to bring smiles to faces young and old alike. With this simple recipe, you’ll be whipping up batches of these delightful treats in no time.

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Instructions for the chocolate cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Put water on to boil.
  • Place cupcake liners in 2 muffin tins. Spray inside of liners with spray oil.cooking spray
  • Measure all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix dry ingredients with a whisk to blend.2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup dutch cocoa powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder, 1 teaspoon salt
  • Add buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla to dry mixture on medium speed until well combined.1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  • Fill each cupcake liner 1/2 way full. Depending on the size of cupcake liners you use, you will need to use more or less. Be sure not to over fill.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

Instructions for the chocolate buttercream frosting:

  • While cupcakes cool, make the buttercream frosting.
  • Add cocoa to bowl of stand mixer. Using a whisk or fork, get rid of any lumps.1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • Add butter to the cocoa. Cream butter and cocoa powder until combined. Turn off mixer.1½ cups butter
  • One cup at a time, add in the confectioner’s sugar and about a teaspoon of the cream. Slowly bring mixer up to speed to avoid the sugar from flying out of the bowl. Between each addition, bring up to fast speed to fully whip the frosting. Repeat until all the sugar and cream are added.5 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.2 teaspoons vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon espresso powder
  • At this point, check the consistency of the frosting. If too stiff, add a bit more of the cream, and beat until fluffy.
  • Using a piping bag, pipe swirls onto the cooled cupcakes. You may also frost with butter knife.

Why is buttermilk used in chocolate cupcakes?

  1. Tender Texture: Buttermilk helps create a tender crumb in baked goods due to its acidic nature. The acid in buttermilk reacts with baking soda to produce carbon dioxide bubbles, which helps the cupcakes rise and become light and fluffy.
  2. Moisture: Buttermilk adds moisture to the cupcakes, keeping them from becoming dry or crumbly.
  3. Flavor: The tangy flavor of buttermilk enhances the richness of the chocolate in the cupcakes, adding depth and complexity to the taste.
  4. Chemical Reaction: Buttermilk interacts with the alkaline cocoa powder to create a reaction that enhances the chocolate flavor and helps achieve a more vibrant color in the cupcakes.

FAQs

Here are three frequently asked questions about chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting:

  1. Can I make the cupcakes and frosting ahead of time? Yes, you can! Both the cupcakes and buttercream frosting can be made ahead of time. Simply store the unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days, or freeze them for longer storage. The buttercream frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to enjoy them, allow the cupcakes to come to room temperature and whip the frosting briefly to restore its creamy texture.
  2. Can I use a different type of cocoa powder for the cupcakes? Yes, you can use different types of cocoa powder, but it may affect the flavor and texture of the cupcakes slightly. Dutch-processed cocoa powder is preferred for its smoother, milder flavor and darker color. If you use natural cocoa powder instead, you may need to adjust the leavening agents in the recipe, as natural cocoa powder is more acidic. It’s best to stick to the type of cocoa powder specified in the recipe for the best results.
  3. How do I achieve a smooth and fluffy buttercream frosting? To achieve a smooth and fluffy buttercream frosting, it’s important to start with softened butter and sifted confectioner’s sugar. Beat the softened butter in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until it’s creamy and smooth. Gradually add the sifted confectioner’s sugar, beating well after each addition, until the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, you can add a small amount of heavy cream or milk to thin it out to your desired consistency. Be sure to beat the frosting for several minutes to incorporate air and achieve a fluffy texture.

Tips for frosting to take to a party: Place them in the box first!

chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Deep, dark chocolate cupcakes with just a hint of espresso. These will be the star of the next birthday party you host!
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, cupcakes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 378kcal
Author: Bruce and Dina

Equipment

  • measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • mixer
  • mixing bowl
  • small pan
  • cupcake liners

Ingredients

Ingredients for cupcakes:

  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup water boiling
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients for Chocolate Buttercream:

  • cups butter softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa dutch processed
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder

Instructions

Instructions for the chocolate cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • put water on to boil
    1 cup water
  • Place cupcake liners in 2 muffin tins. Spray inside of liners with spray oil.
    cooking spray
  • Measure all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix dry ingredients with a whisk to blend.
    2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup dutch cocoa powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder, 1 teaspoon salt
  • Add buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla to dry mixture on medium speed until well combined.
    1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  • Fill each cupcake liner 1/2 way full. Depending on the size of cupcake liners you use, you will need to use more or less. Be sure not to over fill.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

Instructions for the chocolate buttercream frosting:

  • While cupcakes cool, make the buttercream frosting.
  • Add cocoa to bowl of stand mixer. Using a whisk or fork, get rid of any lumps.
    1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • Add butter to the cocoa. Cream butter and cocoa powder until combined. Turn off mixer.
    1½ cups butter
  • One cup at a time, add in the confectioner’s sugar and about a teaspoon of the cream. Slowly bring mixer up to speed to avoid the sugar from flying out of the bowl. Between each addition, bring up to fast speed to fully whip the frosting. Repeat until all the sugar and cream are added.
    5 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon espresso powder
  • At this point, check the consistency of the frosting. If too stiff, add a bit more of the cream, and beat until fluffy.
  • Using a piping bag, pipe swirls onto the cooled cupcakes. You may also frost with butter knife.

Notes

Cupcakes can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Be sure to allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 311mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 427IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

Hi, we are Bruce and Dina Miller. We love to cook every night. We enjoy making a few healthy dishes, and also comfort food. We love crafting cocktails too! Come take a look, we would love to share our recipes with you.

Comments

  1. Aubrey Reply

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious – as always!!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Aubrey,

      So glad you enjoyed these! They are surely a favorite around here!

      Thank you,

      Dina and Bruce

  2. Janie Reply

    5 stars
    Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream is the best combo. Just got started into baking and this one was easy to make. The espresso made them more tasty!

  3. DK Reply

    5 stars
    These cupcakes turned out so pretty and the butter cream was absolutely delicious! Will be making these again soon!

  4. Paula Reply

    5 stars
    These cupcakes were so perfect! Loved the buttercream too!

  5. Sara Welch Reply

    5 stars
    These were everything a gourmet dessert should be, and then some! Turned out easy, beautiful and delicious!

  6. Gianne Reply

    5 stars
    The cupcakes were moist and had a rich chocolate flavor, and the buttercream frosting was perfect – not too sweet, and just the right amount of creaminess.

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