These are not the type of cupcakes you make when you’re in a hurry. They don’t come from a boxed mix (though, you’ll find no hate here). They aren’t impossible to mess up. They aren’t super simple to throw together.
But I’ll be damed if they aren’t the most delicious, most perfect chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had.
Deep, intense chocolate flavor with a perfect crumb, these cupcakes manage to be both moist and light at the same time.
And despite that overly dramatic introduction, they really aren’t that difficult to make. It’s just that it’s easy to over-mix the batter and the extra step of pushing the batter through a sieve is sometimes more work than I really want to take on.
Except when I want to eat the best chocolate cupcake ever. Then I definitely want to push the batter through the flippin’ sieve.
Because it’s worth it.
This recipe is just for the cupcakes. The frosting pictured here is this Vanilla Latte Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting, leftover from the delicious vegan cake featured in that recipe. It’s one of the best buttercream frostings I’ve ever had, but also not the simplest of recipes.
I’d totally recommend it if you have it in you. If not, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this super simple Cream Cheese Frosting.
- 1½ cups all purpose flour (7.5 ounces)
- 1¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (4.5 ounces)
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I like 62 percent)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2¼ cups sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two standard muffin pans (or two mini muffin pans) with paper liners.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
- Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over it, whisking until the chocolate is melted. Let the mixture cool for about 15 minutes.
- Whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla in a separate bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs on high speed with a whisk attachment for about 2 minutes or until foamy. Reduce the speed to low and slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking until combined. Raise the speed to medium and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour the cooled chocolate-water mixture into the egg mixture. Slowly pour in the buttermilk and vanilla. Add the sugar and whisk until the batter is smooth and liquid, about 2 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the dry flour mixture just until incorporated. Do this by hand, gently folding the flour mixture into the liquid, just until incorporated. There will still be lumps.
- Pour the batter through a medium-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Press against the batter in the sieve with a spatula to push through as much batter as possible. The resulting batter will be thick, but smooth.
- Fill the muffin cups ⅔ full with batter and bake for 20-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely in the pan.
- Frost with whatever frosting you love.