Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

The perfect cupcake for any chocolate lover! These chocolate cupcakes are deliciously moist with a delicate crumb and decorated with a swirl of ultra decadent milk chocolate buttercream. 

 

This recipe was originally published on January 27th 2016. 

These chocolate cupcakes definitely live up to their name and as the title describes, they are ultimately good. I’ll never need to find a new chocolate cupcake recipe ever again and neither will you.

Made with a combination of dark chocolate and cocoa powder for intense chocolate flavour. I usually just add cocoa powder to my chocolate cupcakes, but this time I wanted to elevate the flavour by adding even more chocolate to the mix!

The cake itself has a perfect crumb texture. It’s rich, chocolatey and fluffy and will stay moist for days without becoming dry.

After you’ve baked the cupcakes, the next step is to make the milk chocolate buttercream. It wouldn’t be a cupcake without buttercream after all.

These cupcakes will pretty much suit any buttercream you could think of, but this time I went for a classic milk chocolate buttercream. My milk chocolate buttercream recipe is unbelievably delicious and super simple to prepare – it’s pretty much a standard vanilla buttercream recipe with the addition of melted milk chocolate.

To make it, cream the butter until softened and then add the icing sugar. I get many questions from readers asking me to help with their buttercream dilemmas and the most common question is regarding the texture of buttercream and for example why it’s grainy and not smooth. My top tip is to sift your icing sugar for the best buttercream that’s free of any lumps – I’ve had countless buttercream disasters because of not sifting my icing sugar, so it’s definitely worth not skipping this step! 

Continue to mix the butter and icing sugar for about 2-3 minutes or until the buttercream is fluffy and has lightened in colour. Finally, add the vanilla extract, double cream and the melted milk chocolate and mix gently until all the ingredients are combined and the buttercream is smooth.

chocolate fudge cupcake WJBN

This buttercream has just the right balance of sweetness and isn’t too rich. I did in fact eat a few spoonfuls from the bowl before decorating the cupcakes. It’s a hard job being a food blogger sometimes…

I’m addicted to this buttercream and now these chocolate cupcakes. I cannot wait to bake my next batch!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cupcakes:

85g dark chocolate, finely chopped

40g cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or powder (optional)

180ml boiling water

105g strong white bread flour (can be substituted with plain flour)

150g caster sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Milk Chocolate Buttercream:

125g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3-4 tablespoons double cream

200g milk chocolate, melted and cooled

Method:

  1. To make the cupcakes: Place the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and coffee granules/powder (if using) in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the boiling water over and whisk until smooth and all the chocolate has melted. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin with paper cases. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda until thoroughly combined. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla into the now cooled chocolate mixture. Finally, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Divide the batter between the paper cases – I find using an ice cream scoop best for doing this as it makes less mess. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until the cupcakes are well risen and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  4. To make the buttercream: Cream the butter for about a minute or two to soften. Now add the sifted icing in two batches and beat for another 2-3 minutes until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and double cream.
  5. Mix in the melted chocolate until just combined and decorate the cupcakes as desired. The cupcakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes:

  • Use the best quality chocolate you can afford.
  • If you’re not a fan of coffee you can substitute the coffee with water. You can’t really taste the coffee, but it intensifies the chocolate flavour so I highly recommend adding the coffee.
  • When making the buttercream, remember to sift your icing sugar and add the sugar in batches to ensure you create a smooth textured buttercream.
  • Feel free to decorate the cupcakes with a different frosting flavour like classic vanilla or something fruity like strawberry or raspberry.
  • I decorated these cupcakes with Cake Angels Chocoholics Sprinkles (using the Milk Chocolate Vermicelli and Milk Chocolate Drops).

Chocolate cupcake recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, milk chocolate buttercream recipe by What Jessica Baked Next

Enjoy!

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Nutella Cupcakes

Beautifully light and fluffy chocolate fudge cupcakes with decadent Nutella buttercream. Decorate these divine cupcakes with a choice of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, sprinkles or chopped toasted hazelnuts. 

DSC01265

I shared a Nutella cupcake recipe in the first few months after starting my blog. I remember I spent years baking cupcakes and experimenting with buttercream recipes. This buttercream is pure heaven for any Nutella lover. It has an a gorgeous light Nutella flavour and it doesn’t distract or overpower chocolate flavour in the cupcakes, making this combo a heavenly match.

The Nutella buttercream recipe comes with a warning. You’ll probably devour it before you even get a chance to decorate the cupcakes.

After swirling each cupcake with the heavenly buttercream I decorated some of the cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles, Ferrero Rocher chocolates and with chopped toasted hazelnuts. If you want to take these cupcakes to the next level, why not scoop out the centre of each cupcake and fill with Nutella.

Decoration is totally optional, however I can never resist decorating cupcakes with sprinkles.

So here it is, my favourite chocolate fudge cupcake topped with dreamy Nutella buttercream. Now it’s time to grab your apron and get baking these amazing cupcakes!

nutella chocolate hazelnut cupcakes

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes:

85g (3 ounces) dark chocolate, finely chopped

40g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or powder (optional)

180ml (3/4 cup) boiling water

105g (3/4 cup) bread flour (can be substituted with plain/all-purpose flour)

150g (3/4 cup) caster or granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nutella Buttercream: 

150g (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) salted or unsalted butter, softened – I recommend using salted butter for buttercream

250-300g (2 and 1/2 – 3 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

200g (1 cup) Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread

3-4 tablespoons double/heavy cream or milk

Method:

  1. To make the cupcakes: Place the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and coffee granules/powder (if using) in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the boiling water over and whisk until smooth and all the chocolate has melted. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda until thoroughly combined. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla into the now cooled chocolate mixture. Finally, add the dry ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Divide the batter between the paper cases – I find using an ice cream scoop best for doing this as it makes less mess. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until the cupcakes are well risen and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes then transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  4. To make the buttercream: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the softened butter, mix on a low speed to soften slightly.
  5. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and starting on a low speed mix until the butter and sugar are combined. Then turn the speed up to medium and beat for 2-3 minutes or until creamy and fluffy. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the mixer halfway through to ensure even mixing.
  6. Now add the Nutella and cream and beat until combined.
  7. To decorate the cupcakes: Fit a disposable piping bag with your favourite piping nozzle. Fill the bag with the buttercream. Pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake.
  8. Finish by decorating the top of each cupcake with a choice of sprinkles, Ferrero Rocher chocolates or chopped toasted hazelnuts. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Enjoy!

jess