Guys. School started, and my kids brought aaaall the germs home. I have been sick, with one thing or another, for WEEKS. Just over two weeks straight, to be more exact. As a result of my sickness (and a few total kitchen failures, which I’ll go ahead and blame on my weakened immune system), I haven’t had many sweets coming out of my kitchen lately. I thought a good way to ease my way back into the kitchen was with these Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream.
This chocolate cake is easy, requiring no mixer. The result is cake with a deep, rich chocolate flavor that can be whipped up in a flash!
The recipe does include a couple special ingredients that make it sooo delicious!
- Coffee. The cupcakes won’t taste like coffee, I swear! The coffee enhances the chocolate flavor, and I highly recommend it! If you would prefer not to, you can use hot water instead.
- Chocolate extract. I highly recommend this (sometimes overlooked) extract! It lends an amazing depth of flavor to chocolate baked goods! If you can’t find it in your local grocery store, you can find some [here]. Even better, makes yourself some [Homemade Chocolate Extract] for next time!
- Vinegar. This may seem like a strange ingredient for cupcakes, but SCIENCE! The vinegar reacts with the baking soda (think second grade volcano science project), which gives your cake a lighter, fluffier texture. You won’t taste the vinegar!
I’m a buttercream convert–having developed a strong preference for Swiss and Italian Meringue buttercreams over American buttercreams. That said, you just can’t go wrong with a quick, easy, flavorful vanilla American buttercream like this one! Or, you know, cupcakes in general. They can easily be dressed up for any occasion!
This buttercream is smooth, creamy, and has a lovely vanilla flavor (thanks to the use of vanilla bean paste!). The higher quality the flavoring the better, since it is the only flavoring in the buttercream! If you’re looking for vanilla bean paste and can’t find it, you can buy it [here].
You just can’t beat the classic combination of Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream. Maybe after I eat a few of these babies I’ll muster the energy to get back into the kitchen!
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Cake and buttercream recipes adapted from Brown Eyed Baker (link here).
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used 60% cacao)
- ⅔ cup dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1½ cups hot coffee (see note)
- 1½ cups flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 4 tsp white vinegar (see note)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp chocolate extract (see note)
- 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature (4 sticks)
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste (see note)
- 1 Tbsp heavy (whipping) cream
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two muffin pans or line with paper liners. Set aside..
- In a large heatproof bowl, combine chopped chocolate and cocoa powder. Pout hot coffee over the top (see note) and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate chocolate mixture for 20 minutes.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- After chilling 20 minutes, remove chocolate mixture from the refrigerator. Add oil, eggs, vinegar (see note), vanilla extract, and chocolate extract (see note), whisking until smooth.
- Add chocolate mixture to flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
- Divide batter among 24 muffin cups. Each will be about 3/4 full. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn/rotate cake pans halfway through baking to help ensure an even bake.
- Cool cupcakes 10 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Cream room temperature butter and sifted powdered sugar until well mixed and smooth.
- Add vanilla extract (and/or vanilla bean paste; see note) and cream. If the buttercream is too thin, you can add more powdered sugar to thicken it. If it seems too stiff, more cream can be added until the buttercream is the desired consistency.Enjoy!