PostHeaderIcon Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

This recipe is not new to my blog, but one that definitely deserved to be rescued from the archives. This recipe was one of my very first posts and since these cupcakes are a favorite around here I thought they deserved to be showcased again. They are so good that even my husband (who is not a chocolate fan) requested I make these for his birthday. I was hoping he would ask for a difficult dessert or a layered cake so I could try a new recipe but he wanted these, and for good reason, they are amazing! The base is a deliciously moist cupcake that tastes like a brownie on steroids. Soooo good! But what puts these over the edge is the frosting, it’s my favorite go-to vanilla buttercream frosting. I have spent hours perfecting the recipe and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

It’s best to make these cupcakes ahead of time, this enhances the flavor of both the cupcake and the frosting. It also allows the frosting to harden a bit, making it even more delicious. The recipe below is for regular size cupcakes. However, if you’re making mini cupcakes, which I did, the baking time decreases to about 11-13 minutes. Just keep a close eye on them after 10 minutes.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. espresso powder
1 cup boiling water
½ cup sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¾ cups sugar
2 large eggs


To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).  Combine the cocoa powder and espresso powder in a small bowl.  Add the boiling water and whisk until the mixture is smooth.  Set aside and let cool to room temperature.  Once cool, whisk in the sour cream and vanilla extract.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Stir together with a fork to combine; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.  Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.

With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternately with the cocoa-sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat each addition just until incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake 18-20 minutes (or 11-13 minutes if making mini cupcakes), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Annie’s Eats

My Favorite Vanilla Buttercream Frosting!

Yield: enough frosting for 24 cupcakes


1 stick unsalted butter, softened

6 cups confectioners’ sugar

pinch of salt

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream


In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.

Slowly add the rest of the ingredients a little at a time. I usually start by adding a cup of confectioners’ sugar along with the salt and vanilla extract. Then I add 1/4 cup heavy cream, slowly add in more confectioners’ sugar and heavy cream until all 6 cups (or so) of confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 cup of heavy cream are added. (Do not add all 6 cups of confectioners’ sugar at once or you’ll have a mess)

Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice.

Decorate cooled cupcakes as desired.

Source: Melissa Bakes Original


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