Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

Do you ever crave chocolate? I know I do, and I usually don’t have much of an outlet for the craving unless there’s chocolate chips I can eat straight out of the bag. However, if I can do better than half-assed chocolate chip snacking, I definitely will.

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Enter CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE. 

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This is by far the best cupcake I have ever made. It’s moist, it’s fluffy, it’s perfect. The flavor is strong, but not over-powering. The batter rises the exact right amount, and pulls away from the sides of the liner just enough for a clean peel. These cupcakes aren’t just delicious, either. They’re extremely convenient to make, because everything can be done easily by hand. No hand mixer, no stand mixer, just the slightest bit of elbow grease. Obviously, perfect on their own.

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But in case you wanted to take it up a notch, these cupcakes pair perfectly with a fluffy vanilla buttercream. Here, I’ve listed some tips on how to make an amazing buttercream frosting.

  1. Air is your friend. I’m sure you know you need air to breath, but it works wonders in a buttercream. Lots of people have problems with their buttercream tasting like butter, and it’s because there’s not enough air whipped into the frosting. To make sure your buttercream is as fluffy as it can be, whip your butter for at least 4 minutes before adding any powdered sugar at all. This helps incorporate air into the butter itself. Also, before you frost, let your finished buttercream whip for another 5 or so minutes.
  2. Don’t overdo the sugar. Powdered sugar is delicious, but too much of it in a buttercream makes it rather stiff, especially after chilling in the fridge. The less sugar you use, the better your frosting will fare after being set overnight or refrigerated, and the softer it will be when you serve it.
  3. Quality control. I know it’s hard to stop eating frosting once you’ve started, but it’s really important to check to see if the buttercream tastes good. When adding in any flavoring, make sure to periodically check your frosting. You can always add more, but it’s hard to undo your work without compromising the buttercream.

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Follow those steps, and not only will your buttercream taste good, it will be easy to work with and perfect for decorating these cupcakes. And of course, don’t forget to add sprinkles. Happy baking!

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~come on cupcakes now let’s get in formation~

Ingredients

for the cupcakes

  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk

for the buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ½ – 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

for the cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined.

In another bowl, whisk up the sugar, eggs and oil until the mixture is thick but smooth.

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk into the egg mixture, whisking after each incorporation until smooth. Be sure not to overmix.

Transfer the batter into a cupcake tin with paper liners, filling the liners ¾ of the way full. Bake for 19-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs.

Let the cupcakes cool completely in the pan before removing and frosting.

for the buttercream

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip up the softened butter for 4-6 minutes on high until it is fluffy and doubles in size.

Once the butter has been whipped, turn the mixer down to medium-low and add in the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time, beating well after each addition.

Once all the sugar is incorporated, add in the vanilla and salt, then turn the mixer to high and whip for another 5-6 minutes, until the buttercream is light and fluffy. If it doesn’t taste right, add more vanilla.

Now, frost the cooled cupcakes. This part is up to you, but I used a star tip and piped a large spiral on the top of each cupcake. There should be a little bit more than enough buttercream to do this, so if yours didn’t make enough, it isn’t whipped enough.

Decorate to your preference and serve. These should keep in the fridge for a couple days uncovered, and another week in an airtight container.

 

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