I have made and eaten my share of chocolate cake, especially when I was in pastry school a million years ago. I know a good cake recipe when I taste it, and this by far is the best chocolate cupcake recipe I have ever baked. These cupcakes are super moist without tasting like a store-bought mix. They are fresh and airy with the fudgiest of flavor.
I made these cupcakes a week ago for my grandson’s birthday and the whole group devoured them instantly — I had a few moms want me to take orders for them! As for the frosting, super chocolaty and creamy with a nice smooth finish. I sprinkled a few Valrhona chocolate pearls on top, but those are always optional.
This recipe can be baked into a layer cake as well, just pour into two 8-inch rounds and bake for about the same amount of time as the cupcakes. However, these cupcakes make a great chocolaty portable treat, especially for birthday parties.
2/3 cup hot water
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder, I use Valrhona
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 extra large eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cocoa power
2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoon heavy cream
Valrhona chocolate pearls, optional
(Makes 20-22 Cupcakes)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line each muffin cup with a paper cup liner. In a small glass, combine the water and espresso powder, stir and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.
2. In a stand mixer or large bowl, mix on medium speed the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla for 2 minutes.
3. Then, add the sugar and espresso mixture, and mix again for 1 minute, until combined. Scoop in the dry ingredients, while the mixer is on low and mix for 1 minute. The batter will be super loose. Fill each cup 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before frosting.
4. Sift the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder together, set aside. In a stand mixer or large bowl, whisk butter and vanilla on medium speed, until smooth. Scrape down the sides of bowl and on low speed, add the sifted confectioners sugar and cocoa powder, mix for 2 minutes. Pour in the cream and continue to mix on low for 2 minutes, until smooth. Do not whip, it creates too much air in the frosting.
5. Frost cupcakes either with a knife or a star tip pastry bag. Sprinkle with chocolate pearls. Enjoy!