This recipe for Small-batch Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream makes just four bonkers rich and amazing chocolate cupcakes, perfect for a late-night chocolate fix or intimate birthday party.
Happy Saturday, friends! How is your weekend going so far? Have anything fun planned? I plan on celebrating the lovely spring weather by whipping up a big batch of my Jam Scones to share and then maybe just lying out in the sun with an audiobook (have any audiobook recommendations?) for a couple of hours and soaking up all that vitamin D.
But first, cupcakes.
Today’s recipe is for all you chocoholic bakers out there who are craving a chocolate cupcake but don’t really want a dozen of them sitting around your kitchen.
How does just four sound?
This small-batch cupcake recipe makes exactly four perfectly adorable chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. The recipe is simple, relatively quick (for a cupcake recipe), and 100% delicious.
Like my Small-batch Buckeye Brownie Cookies, these cupcakes are made with actual melted chocolate in the batter, so they come out super moist and amazing every time, and the chocolate buttercream is so rich and fudgy that when you take your first bite, you’re going to think you’ve died and gone to chocolate heaven.
This is one of those recipes that I love having in my back pocket because it’s the ultimate chocolate dessert when I’m craving something chocolatey, but it’s also something I can easily throw together if I know that a friend is having a birthday or just a bad day (if that friend’s not a chocolate fan, try my Small-batch Vanilla Cupcakes or Small-batch Angel Food Cupcakes).
There’s nothing like a cupcake to put a smile on someone’s face.
Small-batch Chocolate Cupcakes Notes
- This recipe calls for chopped semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use high-quality chocolate chips instead of a baking bar if that’s what you have on hand.
- The coffee in these cupcakes doesn’t give them a coffee taste. It just brings out the chocolate flavor. But if you don’t have/like/drink coffee, you can replace the coffee in the recipe with the same amount of hot water.
- The same goes for the espresso powder in the frosting. Just omit it if you don’t have it.
- I used a large star tip to frost swirls on these cupcakes. If you plan on just spreading frosting over the top with a knife, cut the frosting recipe in half!
Small-batch Chocolate Cupcakes With Chocolate Buttercream
- 2 tablespoons (1oz) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons (21g) chopped semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (11g) cocoa powder sifted if lumpy
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk any percentage
- 2 tablespoons hot coffee or water
- 4 tablespoons (2oz) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar sifted
- 1/4 cup (20g) cocoa powder sifted*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons milk plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of espresso powder optional
- Pinch of salt
- Sprinkles optional
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line your cupcake pan with 4 liners.
- In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, chopped chocolate, and vegetable oil. Microwave for 15 seconds and stir, repeat until mixture is completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in slightly cooled chocolate mixture until uniform in color.
- Whisk in flour mixture until just combined. Add milk and coffee and whisk until smooth. Batter will look thin.
- For easiest pouring, transfer mixture to a liquid measuring cup and divide between prepared cupcake cups, filling about 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for 16 to 19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan until cool enough to handle. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting, 15 to 20 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla, optional espresso powder, and pinch of salt. Use a handheld electric mixer to mix until smooth. Add more milk by the half teaspoon until frosting reaches your desired consistency.
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag and swirl on the cupcakes or spread frosting with a knife. Add sprinkles if desired.
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