Chocolate cupcake recipe

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

From the blog Transplanted Taste Buds (reposted with permission, found via Bostonist):

We're not sure how or even when exactly it happened, but somewhere along the way, cupcakes became the hottest trend in cafes and bakeries around the country. What we are sure of, though, is that we've always loved the cupcake and therefore we don't really care who brought them back. Though it's easy to find chic upscale cupcakes these days, there's nothing better than a dark, moist chocolate cupcake covered in chocolate buttercream.


1 stick Butter, room temperature
1 1/4 C. Sugar
2 Eggs, room temperature
3/4 C. Flour
1 t. Baking Powder
1/4 t. Salt
1/2 C. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
* You always hear people say this, but truly, using the best cocoa powder you can afford makes a world of difference...
1/2 C. Whole Milk
1 t. Vanilla

Yield: 12-14 cupcakes

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees, then turn it down to 350 just prior to baking

1. Beat the butter with an electric mixer until it is soft, then add sugar. Beat about 3 minutes.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until they are well combined.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk them to incorporate them.
4. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar and beat it just to combine. Add 1/2 of the liquids (milk & vanilla), scrape down bowl and beat to combine. Continue adding the dry and wet ingredients alternately making sure you END WITH THE DRY.
5. Fill muffin tins 2/3's of the way and bake for about 20-22 minutes. Allow to cool, then frost.

Chocolate Buttercream (This frosts about 24 cupcakes if you're doing it the old fashioned way-if you're piping it on fancy-like, it'll be only about 14)

1 Stick Butter, softened
1/2 C. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
4 C. Confectioner's Sugar
1/4 C. Milk (plus a few Tablespoons to adjust consistency)
1 t. Vanilla

Beat butter and cocoa until smooth, then add sugar 1 cup at a time, beating with each addition. Add milk and vanilla and beat for about 3 minutes.

Easy Peasy!


Pang said…
yay! you girls are on Martha right now! woo!
Kim said…
Would you mind clarifying that this is unsalted butter? Just checking!
Susy K said…
always use unsalted butter when baking!
Anonymous said…
Could somebody clarify the units please?

What does C. mean? What does t. mean?
And who much is a 'stick' of butter?

Anonymous said…
a "C" is a Cup
a "t" is a teaspoon
a "stick" is 1/4 of a pound.
Hilbychick said…
Wow!! The best cupcake I have ever had! And simple to make as well. I used store bought frosting. Next time, I'll make my own. A cupcake this good deserves the best frosting.
Anonymous said…
I am just learning to bake and I somehow ruined these cupcakes. I am not sure what I did, but they turned out looking deflated and then fell apart when I tried to get them out of the tins. I maybe could have let them cool longer, but I don't think that was the issue. Any ideas? I
Anonymous said…
did you try using the liners. they help getthem out of the baking dish. i just made these tonight and they are delicious!
Anonymous said…
What is this cupcake texture like?
Is it mudcake texture or sponge texture?

Anonymous said…
What is this cupcake texture like?
Is it like mudcake texture or sponge texture?
Hilbychick said…
Spongy and crumbles pretty easily, so liners are a must!! I just made mini cupcakes using this recipe last night. Baked for 15 minutes to adjust for size. Yummy!!
Like one other baker commented, I too had deflated cupcakes. I followed the recipe as best as i could and lined my baking tray. I felt like I may have over beat my batter because it was almost the consistency of a mousse when i scooped it into the liners. Could that have ruined my cupcakes??? If anyone has advice, i think i need as much as I can get. Thanks!!
Anonymous said…
my 4 year old daughter and i made these cupcakes yesterday and they are divine! much better than any of the cupcakes from the upscale bakeries in NYC. i am shocked! i put more cocoa powder in the frosting than the recipe called for because i love chocolate that much. also, used Ghirardeli (sp?) powder - it's great.
Anonymous said…
I just made these for my daughter's 8th birthday party and they were a HUGE hit. I don't think there was a crumb left on any of her friends' plates. They were amazingly good!
WOOT! said…
Mine also deflated, i'm starting to wonder if the recipe needs baking soda instead of baking powder.
Unknown said…
is it okay to use baking soda instead of baking powder?
Jessica said…
Im new to the cupcake backing world so when you say flour do you mean regular or self rising?
Rach said…
Mine also deflated. I made sure to meticulously follow the directions. I don't know what happened.
Tina Burke said…
Mine also deflated : (
Unknown said…
Advice for sinking cupcakes:

1. Make sure that you've followed the recipe measurements.

2. Ensure that you're baking your cupcakes for the entire time that is required. Don't over bake them but if they're not cooked thoroughly the flour will set.
Anonymous said…
These cupcakes came out HORRIBLE. I've never had a cupcake deflate on me. Not only did they deflate, but when I try to take them out of the cupcake pan, the top comes off and the whole cupcake seperates from the baking paper cup. They completely crumble. They taste okay, but what good are they? *very sad*
A Little Forest said…
These cupcakes are delicious, IF you let them bake the entire time! Mine deflated the first time around, and I was totally devastated. Then I decided not to pay attention to how long they were in there. The second time around, they came out perfectly. If you don't bake them all the way through, THEY WILL CAVE IN. Also, I'd like to suggest to sub cream for milk in the frosting... it makes all the difference in the world for a buttercream :) Enjoy!
What a mess. I make a lit of cupcakes and this was by far the worst recipe I have ever tried. I followed to a T and a gooey nasty mess many not cooking at all.

DON'T MAKE THESE - several others have commented negative results as well.
Lisa said…
I'd like to clarify that ages ago (when the first person said they had trouble) I took the recipe down but it wasn't reflected here. I'm sorry you keep making them. I've deleted my whole post to avoid mean comments.

I'm sorry some of you had trouble....
Hilbychick said…
No need to apologize! They are wonderful! I make them frequently and get tons of compliments. Delicious!!
Yvonne Cooley said…
The taste of these is FABULOUS!! My only concern is that the sides fell over rather than fluffing up. Does anyone know if I added more flour is that would fix it?
Kristin Baker Moser said…
Oh, my goodness, thank you so much for this recipe! I am very new at all of this baking stuff and just made cupcakes not from a box for the first time tonight using this recipe. I am hooked; they taste wonderful and were not at all hard, or overwhelming, to make!
JujyCakes said…
I've always used this one bowl recipe from Martha Stewart...use the BEST cocoa you can find. I use Pernigotti cocoa, add 1 TB of espresso powder and use half white sugar with half brown sugar.
Nicole Zeliff said…
Wow, so I tried to make these cupcakes. BIGGEST FLOP EVER. I followed the instructions to a T, AND I used fresh ingredients. They turned out like brownies, and that was the worst buttercream frosting I have ever made. I don't know what's up with this recipe, but it seems to me like something is not right. I bake all the time, and have never had ANYTHING come out like this. I'm so mad. I made them for someone, and now I have to start all over. Definitely not with this bloody recipe, though.
Julia Crescio said…
Just finished baking these cupcakes and my son and I tried some before frosting.
Delicious,chocolatey and moist. The taste is actually really really great BUT BUT BUT BUT
As many of the reviewers have reported, the cupcakes "fell" meaning they didn't really rise correctly and if you bake them with the cupcake wrapper paper as I did then when you try to peel it off the whole cupcake basically falls apart and sticks to the paper terribly and you end up eating the crumbled pieces and scraping the wrapper. I did another batch and added 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to see if it helped the cakes rise better but got the same result so.... not sure what to do or what tweaks to make to the original recipe to make it right but it definitely needs something. Sucks because they taste sooooooo gooooood.
Andrea said…
I'm researching cocoa, and it looks like you should be using baking soda with natural unsweetened cocoa or as recipe stands, using Dutch-processed cocoa. Am I wrong or missing something?
Merlin said…
I've made these cupcakes half a dozen times. I've never had them fall. A couple of them have come dangerously close; certainly under baking them will make them fall in the center. I prefer a chocolate cream cheese frosting (8oz cream cheese, 1 stick unsalted butter, both room temperature; in mixer on high until smooth. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar about half a cup at a time, and 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder somewhere in there. Beat until smooth).

My guesses for why these might fall: liquid ratio might be off due to humidity in the air. Not enough baking powder. Possibly overcreaming the butter.
Unknown said…
I should've listened to all the negative reviews. It's true. I gave it a shot because I thought maybe these people didn't really know how to bake, but the cupcakes to in fact deflate, and are impossible to take out of the tin (lined or not). This is more of a BROWNIE recipe rather than a cupcake recipe. I should have known better because of the decreased amount of flour and increased amount of sugar .... and I used up my good St. Lucian cocoa on this disaster. =( Wish I could post a picture.... they certainly don't look anything like the picture on the blog.
KansasGirl said…
I made these last night. My hubby LOVED them and couldn't stop eating the frosting. Everyone loved them at work too. I filled the cups .75 of the way and they did fall a little, but because I over filled the cups they turned out perfect. I will be making these again!