Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

A one-bowl cupcake recipe that delivers on the promise of being very chocolatey and really good. James called them “a sugar seizure,” but I think it’s because the frosting had one-cup-too-much of sugar (the recipe below reflects the change). I made these for Halloween hence the green frosting in the background. I also attempted to tap into my inner Martha Stewart by trying to add marshmallows and chocolate chips to create goblin faces on the cupcakes. Let’s just say it looked like a two year old’s art project. Anyway, don’t let the easy nature of the recipe fool you — it’s no Halloween trick — these are seriously good.

chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting

Ingredients
Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart, Food Network
cupcakes
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 T. canola or safflower oil
1 tsp. vanilla

frosting
2 sticks butter, softened
4-5 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Directions
cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease; set aside.
1. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
2. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely before adding icing.

frosting
1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Gradually add the remaining one cup of sugar, until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency.

Voila!

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