Chocolate cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream frosting

Husband and I were in the grocery store last week and he commented being hungry for cake when we walked through the baking isle. I guess the holidays didn’t ruin us for sweets for very long!

I decided to make some cupcakes for ease of freezing leftovers (leftover cupcakes….can you imagine??) and having nice little individual portion sizes.

For me the hardest part of cupcakes is trying not to make a mess when filling the paper liners with the cupcake batter. I remembered a great idea from Barefoot Contessa aka Ina Garten; use a cookie scoop. It works wonderfully! Not only does it eliminate the mess but it makes it much easier to get equal amounts of batter in each liner so the cupcakes bake evenly and get done at the same time.

The buttercream frosting can be made with bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, but I am here to tell you the milk chocolate was amazing. I used milk chocolate baking chips and melted them in the microwave. So easy. 

Adapted from Joy of Baking

Chocolate Cupcakes

½ cup Cocoa Powder
1 cup Boiling Hot Water
1 ⅓ cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
½ cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 cup Granulated White Sugar
2 large Eggs
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter, or line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.  Be sure to give the chocolate mixture a stir before adding to the mixing bowl. The chocolate likes to settle on the bottom of the bowl.

Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter using a cookie scoop and bake for about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with buttercream frosting.

Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (8 ounces) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
2 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 ounces Semisweet Or Milk Chocolate, melted and cooled

1. Using the wire whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes.

2. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

You can store any unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container; let it come to room temperature and then give it a quick whip before using.

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