I am VERY particular about my cupcakes.
Occasionally, I will bake a cupcake with a cake mix (which is completely fine)… but to me, they just can’t compete with the moist and density of a cupcake made from scratch.
I have tried my fair share of cupcake recipes, but I think I have finally nailed the winner… the PERFECT Chocolate Cupcake. I had quite a few people sample these cupcakes and all raved about them. Pair them with this Salted Caramel Frosting that I adapted from my Copy-Cat Sweet Tooth Fairy Cookies and Cream Frosting… and this cupcake is heaven in your mouth.
Don’t let the number of ingredients scare you away from this recipe… I promise it is SO EASY! These are, for the most part, all basic ingredients you have in your pantry anyway. They don’t take much longer to make than a cake mix takes, but the end result is fantastic and totally worth the few extra steps.
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1½ tsp. vanilla
- 2½ cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. water
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 package Dream Whip, dry
- 3 cups powdered sugar, more if needed to reach desired consistency
- Add the sifted cocoa powder to a medium sized bowl and pour in the cup of hot liquid. Whisk until completely dissolved.
- Next add the buttermilk to cool down the mixture, then add the sugar and whisk until all is combined.
- Add the eggs, oil and vanilla and mix again.
- In a small bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk this into the wet mixture until you no longer see any lumps.
- Stir in heavy cream until evenly mixed in.
- Pour into cupcake tins and bake at 350 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until done. Let cool and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.
- Alternatively, you could use just under ½ cup of your favorite caramel sauce.
- Beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add dry Dream Whip until combined. Next beat in powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Once cupcakes have cooled, frost onto cupcakes.
(Cupcake recipe adapted from: Good Food Gourmet)
(Salted Caramel Frosting recipe adapted from:Made in Melissa’s Kitchen)