A conversation with one of my friends who is an excellent baker herself led to the discovery of this rich, fudgy chocolate cupcake recipe that I am sharing today. She swears by Martha Stewart’s ultimate chocolate cake recipe and told me to try it out as well. With Martha Stewarts ultimate chocolate frosting recipe on top.
Since I wanted to give the cake to a few people, I thought it would be best to make cupcakes out of the recipe, since they are always more easy to share.
Most cake recipes can be successfully converted to cupcakes without changing anything except their baking times (and of course the pan you using to bake). Cupcakes generally take lesser time to bake than cakes. According to the recipe instructions the cakes take 35 minutes to bake, but my cupcakes were done in 20 minutes, and might even take 18 minutes for you, so check for doneness around that time. They will be done when a tester comes out clean.
This recipe yielded 32 cupcakes for me, but depending on how you fill your cupcake pans you could get more or less. The frosting was enough to frost 32 cupcakes, with some frosting still leftover.
I do have a go-to chocolate cake recipe, which differs from the one that I am sharing today and I love it and have used it for the fondant cakes on the blog. That recipe is also pretty similar to the one we used at Bonnie Gordon and loved that the cakes used to be moist but sturdy enough to use under fondant decorations. And since its a one bowl cake, it requires less clean up and is easier to whip up than a one where you have to cream the butter sugar first and then add eggs. It also converts well to cupcakes but I have always had a problem with oily liners. And that is where this Martha Stewart recipe works better.
While the oil based cake is more spongy and moist in texture, this recipe from Martha Stewart resulted in fudgier cakes or at least fudgy chocolate cupcakes, which were still moist. Most of the ingredients in that recipe are quite similar to Martha Stewart’s recipe, the only difference is the fat called for in the recipe, which is probably why the texture differs slightly.
I know people swear by butter based recipes and I was one of them, until I tried the oil based chocolate cakes. Also the carrot cake recipe I have posted on the blog is oil based too. But yes, for certain recipes I still use butter.
If you are curious how the two measure up against each other, here is an interesting read on butter vs oil cakes. As mentioned by Summer in the article, “Butter is known for its flavor profile, oil for moisture provision.”
But while butter has a better flavor, if you are using it for cakes like carrot cake, or even the cake here like chocolate where additional ingredients tend to overpower the butter flavor, using oil shouldn’t make much of a difference in flavor. Having said that I feel butter based recipes work better for cupcakes. Oil based ones just make the cupcake liners oily.
Recently I have started using a combination of both in some of my recipes- I tried it for a red velvet cake recently (posted on instagram here), and loved the results- moistness from the oil, flavor from the butter. Today’s recipe though is made completely with butter. And it is a winner in our household.
As mentioned before the recipe yielded 32 cupcakes, 12 I gave away, and 20 were left for us 6 people, all of which were gone in one evening. Yes they are that good and you must MUST try this recipe out.
The frosting too is addictive.
My first impression of the frosting, while making it, was that it was good but I was still biased towards the chocolate malt frosting I generally use (if you haven’t tried it, you totally should). However the next day when I ate the cupcake with the frosting, I decided both frostings are equally good. The original Martha Stewart recipe calls for unsalted butter, but I used salted butter since thats what I had. Most Martha Stewarts recipes I find a little sweet for my liking, but using unsalted butter helped cut the sweetness a bit. If you choose to use unsalted butter, I would suggest to cut down on the icing sugar and also add a pinch of salt to the frosting. Believe me, salt takes the frosting to the next level.
With my brother and sister-in-law in town and my father’s retirement dinners to attend every day, I haven’t been able to get much time for blogging and posting recipes. Of course my laptop and the internet connection haven’t been supportive either and as a result posts have been a little sporadic the past couple of days. I try to be active on instagram, and have been revisiting a few recipes from the blog that I keep posting there.
And with dinners lined up at our house and my mother assigning me few dishes, be sure to catch future instagram posts on previously posted recipes of Vegetarian Fish Pie, triple layer chocolate mousse cake, focaccia bread (it has a video tutorial too), vegan pumpkin bread and more. Till then hope you enjoy this recipe!
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- ¾ cup strong coffee, boiling
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2¾ cup cake flour ( I used 2½ cup all purpose flour and ¼ cup cornstarch)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1½ cups (340 grams) butter ( I used salted, but if you are using unsalted add ½ tsp salt to the batter as well)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 170 grams or 1½ sticks butter, room temperature (since I used salted butter I used close to 3½ cups confectioner's sugar. I would have reduced the sugar to 3 cups, if I was using unsalted butter, and would have added a pinch of salt as well)
- 3 to 3½ cups confectioner's sugar, sifted ( see point above)
- ½ cup milk ( I used whipping cream since I had some that I wanted to finish off and did not use the whole ½ cup)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- (I sometimes also use 2-3 tbsp nutella- it tastes great!)
- Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C.
- Line cupcake pan with liners and set aside.
- Sift the cocoa over a big bowl. Add the coffee, buttermilk and let cool.
- Sift the dry ingredients in another bowl.
- Beat the butter until light and fluffy, for about a minute.
- Add the sugar and beat till light and fluffy, for another 4-5 minutes.
- Add in vanilla.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 45-60 seconds after each addition.
- Pour in the cocoa mixture and mix well.
- Softly fold in the dry ingredients, and combine till incorporated, making sure not to over mix.
- Using an ice cream scooper, fill the paper lined cupcake tin with the batter. Fill ⅔rd full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, checking for doneness after 18 minutes.
- Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, and then let cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.
- Sift 3 cups sugar with the cocoa in a big bowl.
- Add the butter and vanilla and beat on low at first to incorporate all the ingredients and then increase the speed to high and beat for 4-5 minutes. Add in nutella, if using. Add in whipping cream or milk a tbsp at a time till desired thickness. Check the sweetness and sift in more confectioners sugar if required. With the salted butter I used about 3¼ th cup.
- Frost cupcakes as desired. I used Wilton's 2D tip for the roses seen in the photos.