"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."
The recipe on my site that gets the most action is my Super Moist Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe. People often write me and ask if I have a regular chocolate cupcake recipe, so here it is!
|This recipe has coffee in it, you melt the chocolate into the hot coffee. You cannot , I repeat, you absolutely can't taste it. I use the pour over method to make single cups of coffee.|
In fact the reason that my blog is named, The Alchemist, is because of cupcakes. You see I used to bake for a small local coffee shop. I baked a lot of cupcakes. I baked many recipes of cupcakes looking for the best ones. One day I had baked too many for the shop, (these chocolate cupcakes were included as well as a few other varieties) so I gave the leftovers to my chiropractor at the time, since I had an appointment that day. He in turn took them home to his family. The next day his wife called me on the phone. She told me, "Melissa, you're an alchemist! These cupcakes are the best cupcakes I've ever had."
|The chocolate melted into the coffee, before adding it to the batter|
That was high praise coming from her. She is a successful and well traveled lady. That comment meant a lot to me.
|I use this high fat cocoa from Penzey's, if you have a store near you I recommend it, if not another brand is fine.|
That was probably 5 years ago and I haven't made another chocolate cake recipe since. This is my absolute 'go to' chocolate cake and chocolate cupcake recipe.
Before that, I went through a lot of trial and error. I made many chocolate cupcake recipes. I've never had a chocolate cake with as great as a texture as this one, or as moist without being heavy.
|Whisking the dry ingredients together|
These cupcakes are so amazing. The original recipe comes from a cake recipe from Epicurious. (I've tweaked it a little over time to suit my taste.) These cupcakes are super moist and light at the same time. It's like they melt in your mouth.
They have a wonderful chocolate flavor. There is melted chocolate as well as cocoa powder in this recipe. The chocolate is melted into hot coffee.
|For this recipe I like to use buttermilk (instead of sour milk I sometimes recommend in cake recipes) I like this Bulgarian buttermilk due to it's higher fat content. It's rich and has more fat than low fat buttermilk.|
I know that will worry some people. Don't worry. You cannot taste it at all. I mean it, at all. I promise. However, if it worries you, then don't use it. Just use hot water instead. But I believe it provides a depth of flavor you won't get otherwise.
Some people will want to leave out the coffee, if you are making them for children or if you don't consume caffeine.
|Mixing up the batter|
I've frosted these with a chocolate buttercream that comes from Cooks Illustrated. It's their Foolproof Chocolate frosting recipe.
|The batter is on the thin side, so it's easier to pour it into the cupcake papers|
I like it because it's satiny smooth with a great chocolate flavor. It's easy to make too. You can make it in a mixer or a food processor. I've noted both ways below in the recipe.
|Right out of the oven|
If you like your cupcakes moist like I do, look no further. I think you will love this recipe as much as I do!
|The frosting recipe has corn syrup in it, if you spray the measuring cup with cooking spray first, it will come out of the measuring cup easier.|
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|I took a picture of the middle of the cupcake to try to capture the fabulous texture of these. They are super moist, as well as being light and fluffy. They just melt in your mouth.|
If you are looking for a different flavor of frosting, try one of these other great frosting recipes.
Cream Cheese Frosting from my Super Moist Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe you could also make Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting by adding some cocoa in place of some of the powdered sugar
The Best Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
adapted from this Double Chocolate Layer Cake from Epicurious
This recipe makes more than a standard cake recipe, about 30-34 standard size cupcakes
3 oz. (85 g.) semi sweet chocolate - I usually use semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) hot brewed coffee - or if you absolutely cannot have coffee, substitute hot water, or decaf coffee - but the coffee does bring a depth of flavor that water alone won't
3 cups (620 g.) sugar
2 1/2 cups (337 g.) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (172 g.) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (177 ml) - 1 cup (236 ml) vegetable oil ( I use 1 cup, but the original recipe calls for the lesser amount) the higher amount makes them even more moist, (the lesser amount is also moist)
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) well-shaken full fat buttermilk (if you can find it, if not use low fat buttermilk)
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, 150 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 2.
Finely chop chocolate (if using chocolate chips you don't have to chop it) and add it to the hot coffee to let it melt. Meanwhile, Into a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs until thickened slightly, and lemon colored, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer, or 5 minutes with a hand mixer. Stir the chocolate mixture until all the chocolate is melted and combined. Slowly add the oil, vanilla, buttermilk and chocolate mixture, beating until combined well. Add a quarter of the dry mixture then blend until incorporated, then add another 1/4 and combine, and repeat until all of the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend again just until that is all incorporated.
Mixture will be like a thick liquid. Prepare cupcake tins with liners. Pour batter into a measuring cup with a pouring spout. Pour batter into cupcake liners filling about half to 2/3rds of the way full. Don't overfill. These rise quite a bit. Bake for about 28-32 minutes. If the center still looks caved in, or wet in the middle, they are not done. The top should look slightly rounded. They are done when they pass a toothpick test. But don't test them until they look rounded. If you do, they could cave in or fall and never rise again. For this recipe, I don't open the oven till they have been in for 28 minutes or so, or until they look done. Keep in mind the oven temperature is lower than in most recipes, so they take longer. This is especially true when using the higher amount of oil. Also when you prepare the batter, use it right away. While cupcakes are baking, prepare frosting below.
Cool on wire racks, and frost when they are completely cool.
based on the Foolproof Chocolate Frosting Recipe from Cooks Illustrated, taken from Real Baking with Rose Levy Beranbaum Forum
NOTE - If you are piping on frosting like I did, you will need to double this recipe. If you are just spreading it on, this amount will probably work.
Note: I made this frosting in a stand mixer, but the original recipe was written to be made in a food processor, I noted both instructions below.
20 TBS (2 1/2 sticks or about 10 oz) (283 g.) unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. (about 1 cup) (115 g.) confectioner’s sugar
3/4 cup (80 g,) dutch-processed or natural cocoa powder - I used natural
pinch of fine table salt
3/4 cup (177 ml) light corn syrup or (Lyles Golden Refiner’s Syrup and 1 TBS of water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz (227 g.) chocolate - milk, semisweet, or bittersweet - melted and cooled to 85-100 degrees Fahrenheit, (29-38 degrees Celsius) I used semisweet chocolate chips
In a stand mixer: Cut butter into about 5 pieces per stick, and add to bowl of mixer. Add confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, salt and blend on low. Slowly add the corn syrup while mixer is going on low. After it's all added, turn it up to mix it until it's incorporated, then add the vanilla and the melted chocolate. Mix well until completely blended. You can make this up to 3 hours in advance. For longer storage, refrigerate the frosting, covered, and let it stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.
In a Food Processor: In a food processor, process butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl as needed. Add the syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, about 5-10 seconds. Scrape down the bowl, and then add the chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, about 10-15 seconds. The big key to this recipe is using a light hand with the processor and not over mixing it. You can make this up to 3 hours in advance. For longer storage, refrigerate the frosting, covered, and let it stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.