These chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting are rich, dark and moist, and the fluffy, whipped vanilla frosting is a perfect match.
Office potlucks are such a funny thing, especially when you have a very diverse workplace. You might end up, like me, with a plate of lotus root with sticky rice next to eggplant parmesan and macaroni salad. You might also pass on the quiche that someone forgot in the toaster oven (hey, how else would we have figured out the fire alarm didn't work?).
I usually bring dessert, and this time the occasion was Valentine's Day, so chocolate seemed called for (I mean, when is it not?). These chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting were a delicious crowd-pleaser. To me, these are the ultimate chocolate cupcakes. They are rich and dark, and moist and light without being too delicate. I am a big fan of coffee as an ingredient in chocolate cake. It brings out the chocolate flavor without actually tasting like coffee. The frosting is fluffy and sweet without being cloying.
I usually take the time to pipe a pretty swirl on my cupcakes, but I think the homemade look is just right for a potluck. Some pretty wrappers and a few sprinkles and these chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting are a perfect portable dessert that you can easily bring back to your desk for later, after the eggplant parmesan has been digested.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
- 2 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ¾ cup hot coffee
- ¾ cup bread flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whipped Vanilla Frosting
- 1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted or whisked vigourously
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and fill a regular-sized cupcake pan with 12 liners.
- Combine the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour in the hot coffee and let sit for a couple of minutes to melt the chocolate. Whisk until smooth.
- Cool completely in the refrigerator (about 20 minutes).
- While the chocolate mixture is cooling, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
- Remove the chocolate mixture from the fridge and whisk in the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture.
- Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15-19 minutes.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Whipped Vanilla Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium high speed until smooth.
- Turn the mixer down to low and add the sugar one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the salt and turn the mixer to medium high speed. Whip for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
- On low speed, add the cream and vanilla extract. Turn speed back up to medium high and whip until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl down as needed, about 5 minutes.