Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

These chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting are rich, dark and moist, and the fluffy, whipped vanilla frosting is a perfect match.

Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting

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.

Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frostingI 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.

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

These chocolate cupcakes are rich, dark and moist, and feature a fluffy, whipped vanilla frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 406 kcal
Author Ann


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 2 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 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


Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and fill a regular-sized cupcake pan with 12 liners.
  2. 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.
  3. Cool completely in the refrigerator (about 20 minutes).
  4. While the chocolate mixture is cooling, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
  5. Remove the chocolate mixture from the fridge and whisk in the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15-19 minutes.
  7. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Whipped Vanilla Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium high speed until smooth.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Recipe Notes

Chocolate cupcakes from ">Cooks Illustrated, vanilla frosting slightly adapted from Annie's Eats

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 406 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 157mg7%
Potassium 93mg3%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 34g38%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 550IU11%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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