If you like red velvet cupcakes, you’re really going to love these Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes. They have the same light texture but with a bolder chocolate flavor. When paired with a classic cream cheese frosting, it is a match made in heaven!
Red velvet cakes and cupcakes are a perennial favorite but not one of my personal preferences. They don’t have a strong enough chocolate flavor for me and I am not crazy about the food coloring. Give me a good old-fashioned chocolate cake any day over red velvet.
But these cupcakes have me changing my tune. I love the delicate, tender texture and really appreciate the stronger chocolate flavor. I wanted even more chocolate than the original recipe so I added some cocoa powder. You could also use bittersweet chocolate chips if you prefer for a bolder chocolate flavor.
Cupcakes are such a treat to bake and to eat – they are perfect for any occasion and so easy to make! One trick with a thin batter like this one is to pour it from your mixing bowl into a large measuring cup with a spout. Then it is easy to pour into the cupcake liners.
I struggled for years with piping frosting on cupcakes, not understanding that the tips I was using were the wrong ones. They were too small, designed for detail work. Once I got a set of jumbo piping tips it got much easier and when I discovered the 1M the mystery was solved!
I still need a lot more practice, but now my cupcakes are decent looking and I’m not ashamed to present them. You can order jumbo tip sets online and your piping will look professional in no time!
In the meantime, drizzled chocolate, jimmies, sprinkles, and similar decorations can hide a multitude of mistakes and makes everything look more festive and fun!
I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend (it is Labor Day in the United States) and if you’re still looking for a dessert for your family and friends, give these Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes a try. You won’t be disappointed!! And save the link for your Halloween parties!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments and leave a rating, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes:
- Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, butter, brown sugar, eggs
- Flour (gluten-free or regular), baking soda, salt, sour cream
- Water, vanilla, cream cheese, powdered sugar
To get a partial egg, like the 1-1/2 eggs called for in this recipe, add the whole egg then break the second egg into another bowl. Whisk the egg in the bowl until fully blended and pour 1/2 of that mixture into the batter. You have just added half an egg!
To cool the cupcakes faster, let the cupcakes sit in the muffin pans for a few minutes to firm up a bit and then gently remove them and place on a wire rack to fully cool. I use a mini offset spatula to get them out of the muffin pan.
How to make Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes:
- Make the Cupcakes: Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water until mostly melted, then remove from the heat and stir until smooth, setting aside to cool; beat the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes until smooth, creamy, and lightened, then beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the melted chocolate
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together; alternating between the dry ingredients and sour cream, add them 1/3 at a time, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and beat until creamy and fluffy
- Whisk in the water by hand and then the vanilla – the batter will be thin; pour into a large measuring cup with a spout and divide evenly between the 18 muffin tins lined with cupcake papers
- Bake for 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean; cool completely on wire racks
- Prepare the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese until creamy with no lumps, then add the vanilla and salt, blending well; add the powdered sugar a little at a time mixing after each addition until all the sugar is fully incorporated
- The frosting is designed to hold up to piping and there should be plenty to generously frost each cupcake
Using a 1M piping tip will give you beautiful ruffled decorations. It is one of the tricks of many of the most beautiful cupcakes you see all over the Web.
When a recipe says to sift dry ingredients, you can whisk them together or press them through a wire sieve. Also, note the wording of the recipe – does it say 1 cup, sifted or 1 sifted cup? The first you measure and then whisk, for the second you whisk and then measure. But even easier is weighing the ingredients – then you can whisk before or after!
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Kitchen scale
- Mixing bowls
- Dry measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Muffin pans
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Mini offset spatula
- Piping tips and piping bags
You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Do this for each flour blend you use. Commercial blends such as Pamela’s, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
- 3/4 cup (6 oz; 128g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick; 57g) softened butter
- 1 cup (213g) organic light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1-1/2 large eggs (see Pro Tip above or note below)
- 1 cup (120g) gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (11g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces (114g) sour cream
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (141g) hot water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 12 ounce (1-1/2 bricks; 341g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups (681g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 3/4 cup (6 oz; 128g) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon butter
- Make the Cupcakes: Fill 18 to 20 muffin pans with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a bowl set over a saucepan with an inch of simmering water. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching. When nearly all the chips are melted, remove from the heat and set the bowl on a kitchen towel. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Alternately, you can use a microwave.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar for 2 to 3 minutes until well blended. One at a time, add the eggs, mixing in before adding the next. Beat until smooth, creamy, and lightened in color. Mix in the melted chocolate.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together. Pour 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the butter/chocolate mixture and mix until incorporated. Stir in half of the sour cream. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing until smooth. Add the remaining sour cream, mixing in. And add the remaining flour mixture; increase the speed and beat until creamy, smooth, and fluffy. Blend in the vanilla. Remove the bowl from your stand mixer.
- Add half the hot water and using a whisk, mix it in by hand. Add remaining water, whisking until smooth and blended with no lumps. The batter will be thin.
- Pour the batter into a large measuring cup with a spout and divide the batter evenly into the cupcake liners. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on wire racks.
- Prepare the Frosting: Place the butter and the cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer or using a hand mixer a large bowl. Beat until thoroughly combined and creamy without any lumps. Add the vanilla and salt (if using) and blend well. Add the powdered sugar in small amounts, mixing well after each addition until all the sugar has been incorporated. Increase the speed, beating until lightened and fluffy.
- This frosting will be fairly stiff to be sturdy enough to hold up to piping and decorating. I prefer weighing my dry ingredients for the most accurate and consistent results. If you are using cup measures, follow the directions in the Note below.
- Scoop the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large tip, twist the top closed, and pipe onto cupcakes.
- For the Drizzle (optional): Heat the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl until mostly melted, then stir until fully melted and smooth. Cool until you can hold the bowl in the palm of your hand. Transfer to a piping bag or plastic bag, press into one corner, twist the top closed and holding it upright with the tip facing up, cut off a small piece of the tip. Drizzle the chocolate over the frosted cupcakes in a zig-zag pattern if desired.
- Store frosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature.
Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
Cupcakes adapted from Southern Living's The Southern Cake Book.
Frosting adapted from Sugar Spun Run
You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Do this for each flour blend you use. Commercial blends such as Pamela's, Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
To get a partial egg, like the 1-1/2 eggs called for in this recipe, add the whole egg then break the second egg into another
bowl. Whisk the egg in the bowl until fully blended and pour 1/2 of that mixture into the batter. You have just added half an egg!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 194Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 190mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 4g
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is calculated by online tools and is merely an estimate.
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