These Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream are the perfect way to celebrate any occasion. St Patrick’s Day is coming up this week and The Artist and I are getting ready to celebrate our 24th anniversary of the day we met – on St. Pat’s!
These cupcakes are a great balance of flavors. The cake has a slight bitter note from the espresso powder and the sweetness of the frosting is a lovely foil, creating the perfect bite.
The Artist loved these cupcakes. He wasn’t patient enough to wait for me to frost them, he swiped one and ate it plain! He was impressed with how tender it was … that’s thanks to the sour cream in the recipe.
The frosting is a simple vanilla buttercream with just 5 ingredients and you have the perfect accompaniment to the coffee-boosted chocolate cupcakes. It is wonderful for many other desserts too – keep it handy!
Instead of piping on the frosting, I decided to do a rustic coating like my grandmother and mom showed me as a child. Using an offset spatula gave me the perfect surface to showcase the sparkly sugar I found at Fancy Sprinkles. Isn’t it fun! You will love the vast variety of amazing decorations from Fancy Sprinkles. Look out, it can be addicting!
If you want to do fancy piping, I would double or triple the frosting recipe to make sure you have enough to do elaborate designs. This recipe made the perfect amount for regular frosting of the cupcakes.
I hope you enjoy these Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. You would never guess they are gluten-free. Everyone at your party will love them!
Use a good quality gluten-free flour blend, preferably a homemade version made with Authentic Foods Superfine rice flours (affiliate link). Using their flours guarantees there is no grittiness in any of your baked goods! No one can tell that what I make is gluten-free thanks to Authentic Foods!
- 3/4 cup (90g) gluten-free flour blend
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp espresso powder, optional
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 113g) butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 113g) butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, or more as needed
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla or vanilla paste
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 to 3 tbsp cream or half and half
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 to 15 muffin tins with paper cups; set aside.
Make the Cupcakes: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour blend, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, completely incorporating one before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla and beat on medium-high until smooth.
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, beating until fully incorporated, then mix in half of the sour cream, another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, remaining sour cream, and remaining dry ingredients, beating well between each addition. Scrape the bowl and beater. When everything is incorporated, turn up the speed and beat for another minute, lightening the batter with more air.
Fill the lined muffin tins about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Using a spring-loaded scoop makes it really easy to portion the batter. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes sit in the tins for a couple of minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Prepare the Frosting: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the butter and beat on medium-low speed until lightened and creamy, about 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl and beater. Add the sugar, 1/3 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all the sugar is incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium-high for about 30 seconds to beat extra air into the frosting. Add the vanilla and salt, mixing until incorporated.
Add the cream, a little at a time, until it reaches the right consistency for spreading or piping. If it gets too thin, add a little more powdered sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until the frosting lightens in color and is smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
Frost the Cupcakes: Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, you can spread the tops with the frosting using an offset spatula or you can pipe it on. If you are piping, you probably want to double or triple the recipe to have plenty for full coverage.
To pipe, place your favorite tip into a disposable piping bag. Cut off the bottom of the bag so the tip fits tightly in the bag. Fold a cuff at the top of the bag and place it into a large glass or jar to support it.
Fill the bag about 2/3 full, twist the top closed and gently press the frosting down into the tip. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes in your favorite design. For guidance on which tips to use and how to pipe frosting, check out this video.
Note: If you want to pipe the frosting on the cupcakes, you will want to double or triple the frosting recipe to be sure you have enough for elaborate designs.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372 Total Fat: 26g Saturated Fat: 16g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 92mg Sodium: 374mg Carbohydrates: 31g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 24g Protein: 3g
Create a New Tradition Today!