Ultra Rich Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Welcome to February! With Valentine's Day coming up in a couple weeks, it's time to think about decadent chocolate desserts. But let's be honest and admit that we never stopped! Between now and Cupid's big hurrah, I'll be offering a couple of my favorite dark chocolate desserts. Dark chocolate is my favorite and that's been what I've been craving.

Unlike a lot of chocolate cake/cupcake recipes, this one manages to be delightfully moist and tender without being dense like a brownie. No hate on brownies ... I just sometimes want something that is definitely airy like cake without also seeming dry. This one hits those spots well. If you are a fan of coffee or intensely chocolatey flavor, add a teaspoon of espresso powder to this recipe too -- it's not so much for coffee flavor as much as dialing the chocolate flavor up to eleven.

I like frosting these with intensely thick ganache, but feel free to use chocolate buttercream, fudge frosting, or any other topping you prefer. Heck, lightly spiked whipped cream would work too. Just make it festive. I dusted mine with red sugar sprinkles, but you could use chocolate shavings or even a single truffle. However you finish them, make it something you love. After all, we're heading for Valentine's Day!

Ultra Rich Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

  • ¾ c.all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • ½ c. packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ c. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ c. buttermilk (or 2 tsp. cider vinegar in a measuring cup + enough milk to bring it to ½ cup in total)
  • Chocolate ganache, for frosting

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, canola oil, and vanilla together until combined. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently whisk for a few seconds. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until just combined; do not overmix. The batter will be thin.

Pour the batter into the liners, filling about ⅔ full.

Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Frost cooled cupcakes with chocolate ganache or another frosting you prefer. Red sugar sprinkles are optional, but very pretty and festive.

  • Yields: 12 cupcakes
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes

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