A small batch of 6 chocolate cupcakes, made in only one bowl, and topped with vanilla buttercream frosting.
My husband and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary. TEN years! That makes me feel old – like a real grown-up. When the heck did that happen?! I will say though, I’m so happy to be at the stage of life that we’re in. Even though we are going non-stop with the demands of our two young children, I know that these are the days I’m going to look back at fondly in years to come.
On our anniversary, we spent the day as a family. We made plans to go out for dinner, and I wanted to have a little something sweet to finish the day with. Since it was just the four of us (one of which doesn’t yet eat solid food), I didn’t want to make anything too big or labor intensive. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a small batch of six chocolate cupcakes.
This is a super simple cupcake recipe made in only one bowl. The cupcakes are moist and light with a mild chocolate flavor. I topped them with a vanilla buttercream frosting because I love the combo of chocolate and vanilla together. And since I was making these for a special occasion, I took the extra step of making chocolate hearts to top the cupcakes with. Feel free to skip the chocolate hearts, or make another design of your choosing.
To make chocolate shapes: Melt chocolate chips (I used 1/2 cup) in a microwave or double boiler. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer into a plastic bag. Snip off a small corner of the plastic bag and squeeze the melted chocolate into desired patterns on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator for the chocolate to firm up.
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- heaping ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup hot coffee (see note)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons milk, half and half, or cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 6 muffin cups or place 6 liners in a muffin pan. Set aside.
- With a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add egg, milk, oil, and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes. Add hot coffee or hot water, and beat until just combined. Batter will be thin.
- Divide evenly between 6 prepared muffin cups. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the tops spring back when you touch them, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Beat butter and powdered sugar for several minutes, until smooth. Add vanilla extract and milk, and beat for several more minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting seems a little too thick, beat in a splash of milk. If it seems too thin, add another tablespoon of powdered sugar.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes using a decorating tip or a butter knife. Garnish with sprinkles, if desired.
Chocolate hearts inspired by Uproot from Oregon
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