This is the perfect recipe for a small batch of 6 soft and fluffy chocolate cupcakes. The cupcakes are quick and easy (made in one bowl) and topped with vanilla buttercream frosting.
We love small batch recipes! These cupcakes join our Small Batch Brownies and Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies. Prefer a vanilla cupcake? Try our Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes.
These cupcakes are
Quick and easy: The batter comes together in one bowl, in minutes!
Soft and fluffy: These cupcakes have a beautiful dome and a fluffy texture.
Flavorful: The chocolate flavor is enhanced with a bit of coffee (more on this below) and rounded out with smooth vanilla frosting.
Perfect for small celebrations: Celebrating with just a few people? This recipe is a great option that won’t leave you with a bunch of leftovers.
*Full recipe below in recipe card*
Make the cupcakes:
- Combine dry ingredients.
- Add egg, oil, milk, and vanilla.
- Add hot coffee.
Divide the batter between six lined muffin cups.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the cupcakes have puffed up and a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean.
Make the vanilla buttercream frosting:
Combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk.
Pipe or spread the frosting onto each cupcake. Topped with sprinkles or chocolate shavings.
Special ingredient: hot coffee
Maybe you’ve seen espresso powder or instant coffee added to cookies or brownies to enhance the flavor? We’re using the same technique here. Adding coffee (instead of water) helps intensify the chocolate flavor in these cupcakes. And using hot coffee helps to draw out even more rich flavor from the cocoa powder.
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Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup hot coffee, see note
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon milk, half and half, or cream, plus more, if needed
- 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 until well combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Add hot coffee and beat until just combined. Batter will be thin.
- Divide evenly between 6 prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15-18 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 or chocolate shavings, if desired.
Nutritional Information is an estimate based on third-party calculations and may vary based on products used and serving sizes.
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