Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

A few years ago, I found the best ever chocolate buttercream frosting recipe. Seriously, the best. The only problem was that I hadn’t found a chocolate cake recipe worthy of being paired with it. I was so desperate that it got to the point where I was trying two different cake recipes for each birthday or holiday in an attempt to speed up the process. Finally, a few months ago, I found what I was looking for: a moist chocolate cake that isn’t too sickeningly sweet. Thank you, Pinterest!  I made cupcakes based off of this recipe for Chocolate Stout Cake that night, and they were gone the next day.  I made them for Easter with extended family so we had some help but, to be honest, they probably would have been gone anyway.  They have earned their spot as my favorite chocolate cupcakes and I’ve been searching for a reason to make them again ever since!

As a late Father’s Day gift to my husband (and myself!), I made them again tonight and am thrilled to share the recipe with you:

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 cup Guinness (yes, that Guinness. As in the beer. Trust me!)

  • Set the oven at 350 degrees and line your cupcake pans.
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  • In a large bowl, melt the butter.  Next, add cocoa powder and stir until smooth.
  • Add sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs to the cocoa-butter mixture and whisk well.
  • Stir in half the flour mixture, followed by the yogurt and Guinness, and then the rest of the flour mixture.  Stir just until blended.
  • Spoon into cupcake pans and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Bonus tip: Since Guinness is not our favorite beer and it’s fairly expensive, I was excited to find that you can buy individual bottles at Trader Joe’s.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely (if you can!), while you make the world’s best icing.  Really. I’ve tried a few of the famous cupcake bakeries in DC and NYC, but their icings have nothing on this one.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (based off this vanilla buttercream recipe)

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted* butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I often add 2 because the more vanilla, the better in my mind!)
1-2 Tablespoons whipping cream

  • Use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment to combine the sugar and butter.  Mix on low speed until blended and then increase speed to medium.  Around this point, I always worry that I did something wrong because it looks all clumpy and dry.  But, keep on mixing.  It generally takes 3-5 minutes at medium speed until it becomes more creamy.
  • Add cocoa.  The amount will depend on how dark you like your chocolate.  I generally end up adding between 1/4-1/2 cup.  Taste lots of samples until it’s the way you like it.
  • Then, add the vanilla and mix.  Slowly add whipping cream, starting with 1 Tbsp and mixing on medium after each addition until it is the consistency you prefer.  If you want to use a piping bag, you’ll want the consistency to be fairly runny so that it will easily pipe through the bag.

In case you were wondering, like I was, it seems to be okay to leave the icing unrefrigerated (even though it contains butter and cream) because the sugar acts as a preservative.  I wouldn’t leave it out for days, but I’ve left iced cupcakes out overnight without a problem.

*Important update: Make sure to use unsalted butter.  If you use salted butter (like I did tonight), you’ll only have almost the best icing ever. Bummer.


5 thoughts on “Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

  1. KR June 21, 2012 / 7:22 am

    You can also try using a chocolate stoudt beer as well! Makes it even richer 🙂


    • beachmom June 21, 2012 / 4:41 pm

      Yum! That does sound good! I’d like to drink it too 🙂


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