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Baking is sacred. Its methodical measurements are therapeutic. The precision required to ensure that one baked good is as close to perfection as possible is a challenge. A challenge that somehow calms me and makes me appreciate the end result that much more.


I rarely bake with chocolate. Honestly, I’m more of a vanilla kind of girl. On this overcast Sunday afternoon, however, I was inspired to use cocoa. Its warmth and immediate soothing qualities were just what I needed. Not to mention, there’s an added layer of decadence when a cupcake is layered with rich, creamy chocolate frosting.


I modified this recipe to create the most perfect Buttermilk Chocolate Cupcakes I’ve ever tasted.
First, ingredients.




1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup baking cocoa (the quality matters, here!)
2 tablespoons ground espresso beans
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water


1/2 cup butter, softened
3-3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (unsweetened is very important!)
6-8 tablespoons evaporated milk (you may need to add more in order to get the frosting consistency you like)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sprinkles if you’re feeling fancy


Making the Magic: 
Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.


CBC_dry ingredients


Combine buttermilk and water. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and water, beating well after each addition.




Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full (no, really. 2/3. No one likes a big muffin top).




Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool at least 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.


For frosting, in a small bowl (that I put in the freezer for a few minutes to get nice and cold), beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until it’s all well-blended. It will not be smooth. Beat in melted chocolate, milk, vanilla and salt. 


After the cupcakes have truly cooled (like, really cool to the touch. Don’t get anxious here!), you may frost.




And then you will be left with the most beautiful, perfect chocolate cupcakes.





After indulging in a couple of these cupcakes (the rest came to work with me!), I’m inspired to keep baking with chocolate.


What’s your favorite chocolate dessert?

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