It's about time we had a staple chocolate cupcake recipe around here, don't you think? Fancy versions with whipped ganache are cool and all, but sometimes a classic is exactly what you need. And this here ➝ chocolate cupcake, chocolate buttercream, + sprinkles ➝ is most definitely a classic.
When you write a food blog it's hard not to feel like every recipe needs to have some sort of super-creative twist to it, but the truth is that there's a reason why certain things never tire out - like regular ol' banana bread and red velvet cupcakes: they're comfort foods. We've known them forever, so in a lot of ways, I think they stay so relevant because they remind us of being a kid. We all need that reminder sometimes, so therefore I think we all need chocolate cupcakes sometimes, just for a little bit of simple happiness. You feel my logic? :) And since these cupcakes are dedicated to kids in support of Cookies for Kids' Cancer, a classic with sprinkles is exactly what's called for.
So here's what we've got going on: super moist chocolate cupcakes, rich and creamy chocolate buttercream, and tonstonstons of rainbow sprinkles to top it all off. Oh, and just a little squiggle of Nutella for a finishing touch, because what kid doesn't love Nutella?! Gourmet? Probably not. Fantastic anyway? Oh YES.
A big thank you to OXO for providing a few special tools to make this post possible - their Non-Stick Pro 12 Cup Muffin Pan, Cupcake Icing Knife, and 4 Piece Baker’s Silicone Decorating Bottle Kit - and even more so for sponsoring the Good Cookies campaign to raise money for kids' cancer. You can help support their cause by purchasing products marked with the Cookies for Kids' Cancer sticker on select OXO baking items in stores. :)
Classic Chocolate Cupcakes
A classic to keep in your recipe repertoir - moist chocolate cupcakes topped with a rich chocolate buttercream and tons of rainbow sprinkles.
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 11-12 cupcakes 1x
- 2 ⅞ ounces (⅔ cup, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
- 2 ⅜ ounces (⅔ cup) good-quality cocoa powder (not dutch-process)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 ¼ ounces (¾ cup) granulated sugar
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) canola/vegetable oil
- 1 egg, room temperature*
- 4 ounces (½ cup) espresso or strongly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 ounces (¾ cup) salted butter, softened
- 6 ounces (1 ½ cups) confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1 ¾ ounces (½ cup) cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 ⅝ ounces (¼ cup) Nutella
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- rainbow jimmies
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg, espresso/coffee and vanilla until smooth.
- Add dry ingredients to wet and stir/fold in just until evenly incorporated; batter does not need to be perfectly smooth.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups, filling each about ⅔ of the way, to make 11-12 cupcakes.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes in pan, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until fluffy. Decrease speed to low and gradually add confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder, beating in until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to beat until smooth, creamy, and lighter in consistancy. Beat in Nutella, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated.
- Using an offset icing spatula, scoop a large dollop of frosting on top of each cupcake and spread to cover surface of cupcake, keep frosting mounded in center. Holding spatula at an angle, smooth out frosting around sides of cupcake to form a cone base (note that sides don't need to look perfect since they'll be covered by sprinkles). Use icing spatula to smooth and level frosting in center.
- Cup sprinkles in palm of hand and scoop onto slanted sides of cupcakes. Add a small amount of Nutella to an OXO Silicone Decorating Bottle fitted with the small round tip (or a piping bag fitted with a small round tip) and pipe a squiggle of Nutella onto the center of each cupcake.
- Cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.
*To quickly bring an egg to room temperature, place in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before using.
- Cookies for Kids' Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids' Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.
- OXO will be donating $100 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for each blog post dedicated to this campaign in October (up to our $100,000 commitment*.)
- *In 2015, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer through product proceeds, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts