I have a confession to make – I have a major cupcake addiction. I like cupcakes more than cake because they are just so easy to make! In fact, my addiction was slightly out of hand last week, and I ended up making 4 different types of cupcakes because I had a huge craving. This means that I will be sharing my cupcake recipes with you so that you can start your own addiction.
In the past, I used to love store bought vanilla cupcakes because I felt that homemade never lived up to that flavour profile. However, ever since I made the perfect Funfetti Cupcakes, I am a firm believer that homemade is way better than store bought when it comes to vanilla cupcakes. Conversely, I prefer homemade chocolate cupcakes to store bought. I am a chocolate fanatic, and the recipe I used to use involved no butter! I like no-butter recipes, especially when I forget to take the butter out to get to room temperature and a massive craving hits.
However, the past few times I made no-butter chocolate cupcakes, I felt that the flavour really lacked. In fact, I started to notice a slightly bitter taste in the cupcakes. I thought that maybe I was using baking soda or baking powder that was too old. But the flavour didn’t change once I used new leaveners. Then I realized that perhaps it was the oil that was the problem. While vegetable oil renders a softer and moister cake, I realized the flavour wasn’t meshing well with the rest of the ingredients.
I personally believe chocolate cupcakes should stand out by themselves, and that the buttercream is just an enhancement. That is when I decided to go back to the basics – with butter. Butter inevitably makes all baked goods taste 99 thousand times better. Yes, I do think vegetable oil has its time and place (like in my Bourbon Caramel Carrot Cake), but sometimes you have to just stick to the basics.
My chocolate cupcakes (and all my other cupcakes) use butter. That is because you aren’t going to achieve the same taste, the same tender crumb, the same creamy goodness with any other ingredient but butter!
BEST EVER BUTTER BASED CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
You already know that butter is a staple in this ingredient, but there are two other ingredients that are non-negotiable. Greek yogurt and buttermilk. The combination of the two ensures that your cupcakes stay moist 4 days later (I know right!!). You can make buttermilk at home by adding a 1 tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar per 1 cup of milk.
I always add coffee extract to anything chocolate so that the chocolate flavour is magnified. You can omit this step – but personally, I think it adds depth to the overall character of this cupcake. Finally, I like to frost my chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream. This time around I did vanilla because I wanted the chocolate flavour of the cupcakes to really stand out!
This is my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe. This recipe yields a cupcake that is moist and soft with the perfect crumb. Pair this cupcake with a basic vanilla buttercream!
You can find my recipe for American buttercream right here! For that chocolate flavour I like to add 3 tbsp of cocoa powder to my frosting. If it is too thick, add a small splash of cream or milk!