I am a big fan of dark chocolate. I actually prefer 60% cacao or even 72% or even 80% to milk chocolate! I love the rich cocoa flavor without it being overly sweet. Do any of you feel the same way?
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
If you like dark chocolate, or even if you just plain like chocolate, I think you’ll love these very chocolaty cupcakes! They’re made with more unsweetened cocoa powder than you would normally use in a chocolate cupcake recipe, which gives them a rich dark chocolate flavor. That, and the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed in the batter…yum!
If you end up having left over frosting, refrigerate what’s left and use later on something else. You can thin it out with some milk and use it as a glaze over a bundt cake. If you’re a light froster and have a lot left over, you can probably halve the frosting recipe the next time you make it. I always like to go heavier on the frosting, so I usually don’t have much left when I’m done!
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups milk (or for richer cupcakes, use Half & Half/light cream)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup milk or Half & Half (light cream)
- Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chips for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. In large bowl, mix flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and baking soda together.
- In medium bowl, cream sugar and softened butter together; add milk (or Half & Half), eggs, and vanilla; blend well. Add this mixture to dry ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Stir the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter.
- Fill two cupcake pans with liners, and spoon batter into liners, about 2/3 full (be sure to use liners because you’ll have problems with these sticking to the pan if you don’t). Bake 16 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick in center comes out clean (actually, the toothpick won’t come out completely clean because of the melted chocolate chips in the batter, but you should be able to tell if the batter is finished baking). Let cupcakes cool 5 to 10 minutes before removing from pan, and cool them completely before frosting them. NOTE: these cupcakes will either have level tops, or they may sink in a little in the center, but that’s OK–they do that because they’re rich and dense. The scoop of frosting you will be putting on them will disguise the flat or indented cupcake tops.
- Now for the frosting…blend the softened butter and unsweetened cocoa powder. Stir in half of the milk (or Half & Half), and 3 cups of the confectioners’ sugar; blend until creamy. Add the remaining milk (or Half & Half) and confectioners’ sugar, and mix again until smooth and creamy.
- When cupcakes are completely cool, use any kind of round scoop you have that’s about a Tablespoon in size, and put a scoop of frosting in the center of each cupcake. If you don’t like a lot of frosting, just put a level scoop on. If you love frosting like I do, put a heaping scoop on! You’ll have plenty of frosting to work with, so you don’t have to skimp. After you put a scoop of frosting on all the cupcakes, dust them lightly with confectioners’ sugar, and then add the finishing touch–a Ghirardelli 60% Cacao chip on the top center of each frosting scoop.