Black Velvet Cupcakes

14 cupcakes
38 min

Get ready for the spooky season with these moist black velvet cupcakes!

These cupcakes are naturally dyed with black cocoa powder, giving you this intense black colour and delicious chocolate taste. It’s frosted with a creamy black cocoa buttercream. Plus – the whole recipe only takes 20 minutes to prep!

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These cupcakes are very similar to red velvet cupcakes, they’re made with buttermilk and vinegar which gives you a fluffy texture. Instead of being dyed with red food coloring, they’re naturally dyed with black cocoa powder.


I topped my cupcakes with Sweetapolita sprinkles for Halloween.


Tell me about this recipe!

  • These black velvet cupcakes take under 20 minutes to prep, so it is the perfect recipe if you need to bake something quickly for a party or event.
  • This is an oil based recipe, meaning no butter in the cupcakes! This will give you a deliciously moist and fluffy cupcake.
  • They’re topped with a very simple American buttercream recipe, flavored with black cocoa powder.


Ingredients needed

Cupcake Ingredients
Frosting Ingredients

The printable recipe card with the full list of ingredients and instructions can be found at the bottom of this post.


  • Black Cocoa Powder: black cocoa powder is ultra-dutch processed, making it extra dark and smooth. It almost tastes like an Oreo cookie. If you can’t find black cocoa powder, substitute an equal amount of dutch-processed cocoa powder. Just note if you do this, the frosting and cupcake won’t be black. These mocha cupcakes use dutch-process cocoa powder, just to give you an idea of what it would look like.
  • Oil: make sure to use a neutral oil like vegetable oil, rapeseed oil or canola oil. This will make your black velvet cupcakes extra moist!
  • Vinegar: don’t miss this out! Vinegar reacts with the baking soda and gives you an extra fluffy cake.


How to make this recipe

Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.


Step 2: In a large jug, whisk the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar and two sugars until smooth

Step 3: Pour the wet mixture into the flour, stirring until it is just about smooth – be careful not to overmix the batter


Step 4: Fill your cupcake liners half way and bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees. A toothpick inserted will come out with just a few crumbs.

Step 5: In your stand mixer, slowly beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together until fully mixed. Increase the speed to medium and beat for another 2 minutes.


Step 6: Stop your mixer and add your vanilla, salt and cocoa powder. Start by beating slowly so the cocoa powder doesn’t fly everywhere! Once it’s combined, increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. Turn the speed to low and slowly pour in your heavy cream. Beat until it is creamy and spreadable.

Recipe Tips

  • I highly recommend using a weighing scale and measuring out your ingredients the metric way. It makes a huge difference to your baking and is the most accurate way to bake!
  • I make sure that all of my ingredients are at room temperature before I start the recipe, so pull out all of the ingredients about 2 hours before you start baking.
  • Only fill up your cupcake liners to half of the way, if you fill it up any further they will overflow in the oven!
  • I used a Wilton 1M tip to frost my cupcakes.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is black velvet cake made of? Black velvet is really similar to red velvet, combining buttermilk with vinegar. Black velvet cupcakes though are made with black cocoa powder instead of regular cocoa powder.

This recipe makes 14 cupcakes, but I only have one 12-cup cupcake tray?Once you’ve filled the 12 liners, keep the rest of the batter at room temperature while the first 12 are baking. Once you’ve taken them out of the oven, let them cool for 5-10 minutes. Take them out to cool on a cooling rack, then bake the remaining 2 cupcakes.

How do I store these? Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating.

Where can I find black cocoa powder? Most stores won’t stock black cocoa powder, so you’ll have to find it online! I bought the brand De Zaan, but King Arthur and Van Houten also make it.

More chocolate recipes to try

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

Chocolate Walnut Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Make sure to tag me on Instagram @alpineella and leave a review below if you’ve made this recipe! If you want more baking ideas, you can follow me on Pinterest


Recipe

Recipe details

  • 14  cupcakes
  • Prep time: 18 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 38 min
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Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • ▢ 95 grams all purpose flour ( 3/4 cup)
  • ▢ 43 grams black cocoa powder ( 1/2 cup)
  • ▢ 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ▢ 2 eggs room temperature
  • ▢ 100 grams sugar ( 1/2 cup)
  • ▢ 100 grams light brown sugar ( 1/2 cup)
  • ▢ 50 ml vegetable oil ( 1/4 cup)
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ▢ 113 grams buttermilk ( 1/2 cup) room temperature
  • ▢ 2 teaspoon white vinegar

Frosting

  • ▢ 226 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks) room temperature
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ▢ 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ▢ 339 grams confectioners' sugar (3 cups)
  • ▢ 60 ml heavy cream ( 1/4 cup)
  • ▢ 75 grams black cocoa powder ( 3/4 cup)

Instructions

Make cupcakes

Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C and place 12 cupcake liners in your muffin tray. This recipe makes about 14 cupcakes, so you will need to make these in two batches.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, black cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large jug, whisk the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar and two sugars until smooth
Pour the wet mixture into the flour, stirring until it is just about smooth – we don't want to over mix the batter!
Fill the cupcake liners half of the way and bake for 18-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out clean.
Allow the cupcakes to cool for 15 minutes in the tray, then take them out and place on a cooling rack. Bake the last two cupcakes.

Make Frosting

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together on low speed until well combined.
Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for a 2 minutes until it becomes very thick.
Stop the mixer and add the salt, vanilla, and cocoa powder into the bowl. Begin by beating slowly, then increase to medium-high speed for another 2 minutes
Turn the mixer to your lowest speed and pour in the heavy cream. Beat until it becomes very creamy and spreadable.
I used a Wilton 1M piping tip to frost my cupcakes.

Tips

  • My recipes have been developed and tested in metric grams. I highly recommend using a weighing scale and measuring out your ingredients the metric way. I have provided a conversion to US cups but please note that I haven’t tested the recipe with this method.
  • Room Temperature: I make sure that all of my ingredients are at room temperature before I start the recipe, so pull out all of the ingredients before you start baking.
  • Butter: I use European style butter, like Kerry Gold, in my recipes. This will make your frosting much creamier and richer.
  • Salt: If you don’t have kosher salt, halve the amount of salt called for in the recipe. 1 teaspoon kosher salt = ½ teaspoon fine salt.
  • Cocoa Powder: I’m using black cocoa powder in this recipe. I recommend the brands De Zaan, King Arthur, or Van Houten. If you don’t have black cocoa powder then you can substitute an equal amount of dutch-process cocoa powder, but please note that it won’t be as dark.
  • Storage: Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating.

Alpine Ella
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Comments

  • Gen49787687 Gen49787687 on Oct 30, 2021

    If we don't have brown sugar then what we have to use in substitute

    • Alpine Ella Alpine Ella on Oct 31, 2021

      Unfortunately I have only made this cupcakes using light brown sugar, so I don't have a substitute!

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