Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting


Doing a double take? Yep, these are the edible versions of the cupcakes drawn at the top of this page! My buddy Thomas drew the cupcakes in the header image and I wanted to thank him by mailing him the actual, edible version of his drawings. Here’s hoping that Mr. UPS Guy will handle the box nicely!

But these cupcakes are not just for show, they’re tasty and vegan too! Well, they were vegan until I topped them with buttercream frosting… I opted for vegan cupcakes instead of ones with butter and eggs because I often find that vegan baked items are softer and more moist than their traditional counterparts. Must be that half a cup of oil!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
Yields 18
Total Time
1 min
Total Time
1 min
373 calories
53 g
27 g
18 g
2 g
7 g
93 g
139 g
40 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 373
Calories from Fat 155
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 27mg
Sodium 139mg
Total Carbohydrates 53g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 40g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  3. 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 cup warm coffee
  8. 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  9. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. 2 sticks of butter (softened at room temperature)
  2. 3-4 cups of powdered sugar
  3. 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  4. food dye optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. If you're making the buttercream frosting for these cupcakes, take the butter out of the fridge now, and leave it on the counter to soften. Otherwise, let's get going with the cupcakes. Make a small pot of coffee. Drink some, get a caffeine buzz, and reserve 1 cup of coffee for the cupcake.
  3. In a large bowl, we'll mix the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and coffee.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the coffee, oil and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine until everything is mixed together. The batter may be quite thick, and I've occasionally added a couple of tablespoons of water just to make it more manageable.
  5. Divide the batter into 18 medium-sized muffin cups and bake at 350 degres for about 25 minutes. Allow to cool on the countertop before frosting.
  1. This may be a basic recipe, but there are some very important rules that need to be followed, otherwise it's easy to ruin the frosting. First and foremost, the butter must be at room temperature. If it's been in the fridge or freezer, do not microwave it to soften it. It'll melt and the frosting will curdle. At this point, you just need patience, and just let the butter slowly warm up to room temperature; it's the only way, I promise. Second, sift the powdered sugar. This is how you avoid lumps in the frosting, and it'll come out smoother.
  2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachement, mix the softened butter for about a minute. Sift about 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low speed for about a minute. Add a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Then increase the speed to medium and mix for about 3 minutes. By now you should have a soft, white, smooth frosting. If you would like it thicker, for piping, you can add an additional cup of powdered sugar. I did for this recipe. More sugar makes the frosting harder, so it all depends how runny and liquidy you want it. If you feel like the frosting is too hard, just add a tablespoon of water. At this point you can add a couple of drops of food coloring if you'd like.
  1. The cupcakes are vegan, but the buttercream frosting is not.
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Adapted from Joy the Baker
A Kitchen Odyssey