These homemade chocolate cupcakes with creamy raspberry frosting taste like an indulgent, perfect little raspberry truffle.
- 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder*
- 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature*
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil (melted coconut oil works too)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk*
- 3/4 cups (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature*
- 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
- 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream*
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup (165g) thick raspberry preserves or jam*
- raspberries for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners – this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
- Make the cupcakes: In a large bowl, whisk the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently stir – about 5 stirs. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until *just* combined; do not overmix. The batter won’t be very thick.
- Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only halfway to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake in batches for 18-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature.
- Make the frosting: Beat softened butter on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes until completely smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add the raspberry preserves and beat until thick and creamy, about 2 full minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin, is separating (due to the fruity jam) or looks too wet. And then add more salt to offset added sweetness.
- Frost cooled cupcakes however you’d like. I simply used a small frosting knife to frost the cupcakes. Top with fresh raspberries if desired.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Decorate/assemble cupcakes immediately before serving. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- As a Cake: Use a 9 inch cake pan. Fill only halfway – there will be extra batter to make some cupcakes. I am unsure of the exact bake time for the cake. Around the 30 minute mark. 350°F (177°C) temperature.
- Cocoa Powder: Do not use dutch-process cocoa. Dutch-process is treated with an alkali to neutralize its acids and therefore will not react with the alkaline baking soda in the batter. Natural unsweetened is paired with the brown sugar and buttermilk to react with baking soda and maintain the proper balance of acid and alkaline as the cupcakes bake.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Room temperature eggs are required for the cupcakes. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, put them in a glass of warm water for 5-10 minutes. For the frosting, here is a photo of perfectly softened butter for making frosting. It’s not too soft, not melted in the slightest, slightly firm but not cold.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1/2 cup. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the cupcakes won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
- Heavy Cream: Heavy cream provides an extra creamy frosting. Feel free to use half-and-half or whole milk instead.
- Raspberry Preserves: I prefer Bonne Maman jams and preserves. You can find this brand at all major grocery stores. I do not suggest fresh or frozen raspberries with this butter based frosting.