It’s my birthday*, and all I want is chocolate cupcakes. Soooo here is a recipe for small-batch birthday chocolate cupcakes. They whip up nice and quickly, will absolutely hit any chocolate lover’s cravings, and are simple but also cute.
*My birthday was actually yesterday, but I gave myself the gift of not having to edit on my birthday. 🙂
If you’re making these for a party, rather than just for yourself like I did, doubling the recipe is no problem. To make 12 cupcakes, just double all the ingredients listed, following the same instructions.
When diving into this recipe, you’ll likely want to prep chocolate ganache first. It needs at least an hour sitting out at room temperature to set to the perfect consistency. While the temptation to pop it in the fridge for a speedier setting might be strong, it’s best to resist. Refrigeration can lead to the ganache becoming too hard or even causing it to split, which we definitely want to avoid. So, be patient and allow it to set at room temperature. Trust me, it’ll be worth the wait for that velvety, luscious texture we’re aiming for!
If it does split, don’t stress! It can be saved. Just remove a small portion of it, place it in a separate bowl, and microwave until liquid again. Then pour this back into the ganache, and mix mix MIX until it’s re-combined. This should help emulsify the fats again.
For decor, feel free to use any piping tip or just spoon the frosting right onto the cupcakes in large dollops. We don’t judge based on presentation here, only flavour!
Here’s a short video showing the process:
And the full length video:
Birthday Chocolate Cupcakes
- ½ cup Flour
- ½ cup Sugar
- ¼ cup Cocoa Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Espresso Powder
- 1 Egg
- ¼ cup 35% Cream
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 tablespoons Hot Water
- 340 grams Dark Chocolate
- 1 cup 35% Cream
- 1 teaspoon Flakey Sea Salt *reduce to ½ teaspoon if using regular table salt
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- Rainbow Nonpareils
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. This recipe makes approximately 6 cupcakes.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg, then add milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
- Mix the espresso powder into the dry ingredients and add the hot water to the wet ingredients. Stir until smooth.
- Gradually pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; a few lumps are okay.
- Divide the cupcake batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 full.
- Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. Chop the dark chocolate into small pieces and place it in a heatproof bowl.
- Microwave the cream until hot but not boiling, then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Add the butter. Let it sit for a minute to melt the chocolate.
- Stir the mixture until smooth, then add the flakey sea salt. Continue to stir until everything is well combined.
- Allow the frosting to set until it reaches the texture of peanut butter.
- Once the frosting has reached the desired texture, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
- Pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake.
- Sprinkle rainbow nonpareils on top of the frosting for a colourful birthday touch!
- Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, refrigerate them for up to 4-5 days.
- Allow the chocolate frosting to set until it reaches the texture of peanut butter before piping it onto the cupcakes. This ensures a smooth and creamy frosting.
- These cupcakes are best enjoyed at room temperature. If refrigerated, let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving to bring out their full flavour and texture.