Easy Homemade Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Rainbow Sprinkles – So much better than box mix!!
for the cupcakes:
1 cup organic cane sugar
3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cups + 2 Tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if needed
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)¹
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
for the chocolate buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 to 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1–2 Tbsp milk, to taste
make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350. Line your muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed for two minutes. Stir in the boiling water until combined. The batter will be thin. Divide between the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake for 22-25 minutes until the cupcakes are gently domed and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely before frosting and decorating.
make the chocolate buttercream:
Using a stand up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a hand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the sifted cocoa and powdered sugar, a half cup or so at a time, until the frosting is thick and creamy. Drizzle in the milk until the buttercream frosting reaches your desired consistency. It should be spreadable, but thick enough to hold its shape on the cupcakes.
Spread the frosting on with a knife, or pipe into a decorative design. Top with sprinkles. Enjoy!
¹ The espresso powder can be omitted if baking these for children (there is a tiny, negligible amount of caffeine), but I like to add just a pinch to most chocolate recipes. It won’t add a discernible coffee flavor, but much like vanilla, enhances the natural chocolate flavors of the cake.