I would be hard pressed to find a chocolate treat I don’t like. These triple chocolate cupcakes are all about an intense chocolate experience. I thought I would limit my quality control taste test to just one cupcake, but one thing led to another, and I’ll leave it at that. As an understatement, I’ll just say, I liked it.
The cupcakes contain cocoa powder, melted semi-sweet chocolate and mini chocolate chips for a triple dose. A small amount of instant espresso dissolved in water enhances the flavor and gives an extra dark color. To top them off, the frosting is made with melted chocolate, which actually made them more like quadruple chocolate cupcakes.
The frosting is similar to the recipe I used in my earlier posts. The only difference was, I scaled it down slightly so it was enough to frost two dozen regular size cupcakes and one dozen mini cupcakes. Without any extra frosting leftover, I was spared the temptation of constantly eating frosting by itself. I do find that the effort in making a large batch of anything is no more than making a smaller batch, so my thoughts are, if one is going to expend the time and effort anyway, one might want to go with the larger recipe. So if you’re more inclined to have a generous amount of chocolate frosting to pipe cupcakes to your heart’s content, then go for the larger chocolate frosting recipes in the Cherry Chocolate Chip Layer Cake and Chocolate Chip Cherry Cupcakes.
It’s funny how findings change over time. First we were supposed to avoid fats, then it turns out certain types of fat like olive oil and those found in nuts taken in moderation are actually good for you. And then there’s this study that certain types of dark chocolate in reasonable amounts can actually be beneficial. I would love a study that discovers a way to lose weight by eating glazed dough nuts and cheesecake, in my dreams.
I noticed that if I fill the cupcake liners to just about 2/3 full with batter, the cupcakes will mound because there is more space to rise. But if I fill the liners more generously, the cupcakes turn out flat. So since the cupcakes will rise anyway, I take care not to be overzealous in filling the cupcake liners. Doing so also stretches the batter and yields more cupcakes.
This recipe will yield about 30 medium cupcakes. For variety, I made two dozen regular size cupcakes and one dozen mini cupcakes. The cupcakes by themselves, plain and unfrosted, are already pretty good. Encountering mini chocolate chips in every other bite makes for a nice surprise and gives texture.
You can either pipe the frosting with a star tip or spread it with a spatula. I piped the frosting starting on the perimeter of the cupcake going inwards towards the center. The opposite way is fine too, if you start in the center in a circular motion going outwards. Anything goes. That’s what makes it fun.
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso dissolved in ½ cup water
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 6 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate or 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate
- ¾ cup skim milk
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Line muffin pans with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350F.
- Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Stir instant espresso in ½ cup water.
- On medium speed using a flat beater, beat oil and sugar together until smooth.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating enough to blend after each addition.
- Pour in the dissolved espresso and mix well.
- Mixer speed on low, add ⅓ of the dry ingredients alternating with ½ of the buttermilk. Add ½ of the remaining dry ingredients followed by the rest of the buttermilk. End with the last ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Beat only until blended. Do not overbeat.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix to combine.
- Add the vanilla extract beating just until blended.
- Add the mini chocolate chips and beat on low to distribute throughout the batter.
- Use an ice cream scoop to fill the prepared muffin pans.
- Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes for medium cupcakes or for mini cupcakes, about 15 minutes Allow to cool on cooling racks for about 5 minutes then remove cupcakes from muffin pans and allow to cool thoroughly.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- In a large pot, on medium heat, bring milk to a near boil while whisking.
- Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar all at once. Whisk thoroughly until smooth and free of lumps. Set aside to cool to about lukewarm.
- On medium speed, using a flat beater, beat butter until smooth. Add salt and mix to combine. Switch mixer speed to low and gradually pour the sugar mixture. Beat until smooth and well combined.
- Add the chocolate and mix well. Add vanilla extract, mix to combine. Slightly increase speed and beat frosting until smooth and shiny. Store in an airtight container if not using immediately.
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes