Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


I had the honor of throwing my wonderful (and very pregnant!) friend, Kelly, a baby shower this weekend. When planning the menu, I asked for her favorite kind of cupcake and she enthusiastically replied with “chocolate with vanilla frosting!” I took a little liberty with the frosting and opted to go with cream cheese frosting because it is delicious and amazing and life-affirming. Or something. I snacked on enough of it while trying to wield a pastry bag that my pants are little tighter today. Worth it. 

As for the cake? I made a similar cupcake months ago using Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake recipe and, while it was good, I wanted to try the Cook’s Illustrated version because if the recipe made the cut at America’s Test Kitchen, surely it would be a revelation in mine. And it was. 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields 24
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For the cupcakes
  1. 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  2. 2/3 cup dutch-processed cocoa
  3. 1 1/2 cup hot coffee
  4. 1 1/2 cup bread flour
  5. 1 1/2 cup sugar
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 3/4 cup oil
  9. 4 large eggs
  10. 4 tsp vinegar
  11. 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting
  1. 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
  2. 1/2 cup salted butter
  3. 2 cups powdered sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a standard size muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Place chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl. Pour hot coffee over mixture and cover for 5 minutes. Then whisk until combined and smooth. Set aside until it cools completely.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk flour, sugar, salt and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. Next, whisk oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla into the cooled chocolate/coffee mixture until smooth. Slowly add in the flour, whisking to combine until smooth.
  5. Divide the batter evenly in the cupcake liners (I like to use a 1/4 measuring cup to ensure uniformity).
  6. Bake until cupcakes are set and just firm to touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting
  1. Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer (or a hand mixer), whip together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar and whip until smooth and fully incorporated (4-5 minutes).
  2. Frost cupcakes as desired.
  3. Enjoy!
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated & Our Best Bites
Oliver & Belle