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Hi Bold Bakers!
Today’s recipe for Black Cocoa Cupcakes was written by Dee, one of our Bold Baking Network experts and founder of One Sarcastic Baker. Check out some of the other wonderful recipes she’s shared as part of the Bold Baking Network, like her Hannukkah Apple Fritters, Chocolate Tahini Cookies, Passover Cream Puffs, and Spiced Apple Cake!
My Black Cocoa Cupcake recipe is perfect for your New Year’s Eve celebration — or any time you need a tender, moist, and fluffy cupcake and chocolate fix. The black cocoa powder gives them a fascinating dramatic appearance and, together with some gold sprinkles, it’s like a firework show on the last night of the year.
What I like the most about these cupcakes is that they are really perfect for any occasion. Think of them like your favorite black dress; it never goes out of style.
I have been curious about black cocoa powder for quite some time; its dark black color gave me the impression of a powerful and intense chocolate flavor. Imagine how surprised I was to discover the complete opposite. Black cocoa powder is great for appearance but not so much for deep chocolate flavors.
Of course, this is just my humble opinion — you might love the subtle chocolate flavor of black cocoa powder. But even if you are a die-hard chocolate fan, there is nothing a cup of dark chocolate chips can’t fix. So I feel confident to say this cupcake recipe is most definitely for the whole spectrum of chocolate lovers out there!
Table Of Contents
- What Is Black Cocoa Powder?
- What Do Black Cocoa Cupcakes Taste Like?
- Tools You Need To Make Cupcakes
- Black Cocoa Cupcake Substitutions And Ingredients
- How To Make New Year’s Eve Black Cocoa Cupcakes
- Frosting And Decorating Cupcakes
- Can You Make Cupcakes Ahead Of Time? Storing Black Cocoa Cupcakes
- More Recipes From The Bold Baking Network
Black cocoa powder is an unsweetened natural cocoa powder that has been alkalized a few times. The alkalization process removes the acid from the powder, and as a result, the cocoa gets darker.
The cupcakes have a very mild chocolate flavor; the darker the powder, the milder the chocolate flavor. This recipe calls for mini chocolate chips to enhance the chocolate flavor.
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 cupcake pans
- Mixing bowls
- 18 paper liners, reusable cupcake liners, or parchment paper
In addition to basic ingredients such as flour, eggs, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda, here are a few more key ingredients these chocolate cupcakes call for:
- Black Cocoa: To give us the dark, dramatic black color. If you don’t have black cocoa powder, you can adapt this recipe and use Dutch Cocoa Powder or a combination of dark and natural (Dutch) cocoa powder.
- Hot Coffee: The high temperature coming from the hot coffee will bloom the cocoa powder and extract the flavors into the batter. Also, coffee enhances the chocolate flavor, so the stronger the coffee, the better. If you are not a fan of coffee, use hot water, but please remember that the coffee helps to bring out the chocolate flavor, it will not cause the cupcakes to taste like coffee.
- Half And Half: Half and half will increase the fat in the recipe and provide flavor; you can replace it with milk, heavy cream, sour cream, or buttermilk.
- Vegetable Oil: This recipe is rich in flour and cocoa starches; the oil coats the starches and prolongs the cupcake’s freshness. You can replace it with melted butter, but it is not recommended since it solidifies as it cools down.
- Dark Chocolate Chips: Black cocoa powder has a very mild chocolate flavor; the chocolate chips will provide more of a chocolatey taste.
This is a quick, no-mixer recipe you can make last minute or ahead of time.
- In separate bowls, mix the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, leaveners, salt, and sugar) and wet ingredients, excluding the coffee (half and half, eggs, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil.)
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to blend.
- Pour the hot coffee and mix to blend.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, divide the batter between the cupcake liners, and bake.
Even though I made these cupcakes as a New Year’s Eve celebration, the sky’s the limit. While I frosted them with traditional Vanilla Buttercream and decorated them with black and gold sprinkles, Chocolate Ganache, Swiss Meringue Buttercream, or Chocolate Buttercream are all excellent options. And the same goes for decoration; simply match the sprinkles to your special (or everyday) occasion.
Store the cupcakes at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 3 weeks.
To make ahead, make and bake the cupcakes, then freeze them. When you are ready to serve, let them come to room temperature and frost them.
Can I use natural or Dutch cocoa powder?
Yes, note that it will change the color of the cupcakes.
Can I skip the chocolate chips?
Yes, but the chocolate flavor will be very mild.
Can I bake this cupcake recipe as a cake?
Yes, it will yield two thin 8-inch cakes or three 6-inch cakes.
Bigger Bolder Baking is thrilled to introduce you to the Bold Baking Network, a team of talented chefs, creators, and experts looking to teach, entertain and help you on your baking journey. Here are more articles from our amazing collaborators!
Black Cocoa Cupcakes
- 1 ½ cups (180 g/6 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups (250 g/9 oz) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (45 g/1.5 oz) black cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- ¾ cup (180 ml/6 oz) half and half, at room temperature
- ½ cup (120 ml/4 fl oz) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120 ml/4 fl oz) hot coffee
- 1 cup (170 g/5.5 oz) mini chocolate chips
- Swiss Meringue Frosting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line 2 cupcake pans with 18 paper liners.
- Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Mix the eggs, half and half, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then pour it over the dry mixture and stir to blend.
- Pour the hot coffee over the mixture and blend.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and divide the mixture between the cupcake liners. Each should be about ¾ full.
- Bake for about 25 minutes on the middle shelf until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely before frosting them with Swiss Meringue Buttercream and decorating them with sprinkles.
- Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.