Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

My wife loves chocolate. For her birthday, I wanted to deliver. I used a family-favorite chocolate cake recipe and made cupcakes. Then I covered those cupcakes in a decadent fudge frosting.

The cake recipe comes from my wife’s grandmother; the chocolate frosting is from King Arthur Flour. The cake and frosting make a great combination. The frosting is creamy and rich – and yes, fudgey – without being too thick and overwhelming.

The cupcakes use a boxed cake recipe as their base, so they are easy to put together. The frosting isn’t very challenging to make, either.

This recipe makes 18 large cupcakes or 24 medium cupcakes. It also works very well in bundt cake form.

Cupcake ingredients:

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Fudge)
  • 1 small package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 eggs

Frosting ingredients:

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all the cake ingredients in a large bowl and beat or mix by hand until thoroughly combined.



Step 2. Line cupcake pans with liners or grease well. If baking as a bundt cake, grease cake pan. Divide the cake batter and fill the tins. I baked 18 cupcakes and they barely fit, but 24 cupcakes would probably be too small. Pick the number you want to bake.

Step 3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. If baking in a bundt pan, cook for about 60 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. (I whipped up the cupcakes in the evening, then frosted them the next morning.)

Step 4. Start the frosting by melting the butter in a small saucepan. When it is melted, add the salt, cocoa powder and sour cream. Whisk together and bring to a boil.



Step 5. While the butter is melting, sift the powdered sugar. Then add  the vanilla.




Step 6. Add the hot chocolate mixture to the powdered sugar, then mix until well-combined.




Step 7. Actually icing these cupcakes is the trickiest step. This frosting is poured on hot, and when it cools it forms a nice smooth shell. I found one soup spoon-sized spoonful of frosting was enough for my large cupcakes. Because the frosting is thin while it is hot, some will inevitably run down the sides. This is good, because it ensures even coverage. Just frost these cupcakes on a sheet pan that is easy to clean up. Also make sure that the cupcakes aren’t touching each other, so the icing spreads evenly.

You’ll inevitably need to spread on the frosting for the final cupcake or so, rather than pour it on. this leads to a coating that isn’t quite as smooth (spread vs. poured frosting in the photo). Of course the frosting tastes just as good, and it still develops the same hard shell. It just isn’t as glassy smooth.

This is a cupcake recipe that’s easy to make and execute. Pack the cupcakes in some cardboard boxes and you’ll look like a professional.

  • Jen

    What a birthday treat!

  • Danya

    i didn’t spoon on the frosting but dipped them in.  worked great, very even coverage with little dripping

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