For the last few months, I was involved in the best challenge ever – I was one of 50 Explorers who had the opportunity to find the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Recipe. Stef from Cupcake Project asked us to test out her recipe for the perfect chocolate cupcake, and keep the recipe a secret until she got the approval rating that she was looking for. After 7 rounds and almost a year of baking and taste-testing, we were successful *fist pump* and found the richest, moistest, most awesome chocolate cupcake.
Ever since Stef posted the final recipe on her blog, I’ve been using it in most of my chocolate cupcakes. Regardless of the frosting or filling I use, the chocolate flavor of this cupcake always burst through!
The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Test Baked by 50 Bakers and Counting
Recipe & Notes from Stef at Cupcake Project
Yield 16 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
- 2 ounces of your favorite chocolate (You can use any plain chocolate that you like except white chocolate or candy melts. The chocolate doesn’t have to be one typically earmarked for baking – any chocolate bar that isn’t flavored and doesn’t contain mix-ins like nuts, Rice Krispies, nougat, etc. will work.)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (4 1/2 fluid ounces) vegetable or canola oil, measured in a liquid measuring cup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (2 3/4 ounce) full-fat sour cream
- 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) cocoa powder (natural or dutched will both work with this recipe)
- 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) room temperature water, measured in a liquid measuring cup
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fully combined. The end result should look like wet sand.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler.
Once the melted chocolate is cool enough to touch, add it to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until just combined.
Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time until just combined.
Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.
Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder into a separate medium-sized bowl. Use a fork or a whisk to ensure that the ingredients are mixed well after sifting.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three additions, mixing until just combined after each addition.
Mix in water until just combined.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and put in the oven.
Check for doneness at 18 minutes – a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake should come out clean. If they are not done, check again every three minutes until they are done.
Immediately remove cupcakes from the cupcake tin and place on a cooling rack or on the counter to cool to room temperature. Although they are really good when they are hot, be sure to wait until they are room temperature to give your evaluation.
Notes from Stef
If you would like to add coffee to the recipe, either add 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee granules along with the sifted dry ingredients, or replace the water with room temperature brewed coffee.