Deep, Dark, Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
Did the title of this recipe get you? It won’t disappoint. These are rich, moist and fudgy. The combo of oil and sour cream works magic. This recipe along with the Dutch Baby Pancake, are from Kamran Siddiqi’s new book, Hand Made Baking. The book is packed with easy to follow recipes and enticing pictures. Kamran holds your hand the whole way.
Excerpted and adapted with permission. Kamran Siddiqi, Hand Made Baking: Recipes to Warm the Heart, Chronicle Books (2014). Photos by Kamran Siddiqi.
I find nearly every excuse possible not to dirty another bowl or spoon while baking, so I’m happy to say that this recipe doesn’t require much cookware. It’s a batter that can be made with one bowl and a silicone spatula. It can also be made using a stand mixer (which I find to be a bit more work) or a food processor. Although they are effortless to put together, these cupcakes are of the finest breed—they are incredibly moist and flavorful, just as a chocolate cupcake should be.
- 1 cup/200 g natural cane sugar or granulated sugar
- ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp/105 g all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp/30 g unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp fine-grain sea salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ cup/120 ml sour cream, at room temperature
- ¼ cup/60 ml sunflower oil
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup/120 ml boiling water
- 9 Tbsp/130 g unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup/75 g unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)
- 6 Tbsp/90 ml whole milk, plus more as needed
- 3⅓ cups/340 g confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed
- 1½ tsp light corn syrup or golden syrup
- 1¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Chocolate shavings and/or sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
- For the Cupcakes: Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Pre¬heat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line two standard muffin tins with 16 paper liners.
- In a large heatproof mixing bowl, carefully whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until there aren’t any visible lumps. Crack in the egg, spoon in the sour cream, and pour in the sunflower oil and vanilla. Briefly mix with a wooden spoon or sili¬cone spatula (I prefer the latter) just until smooth and combined.
- Pour in the boiling water and slowly mix, starting from the center and working your way outward (this trick makes it easy to mix without splattering batter everywhere). The batter will be quite liquid, but this is normal.
- Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups, using the silicone spatula to assist with bowl scraping. Fill each lined cup about halfway with 3 Tbsp batter.
- Bake for 15 to 19 minutes (being sure to carefully rotate the tins halfway through baking), until a cake tester or a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Transfer the tins to wire racks for about 10 min¬utes, until the tins are cool to the touch. Remove the cupcakes and transfer them to the racks. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them and decorating with chocolate shavings (if using). The cupcakes will keep in an airtight con¬tainer at room temperature for up to 2 days.
- For the Frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and cocoa powder until smooth. Now, mix in the milk and confectioners’ sugar to achieve a spreading consistency. Mix in the corn syrup and vanilla. Add another 1 Tbsp or so of milk or confection¬ers’ sugar if necessary to adjust the consistency. Allow the frosting to sit for 10 minutes to thicken a bit, and use as needed.
- To frost the cupcakes, use a small offset spatula (or a butter knife without a serrated edge) at an angle to spread the frosting smoothly around the cake. To create the indent in the center like that in the photo, use a large cake spatula and turn 360 degrees one way, and then turn 180 degrees in the opposite direction; lift the spatula, and that’s it!