Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

My chocolate and vanilla cupcakes are my pride and joy… after about 3 years, I finally feel like I have almost mastered my recipes. (I say “almost”, because are we ever really done perfecting our favorite recipes?)

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I’m not ready to give away my vanilla cupcake recipe just yet, but I’m ready to share my dark chocolate cupcake recipe, because I can no longer keep these rich, dark treats to myself.

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The secret here is really pretty simple: Hershey’s brand SPECIAL DARK COCOA. No other cocoa powder will do here, people. Trust me.

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Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes approximately 3 dozen cupcakes

Cupcake
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 and 1/3 cups Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup plain (or vanilla) Greek yogurt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brewed coffee

Chocolate buttercream frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened to room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cupย Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and put cupcake liners in three 12-cavity cupcake tins. Sift together your flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate medium-sized bowl, beat together your eggs, yogurt, buttermilk, oil and coffee until smooth. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry and stir until just mixed. You should be able to do all of this with a large, heavy whisk or spoon–no hand or stand mixer necessary.

Scoop batter into each liner, filling only about halfway. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until your cupcakes bounce back up when poked (or inserted knife comes out clean–you know the drill). Set aside and allow to cool completely.

Buttercream frosting: Beat together your butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Add your cocoa powder and milk, beating again until smooth. Add 2-3 cups of powdered sugar, continuing to beat until frosting is smooth and stiff. Peaks should form when you lift your hand mixer out, and not fall back over.

Use a piping bag and tip or a knife to place frosting on top of each cupcake–enjoy!

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