Darcie Bakes //

Baking from scratch… because good things take time.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting.

This past Saturday, I taught a cupcake decorating class as a networking event for my day job. [Yikes!]

choccupcakescoverBasically, I just taught people how to make buttercream and frost their cupcakes using decorative pastry tips and bags. Except, as my luck would have it, I had a hard time getting the buttercream to proper piping consistency. Then I had an extra double batch of buttercream when I got home… So what was I going to do with it? Make more cupcakes and frost them. Duh. And wouldn’t you know it: The consistency of my frosting at home was much better than the frosting in the class. Whoops. Sometimes, I’m just garbage at doing things in front of other people.

choccupcakes1Since I have never officially taught a group of people anything, it was definitely a learning experience. I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone a LOT lately, and although it’s been interesting [and kinda uncomfortable], it’s a great way to help myself grow as a person. Even if I don’t get something exactly right the first time I demonstrate in front of others, to me that should just serve as a reminder that I’m always constantly learning. And that’s okay. It’s easy to get embarrassed and start doubting myself and thinking of myself as a “fraud” – not a “legit baker.” But it’s important to remember that the fact that I occasionally make mistakes with baking does not invalidate my experiences. I am a baker. Why? Because I bake. It’s that simple. The same goes for you: do you write? Then you’re a writer. Do you run? Then you are a runner. Do you bake? Then YAY! We’re both bakers and we should be friends! 🙂 {See what I mean, though? We get too caught up in “what it means” to “be something,” instead of just focusing on doing what we love and not thinking about labels or comparing ourselves to others.}

cupcakestopviewOkay, life lesson aside… Let’s talk about these cupcakes. This chocolate cake is actually a vegan recipe. It contains neither eggs nor dairy. It’s just a good chocolate cake recipe, to be honest. I have made cupcakes using this recipe several times, and for vegans or non-vegans, it’s just good. As for the frosting, well, it’s definitely not vegan since it contains butter. But I love chocolate frostings more than regular buttercreams, so I decided to add cocoa powder to the buttercream I had leftover from the class. The result is rich, fragrant chocolate cupcakes [due to the almond and vanilla extracts in the cake] with a light, fluffy cocoa buttercream! So, if you’re in need of some chocolate cake, but not feelin’ the usual vanilla buttercream, make these! They’re gooood cupcakes. And they’re great for fulfilling a fierce chocolate craving. 😉

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting.
Twelve regular-sized cupcakes.


For the cupcakes:
1 cup non-dairy milk [I used unsweetened almond milk]
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil [I just used canola oil]
– 1 TBSP. apple cider vinegar
– 1 TBSP. pure vanilla extract
– 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract [Optional, but awesome!]
– 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
– 1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
– 1 tsp. baking soda
– 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, to taste

For the cocoa buttercream frosting:
– 1 cup unsalted butter, softened- 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
– 1 tsp. milk, or more, depending on consistency
– 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
– 2 TBSP. cocoa powder

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners, and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with an electric hand mixer), beat together the following ingredients: non-dairy milk, oil, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and the extracts. At medium speed, beat the ingredients together for a minute or two.
3. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt). Mix everything well, until all the dry clumps are gone.
4. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3rds full. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs, is fine too). I think I baked mine for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
5. For the frosting, beat butter on medium-high speed for about 3-5 minutes, or until it’s light and fluffy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add the vanilla extract and milk. Continue to beat and add more milk, if necessary, until the frosting is light and fluffy. Pipe or spread frosting on cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!

– Cupcake recipe from Oh She Glows.

– Frosting recipe barely adapted from Food.com.



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