A “doctored-up” cake mix to make bakery style cake mix cupcakes. Pipe a luscious dark (or milk) chocolate frosting over these cupcakes.
Cupcake recipes can sometimes be a little finicky especially depending on your altitude, the ingredients you use, how you stir the batter, etc., etc. This cupcake recipe, however, is my faithful go-to recipe. It’s tried and tested, never fail, and tastes downright amazing. These cupcakes start with a boxed cake mix, BUT no one can ever tell! I make these all the time and always have dozens of requests for the recipe. They’ve got the perfect texture and the best flavor. AND, without fail, people always comment on the small chocolate chunks throughout (either miniature chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate). These chocolate cupcakes are unbeatable and especially for the effort required!
They whip up just about as quickly as a boxed mix, but with just a few extra ingredients. You’ll still only need one bowl and the mess is kept to a minimum!
As much as I adore cupcakes, which trust me I do, the frosting always steals the show for me! And this frosting is my absolute favorite — it’s just the right texture and the flavor is perfectly balanced.
The frosting is made with “special dark” cocoa powder (I love the Hershey’s brand — easily accessible and it’s delicious!) giving it a hint of dark-chocolate flavor. It’s not over-whelmingly “dark chocolate” flavored by any means, but it does have a slightly more bitter flavor than a milk chocolate frosting.
That said, you can use regular unsweetened cocoa powder for a lighter (slightly less bitter) flavor if you aren’t a fan of dark chocolate. I’ve made these cupcakes with both cocoa powders and can say they are pretty equally loved by all (kids and adults!)
The frosting whips together in minutes and it’s downright addicting. Last but not least, I love to add a little berry for a pop of color and freshness — totally optional, but look how dang pretty they are! Enjoy 🙂
A "doctored-up" cake mix with the best dark (or milk) chocolate frosting.
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup full fat sour cream
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 box (15.25 ounces) Super Moist Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
- 1 package (3.4 ounces) chocolate pudding mix, dry
- 1/2 cup warm water, you can also use leftover coffee or add in some espresso for a heightened chocolate flavor
- 1 cup miniature chocolate-chips, or coarsely chopped chocolate baking bar
- 1 and 1/4 cups (2 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup Special Dark Cocoa Powder (I use Hershey's)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Optional: fresh raspberries, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork. Add in the sour cream, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Stir until completely combined.
Add in the cake mix and pudding mix. Stir. Add in the water and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. If you're using chopped chocolate instead, chop it pretty small to about the size of miniature chocolate chips (my picture in the post is the process of chopping the chocolate and not the size of how the chocolate pieces should be).
Fill cupcake liners 3/4ths the way full (batter should yield 24 cupcakes). Bake for 18-23 minutes or until a fork when inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Remove and allow to completely cool before frosting.
Using a handheld of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter in a medium bowl on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Mix on low. Add 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and the vanilla extract. If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar (up to 1 cup) until you get the desired consistency. If the frosting is too thick, you can add more heavy cream (up to 2 tablespoons). Add in the salt. If the frosting is still too sweet, add a dash more salt.
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and frost the cupcakes. If desired, add 1 raspberry to each cupcake.
Best enjoyed within 1-2 days.
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