Cake Mix Cupcakes start with a cake mix (obviously), but instead of following the box instructions, we add our own "secret" ingredients to make these cupcakes taste truly indulgent! Don't worry -- they're still super easy to make! Pipe on the tastiest chocolate buttercream frosting and be prepared to fall in love with these cupcakes!
1/2cup (122g)hot water,you can also use leftover coffee or add in some espresso for a heightened chocolate flavor
1cup (192g)miniature chocolate-chips,or coarsely chopped chocolate baking bar
Dark (or milk) Chocolate Frosting
1 and 1/4cups (2 and 1/2 sticks; 511g)unsalted butter,softened to room temperature
3cups (317g)powdered sugar
3/4cup (57g)Dutch-process cocoa powder (I use Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder)
1/4cup (56g)heavy cream
1teaspoon vanilla extract
1/16teaspoon (tiny pinch)salt
PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line a cupcake pan with liners. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes. Set aside.
BATTER: 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, stirring a few times to moisten. Add in the hot 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.
BAKE: Fill cupcake liners 3/4 the way full. (The batter should yield a full 24 cupcakes.) Bake only 1 tray at a time for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick (or fork) when inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. When lightly touching the top of the cupcake, it should bounce back. Remove and let the cupcakes cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely. (See Note 1)
MAKE IT: Using a handheld or 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.
DECORATE CUPCAKES: Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and frost the completely cooled cupcakes. Cupcakes are best enjoyed with 1-3 days.
STORAGE: Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature. To freeze/thaw (unfrosted; frosting doesn't freeze/thaw well): Cool cupcakescompletely before wrapping and freezing. To freeze: Set unwrapped cupcakes on a sheet pan and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then remove and wrap each cupcake individually in plastic wrap and then place in large freezer bags. Freeze for 2-3 months.Tothaw: Set out at room temperature until thawed. They do thaw slightly more moist (but still tasty!) Frost cupcakes after fully thawing.
Note 1: Cooling: Cool the cupcakes on a wire cooling rack — they need to be elevated so air can circulate around all sides as they cool. Otherwise, moisture (from the heat of the cupcakes and pan) will condense on the bottom of the cupcakes, making them damp and slightly sticky. Cool the cakes in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then remove them to the wire rack to finish cooling.To make MINIATURE cake mix cupcakes: Line a miniature muffin tin with liners and add about 1 rounded tablespoon batter into each. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until a fork/toothpick comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Repeat with the remaining batter.