cho-cupcakesYield: 12 standard cupcakes


    For the Cupcakes:
    3/4 cup (95 g) all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup (150 g) white sugar
    1/4 cup (30 g) dark cocoa powder (I use Cacao Barry Extra Brute)
    3/4 teaspoon (3.5 g) baking soda
    3/4 teaspoon (3.5 g) baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon (3.5 g) cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon (4 g) salt
    1/3 cup (80 mL) buttermilk
    1/4 cup (60 mL) brewed coffee or espresso, hot
    3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil
    1 egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
    1-1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) pure vanilla extract
    For the Nutella Cloud Frosting:
    1 cup (227 g)(2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but cool
    1-1/2 cups (190 g) icing sugar (confectioners’), sifted
    2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (125 g) premium bittersweet chocolate, chopped, melted and slightly cooled
    1/3 cup (100 g) Nutella (The Nutella can be left out and still have an incredible "Classic Chocolate Cloud Frosting")
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) milk
    pinch of salt


  For the Cupcakes:   

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and line a muffin/cupcake pan with your favourite cupcake liners.
  2. In the bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, coffee, oil, egg and vanilla.
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer), Divide batter among (2/3 full or just less) liners. Batter will be liquidy, and cupcakes will rise.
  5. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs. Try not to over-bake. Carefully remove cupcakes from the pan immediately (it's hot!), and place them on a wire rack until completely cool.

For the Nutella Cloud Frosting:

  1. In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and butter and beat on low speed (I use #2 on my KitchenAid mixer) for about 1 minute.
  2. Add vanilla, and beat on low speed until well combined. Add the melted and slightly cooled chocolate and beat on medium speed (I use #4 on my KitchenAid mixer) until smooth, about 2 minutes).
  3. Add the Nutella, milk and pinch of salt, and beat on med-high speed for another minute.


This recipe is easily doubled or tripled.

You can substitute the Cacao Barry Extra Brute cocoa powder, but be sure to use a quality cocoa powder (Dutch-processed).

For evenly-sized cupcakes, I always use a 50mm cookie scoop (it’s a bit trickier with this runnier batter, but it’s worth it).

Unlike vanilla cupcakes, these stay incredibly moist for several days, so I often bake them a day before I need them (unfrosted) and frost on the day I am serving them, but you can also frost them and keep them in an airtight container for up to 3 days, for convenience (if they last that long!).

To frost the cupcakes in the photo, I inserted a large, plain round icing tip into an 18″ pastry bag and filled it with the frosting. I piped a large swirl starting from the outside of the cupcake, and, moving in a slow circular motion, worked my way to the center, and gently pulling the bag up and away from the cupcake. Then, using the underside of a small spoon (I used a baby spoon), I put slight pressure on the very top of the swirl and pull the spoon up and away. This creates a well for the sprinkles and gives the cupcake a classic but not-so-perfect look. Top with confetti quins or sprinkles for a fun birthday finish!

If you find the frosting starts to get air bubbles while sitting (during the decorating process), use a rubber spatula to knock the air out of it, by stirring it with a back and forth paddling motion.

It’s ideal to make this frosting right before you need it, because you’ll find it’s an ideal consistency for piping and decorating, but once it’s on the cake or cupcakes, it stays perfectly smooth and fluffy for up to 3 days.