Craving cupcakes but don't want to make 24 of them? Or are you looking to make chocolate cupcakes for two? I've got you covered with this recipe for Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes with Baileys Buttercream Frosting!
I've pared down my chocolate cupcake recipe to make 6 perfect cupcakes. And the frosting is a deliciously smooth and creamy Bailey's Irish cream Buttercream that's pure heaven! I probably could swoon over dark chocolate buttercream frosting on chocolate cupcakes too, because can you have too much chocolate?
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Watch How to Make These Cupcakes (~1 minute)
Cupcakes for Two
Having a reliable recipe that bakes up just the right amount of cupcakes is invaluable! There are many times when a chocolate cupcake is all you want, but you don't want to go through the hassle of making a normal sized batch when all you really want is one or two.
And maybe some to share. Maybe.
And the frosting recipe I've paired with the chocolate cupcakes is just the right size, too. And by that I mean you'll have plenty of frosting to generously frost 6 cupcakes with a little leftover for eating straight out of the jar. Now that's perfection!
Why this Recipe works
These chocolate cupcakes are my go-to recipe. They are the base for these Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and also for my Halloween Cupcakes.
This recipe works because of a couple of important ingredients including brewed coffee, sour cream and brown sugar. Don't be scared off by the coffee in this recipe!
Coffee is only included here to enhance the chocolate flavor, which it does beautifully. You will not taste the coffee in the baked cupcakes (you can substitute with hot water if you don't have coffee or you are really opposed to including it). But give it a try, I promise you'll love the results!
The sour cream and brown sugar help maintain moisture and provide flavor to these cupcakes. If you do not have sour cream, you can substitute it for plain greek yogurt.
Now, onto the frosting! You can use any frosting you want on these cupcakes. I have paired them here with Baileys Buttercream because it's simply amazing.
It has just the right amount of Baileys where the flavor comes through very well, but not so much it'll make you drunk or make the frosting soupy.
Ingredients needed to make Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes
To make this small batch recipe of chocolate cupcakes, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: you can use either natural unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder here. I used natural. For more information on the difference, you can read all about it here
- Coffee: Coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate. You will not be able to taste the coffee whatsoever, however, if you prefer not to use coffee, use hot water instead
- Sour Cream: Helps keep these cupcakes moist! Substitute with plain greek yogurt if you have that instead
- Vanilla extract: Go for pure vanilla extract vs imitation. It just tastes better and will make your finished baked good taste better, too!
- Butter: unsalted butter works best, so you can control the level of salt in the recipe. Be sure to leave your butter out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to baking so it comes to room temperature, allowing the butter to incorporate evenly into the batter
- Sugar: whatever brand of granulated sugar you prefer
- Brown Sugar: I suggest using light brown sugar in these cupcakes, although dark brown will work just fine, too
- Egg: one large US egg, which is about 57 grams. Be sure to remove it from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to baking so it incorporates evenly into the batter
- All-Purpose Flour: measuring flour correctly is really important. You can weigh the flour is you have a kitchen scale - this is the most precise method. If you do not have a scale, scoop the flour out of it's container/bag using a spoon and place it into a measuring cup, then level off the top with the back of the spoon. Do not pack down the flour at any point - this will result in dry, dense cupcakes
- Baking Soda: check that expiration date to be sure it's fresh! That way it'll do what it's supposed to do which is leaven the cupcakes (help them rise)
- Salt: I recommend using kosher salt. Be sure to adjust the level of salt to your taste preference
Ingredients Needed to make Bailey's Buttercream Frosting
To make Bailey's Irish cream Buttercream Frosting, these are the ingredients you'll need:
- Butter: the butter needs to be room temperature in order to create smooth frosting. If it's too cold, you'll get pockets of butter in your frosting. If it's too warm, the frosting will be a soupy mess. Your best bet is to leave the butter out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to using. Store in a spot that's about 68-72ºF / 20-22ºC, so not on top of the oven, microwave, dishwasher, or toaster oven
- Salt: same as above - I recommend using kosher salt and adjusting to suit your taste preference
- Vanilla Extract: same as above - go for the pure vanilla extract vs imitation extracts
- Powdered Sugar: it's not necessary to sift the powdered sugar prior to adding, however, if your powdered sugar is particularly lumpy, it's a good idea to do so. This will prevent frosting with pockets of powdered sugar in it
- Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur: this is the magic ingredient! I have found 3 tablespoons / 44 ml to be the perfect amount to allow the taste of the liqueur to come through but also allow the frosting to maintain it's consistency. Adding too much will result in loose frosting that does not hold its shape. Note: I have fed these cupcakes and frosting to my kids without any worries that they'd get drunk from the liqueur. Having said that, use your own best judgement when doing so
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Looking for more cupcake recipes like this one? Give these a try:
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- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup brewed coffee hot, (can be substituted with hot water)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream (can be substituted with plain greek yogurt)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar packed
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
Prepare the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 177ºC.
- Line a 6-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners or place paper cupcake cups on a sheet tray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, coffee, sour cream, and vanilla to make a shiny fudge.
- Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and shiny, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the granulated and brown sugars and continue beating until fluffy, and then beat in the egg, mixing well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the fudge mixture, scraping down the bowl several times as you go.
- Divide the batter between the cupcake liners and bake for 22- 25 mins.
- A toothpick inserted into the center of the middle cupcake should come out clean when they are done.
- If there’s batter on the toothpick, continue baking for a few minutes more until it comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes cool before turning them out on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting
Prepare the Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, add the butter and mix on medium speed until smooth.
- With the mixer off, add the salt and vanilla.
- Mix until thoroughly combined.
- With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, a little at a time until thoroughly combined.
- Add in the Baileys and mix well. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and mix again.
- Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost using a piping bag or offset spatula
- Store frosted cupcakes in the fridge in a sealed container or covered tightly in plastic wrap for up to 3 days
- Store extra frosting in a closed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Stir well before using
SAVE THIS RECIPE FOR LATER! PIN THE IMAGE BELOW TO PINTEREST
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