decadent dark chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting

Chocolate cupcakes are totally underrated and have been unfairly overshadowed by red velvet cupcakes. Don’t get me wrong; I love red velvet. Sprinkles is my absolute favorite. But what many cupcake shops and bakeries have made so delicious is just something that I can not get right. It just never tastes the same, so I’ve given up. And in reality, red velvet is a faux chocolate anyway, right?

I don’t cut corners with my chocolate cupcakes. I like lots of butter, lots of chocolate, and lots of sugar. Pure decadence. I’ve been intimidated to attempt cupcakes since starting the gluten free diet because of the flours. So, I was beyond ecstatic when I saw America’s Test Kitchen for gluten free chocolate cupcakes with their custom flour blend. Since I like my cupcakes more buttery, I changed a few of the ingredients from their recipe but kept the flour blend + xanthan gum the same to make sure that the consistency was right.

Have you ever worked with xanthan gum? The texture seemed really sticky when I was working with the batter but somehow the cupcakes magically transformed in the oven. I topped the cupcakes with my favorite buttercream chocolate frosting and the result is something that is no different than a regular chocolate cupcake.

Ingredients (makes 12)

Cupcakes (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup ATK Gluten-Free Flour Blend
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

Frosting (adapted from Williams-Sonoma) 
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a dash of salt

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
2. Put the butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a saucepan. Place on the stove at medium heat. Whisk mixture until the butter is melted and remove off heat. Set aside to cool.
3. In separate bowl, whisk flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt together.
4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla together. Whisk in brown sugar until well combined. Whisk in cooled chocolate mixture and milk until combined. Whisk in flour blend mixture until batter is thoroughly combined and smooth.
5. Using a large spoon, portion batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin.
6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking.
7. Let cupcakes cool in muffin tin on wire rack for 10 minutes.
8. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool while preparing the frosting.
9. Have all the frosting ingredients at room temperature. Soften butter and whip in a bowl.
10. Add cocoa powder to butter and mix until well combined.
11. Mix the sugar, heavy cream, and salt in the cocoa powder and butter mixture.
12. Using a mixer, beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, then reduce the speed to low until the frosting gets to the right consistency.
13. Frost the cupcakes and serve!