ina's chocolate cupcakes

it all started with an absolutely awful chocolate cupcake that i bought for my birthday a year and a half ago. i immediately recreated them at home, and was only slightly impressed with the cake. then a few months ago, for my dad's birthday i turned to martha again and came up short with her one bowl chocolate cake. the quest continues with ina and her chocolate cake recipe. and unless i see something else that's short of genius, this is it! best chocolate cake i've had in a really really long time. maybe ever. yes, ever.

i have a feeling the secret is in the coffee. i remember one saturday morning, in the dead of winter, i watched an out-of-the-ordinary episode of barefoot contessa. ina had two versions of her recipes - one with 'normal' ingredients and one with a 'secret' ingredient that kicked up the flavor of the dessert. she baked both versions and her friends tasted them to decide which was best. i specifically remember the chocolate cupcakes. and the version made with coffee was declared the winner by everyone.

and in my house, even the self declared coffee hater loved them. 

ina's chocolate cupcakes
adapted from ina garten, via my baking addiction
1 hour, makes 24 cupcakes

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
double batch of peanut butter buttercream
  1. preheat your oven to 350F and line 24 cupcake tinswith paper liners. set aside.
  2. in a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. set aside.
  3. in a separate medium bowl, mix the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until incorporated. slowly mix in the hot coffee. the batter will be very very thin.
  4. distribute the batter between the cupcake tins, about 1/4 cup batter per tin. bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing. cool completely before frosting with peanut butter buttercream.


  1. Love the Barefoot Contessa. Your cupcakes look delicious.

  2. I remember that episode of Barefoot Contessa! I'm not a huge fan of coffee in baked goods, but with such rave reviews I might just have to give this recipe a shot!


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