Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Super Fluffy Frosting


I love buttercream, but lately have been craving something different on my cupcakes. Buttercream is delicious but also extremely heavy and to achieve tons of volume with the frosting you have to pipe a lot, making it even heavier! My solution was to make 7 minute frosting.


I’d never made it before, but it was so easy I’ll be making it a lot in the future. I read many recipes, but settled on a Paula Deen recipe and followed it exactly but modified the beating process just a tad. The flavor wasn’t too eggy, the texture was delicate and fluffy, and it went perfectly with the dark chocolate cupcakes. It colors beautifully, too, which makes it great when you want a specific color. Best of all, since it is lighter than buttercream I don’t feel bad piping a giant mound of it!


For the cake
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder (makes all the difference!)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For the frosting
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Food coloring (optional)

Yields 24 cupcakes and enough frosting for generous mounds

Directions for the cake:
1. Line tin with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda, and salt in a bowl. It is important you sift it so the lumps in the flour and cocoa are dispersed.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Whisk it into the dry mixture vigorously until thoroughly combined.
4. Whisk in the boiling water.
5. If you have a large cup with a spout, pour the batter into that to make filling the liners easier. Fill them about 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 22-24 minutes, cool completely. Frost and serve within same day, or make the cupcakes a day ahead and frost the next day.

For the frosting:
1. Place all the ingredients except food coloring and vanilla in a big bowl and use a handheld electric mixer to beat for 1 minute until frothy and combined.
2. Set the bowl on top of a simmering pot of water. Do not let the bowl touch the water! The trick to this is gradual, even cooking. Beat constantly on high speed for about 5-6 minutes, or until the mixture becomes very thick and fluffy.
3. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and food coloring. Beat another 1-2 minutes until totally incorporated and the mixture becomes a little stiffer. Pipe immediately.


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5 Responses to Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Super Fluffy Frosting

  1. Brittany says:

    These look so fluffy and delicious!

  2. That frosting looks so pretty! These sound really good for a summer barbecue!

  3. Wow, looks great! I have a question though, I’ve encountered 7 minute frosting that tends to either melt or have a watery discharge at the bottom. Will this suffer the same fate? Thank you!!

    • itselliewellie says:

      Hi there! In my experience that can happen if it’s high humidity (add more cream of tarter if it is rainy or humid out should help stabilize), or especially if the sugar isn’t cooked long enough. If the frosting sits out too long or is refrigerated, it will definitely become watery. Best of luck!

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