This simple recipe for classic chocolate cupcakes is sure to please everyone, including vegans. And with food blogger Ashlae Warner’s techniques for perfectly iced cupcakes, your cupcakes will look as amazing as they taste.
Since I’ve given you a recipe for one bowl vanilla cupcakes, I figured it was time I share a recipe for one bowl cupcakes of the chocolate variety, complete with a tutorial on how to perfect multicolored swirl frosting. I know it looks difficult, but I promise that with the right tools (and a little practice) you’ll be a frosting master in no time.
So the tools: You’ll need a 14- to 16-inch reusable piping bag (I like the BakeMate piping bags) and a few large piping tips. I have this set and use the star tips most often. These cupcakes were made with the closed star tip, but any of the others will do.
If you’re confused or overwhelmed by the basic piping technique, here’s a great post that highlights everything you need to know about frosting cupcakes using the piping method. However, I prefer to use reusable piping bags as they’re a bit easier to deal with than disposable bags and plastic couplers. I’ve written directions on how to prepare the frosting for the swirl technique, but here’s a short video that shows you exactly how to master multicolored swirl frosting, which was incredibly helpful when I first started experimenting with this technique.
If you would prefer to decrease the amount of processed sugar, you can replace the sugar and 1/4 cup of the milk with 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (add syrup when you add the rest of the wet ingredients). If you’d prefer whole grain cupcakes, you can substitute equal amounts of light spelt flour with 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour. Since Halloween is right around the corner, I opted to use candy corn colors for my frosting, but feel free to use any colors you want. I made them for a baby shower using pink and blue and they turned out beautifully.
One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 10 cupcakes
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted (or non-GMO canola)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 cups non-hydrogenated shortening
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups powdered cane sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with 10 liners, set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and sea salt. Whisk to combine, then create a well in the middle and whisk in the oil, vanilla extract and almond milk; mix just until the flour has disappeared.
- Put 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin well, filling them just over 3/4 full. Transfer to oven and bake at 350 F for 19 to 20 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting by creaming the shortening and vanilla extract, using a hand mixer on high speed, for about 30 seconds. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until all the sugar is combined. Add the non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired frosting thickness is reached. Proceed to beat the frosting, on high speed, for about 1 minute or until light and fluffy.
- Transfer the frosting to 3 different bowls. One bowl will stay white while the others will be naturally colored orange and yellow, but you may also use artificial colors (your colors will be much brighter than mine). Add a few drops of each color (if you don’t have orange you can use red and yellow dye), to their respective bowls, and stir to combine. Keep adding food coloring until you achieve the desired color.
- Line a flat surface with a large piece of plastic wrap. Starting 4 inches from one of the edges , scrape the frosting out of the bowl and onto the piece of plastic wrap, creating the shape of an 8- to 10-inch log. Repeate this process with the remaining two colors, making sure the frosting colors touch and sit side by side. Roll the frosting like a burrito and make sure you twist the ends to seal the frosting.
- Fit your piping bag with the desired tip. I used a 1M closed star tip. Transfer the frosting log to the pastry bag and pull the 4 inch piece of plastic through the opening of the tip. Trim the excess plastic with scissors, then pull the frosting log out of the bag a bit to make sure the plastic doesn’t get in the way of the tip.
- When you’re ready, pipe the icing onto the cupcakes in a circular, spiral motion. Serve as is or top with chocolate sprinkles.
- Unfrosted cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container for up to three days. I recommend eating frosted cupcakes within 24 hours.
Photo credit: Ashlae Warner