Cakes & Cupcakes

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

September 5, 2019

A dark, rich devil’s food cupcake made moist and tender thanks to a generous dose of buttermilk. Topped with heaps […]

A dark, rich devil’s food cupcake made moist and tender thanks to a generous dose of buttermilk. Topped with heaps of chocolate fudge buttercream and festive sprinkles perfect for any occasion.


This past weekend it was my birthday…forty something-or-other. Age is just a number and at this point I’ve honestly stopped counting. But I’ll never stop celebrating. I’m big on birthdays and I’m pretty sure I got that from my mama. Life is all about celebrating the big {and little} things after all and birthdays most definitely count as a big event….whether you’re 5 or 75. And there is no better way to mark life’s special occasions than with a double dose of chocolate in the form of devil’s food cupcakes.





Today I’ve got a Devil’s Food Cupcake with Chocolate Fudge Buttercream to throw your way and you are going to LOVE IT!!! This recipe is brought to you by Gemma Stafford whose new cookbook was generously gifted to me last week just in time for my birthday. The ideal gift for this baker babe! I do love a good cookbook and I’m more than thrilled to add this one to my ever-growing collection. Gemma’s cookbook is a solid collection of classic desserts and the most tempting photographs. Each recipe is simple and perfect for a fancy indulgence {happy birthday to me!} or an everyday treat.





This ultra chocolatey cupcake is a new favorite of mine and I think you can see why. The cake itself is dark and rich, but not overly sweet. The real star of the show is the heap of chocolate fudge buttercream swirled on top. I like to keep my buttercream to cake ratio looking a little extra…pretty sure I nailed it here.

{wink, wink}


To make these cupcakes we start with all the traditional ingredients that you’ll find in your pantry. Gemma adds a generous amount of buttermilk to her recipe which makes these cupcakes super moist and gives them an added layer of flavor. Plus it keeps them from being too sweet which is totally necessary given that the chocolate fudge buttercream has that covered. This recipe makes twenty standard size cupcakes which is perfect to feed a crowd. No need for a second batch unless you’re feeding a small army.

And this dessert gets major bonus points for baking up in a hurry. The cupcakes bake for just over fifteen minutes and the frosting whips together in no time. You do have to wait for the cupcakes to cool but I still had these ultra chocolate gems sitting pretty on the kitchen counter in under an hour. Take it from me, when that chocolate craving strikes…make these Devil’s Food Cupcakes. You won’t be sorry.


Before I bid you adieu to go polish off a second cupcake, let’s chat buttercream. Gemma’s classic buttercream frosting recipe calls for butter, confectioner’s sugar and whole milk. I was working with a sparse ingredient situation when I made these cupcakes so I was out of whole milk. But I did have heavy cream which was a suitable substitute and made for the most light and fluffy frosting. I also use unsalted butter and add a wee pinch of salt to the frosting for good measure.


Lastly, be sure to sift your confectioner’s sugar. I debate it every time…always looking to shave off a minute or two of prep time so I can dig in to the good stuff sooner. But sifting the powdered sugar really does result in a smoother, clump-free frosting that swirls perfectly from the piping bag. Sprinkle the tops with colored or chocolate sprinkles and tah-dah…you’ve got yourself a part-eeeeeee!!!


I hope you enjoy these Devil’s Food Cupcakes as much as I did {errr, I mean “do”} and that you add them to your must-bake list. They got rave reviews from my personal team of taste testers and I’ve been given strict instructions to make them again asap. I think we have a winner here bakers!

Leave me some love in the comments below if you make these cupcakes and let me know what you think. Nothing makes me happier than to know you are enjoying the recipes I publish here on the blog so don’t be shy.

Happy baking, friends!



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Devil’s Food Cupcakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Browned Butter Blondie
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 18 mins
  • Total Time: 33 mins
  • Yield: 20 1x
  • Category: Cupcakes


A dark, rich cupcake made moist and tender thanks to a generous dose of buttermilk. These cupcakes are topped with heaps of Chocolate Fudge Buttercream and festive sprinkles perfect for any occasion. One bite and you’ll be hooked!



For Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brewed espresso, cooled
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pur vanilla extract

For Chocolate Fudge Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 45 TBSP heavy whipping cream
  • Chocolate sprinkles for decorating, optional.


For Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two cupcake pans with 20 paper liners. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together buttermilk, oil, coffee, eggs and vanilla.
  5. Slowly whisk the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until just incorporated.
  6. Divide the batter evenly amongst the prepared cupcake pans, filling each well three quarters full.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack for 20 minutes. Then invert the pan to release the cupcakes and cool completely before frosting.

For Chocolate Fudge Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the softened butter on medium-high speed until light, creamy and pale in color, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the confectioner’s sugar, one spoonful at a time, mixing until fully incorporated before adding the next.
  3. Add the unsweetened cocoa powder slowly and mix until fully incorporated on medium speed. Increase speed to high and mix for 1 minute.
  4. Add the heavy cream and and mix on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until the buttercream is very light and fluffy.
  5. Decorate tops of cupcakes with a swirl of frosting and sprinkles if desired.


Recipe by Gemma Stafford as seen in her cookbook, Bigger Bolder Baking.

Store cupcakes tightly covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Buttercream may be made in advance but return the frosting to room temperature before frosting cupcakes.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

Recipe by Gemma Stafford. Thank you to Dart Frogg Communications and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for gifting me an advance copy of Gemma Stafford’s Bigger Bolder Baking. Gemma’s book can be purchased on Amazon.

  • Reply
    March 16, 2023 at 5:13 pm

    Made these for St Patrick’s Day. They came out moist and light. Great chocolate flavor! Tips were very handy … like fill cups 3/4 full. That made the perfect cupcake!
    Today I’m going to frost them with a cream cheese frosting.

  • Reply
    December 11, 2019 at 4:34 pm


    I had a quick question about these – is the espresso necessary for the flavor or could you sub out the espresso for something else?

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      December 11, 2019 at 11:34 pm

      Hi! You can omit it all together if you like and if you don’t have espresso you can use strong coffee. The cupcakes won’t have a coffee flavor at all if you use the espresso…it just enhances the chocolate flavor in the most delicious way. Enjoy!!

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