Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

The kids and I were craving cupcakes but I only wanted to make a small batch, enough to satisfy our sweet tooth.

This recipe is a scaled down version of both my chocolate cake and chocolate frosting recipes.

The original recipes were simply halved to make 8 medium-size cupcakes and enough frosting to go on top.

While the cake was easy to scale down, the frosting was a little more challenging. The amounts of heavy cream and sour cream needed are quite small and you might not have these ingredients readily on hand.

Or you might not want to buy full amounts of them when you’ll only be using a few tablespoons.

Heavy Cream

If you don’t have any cream or don’t want to buy a pint for just a few tablespoons for the recipe, milk can be used instead. The frosting may be looser and more runny.

If you do choose to buy heavy cream, save extra in the freezer in an ice-cube tray for 1-2 tablespoon portions, or silicone cups for ¼ cup portions. 

Sour Cream

I always have sour cream on hand because it lasts a long time in the fridge even after opening and is great to add to many recipes.

If you don’t have any or don’t want to buy it, simply increase the amount of heavy cream by a few teaspoons.

How to make small batch chocolate cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350℉ and line a muffin tin with 8 paper or silicone liners.

In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of all-purpose and wheat flours, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat together 2 tablespoons each of butter and oil, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar for 1-3 minutes until it is very creamy. Then beat in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

To the egg mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Stir until just combined, with some bits of flour remaining. Then stir 1/3 cup buttermilk or regular milk, once again whisking until “just” combined.

Continue using this method, with another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the another 1/3 cup milk, and finally the last of the dry.

Gently stir everything until no more flour remains, but be careful not to over-mix. Then scoop the batter into the 8 muffin cups.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Mine were done at exactly 15 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

Cupcakes can be kept at room temperature for a few days, but make sure they’re properly sealed to retain moisture.

I prefer keeping extras in the freezer, then thawing them the night before enjoying!

These simple chocolatey cupcakes are soft and moist, while the fudge frosting is creamy and spreadable, just the way I like it!

They are perfect for a light dessert or tea break snack, for both kids and adults alike.

What My Kids Say:
10yo: It has a wonderful cocoa flavor and fluffy texture. These are one of the best cupcakes I have ever tasted.
8yo: It is chocolatey and smells good.

Here are some Other cupcake or muffin recipes

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Mildly spiced cupcakes with bits of carrots, raisins, and nuts, and topped with a luscious sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. 
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Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and grated carrot on top.
Simple Cornmeal Muffins
These corn muffins are truly simple to make and a kid-friendly favorite!
Check out this recipe
Closeup of homemade corn muffin.
Breakfast Oat Flour Muffins
A staple in our home, these hearty oat muffins are easily customizable and are a family favorite!
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Chocolate frosted cupcakes with sprinkles.

Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

Joby’s Test Kitchen
This recipe makes the perfect amount of cupcakes for a small dessert or a special snack, and will definitely satisfy that chocolate craving!
Prep Time 14 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 frosted cupcakes

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsps (45g) wheat flour
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsps (45g) all-purpose flour
  • cup (28g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps (28g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsps (30ml) oil
  • ¼ cup (48g) packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsps (24g) granulated sugar
  • 1 whole egg, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cup (160ml) buttermilk or regular milk

Small Batch Fudge Frosting (makes about 2/3 cup)

  • 3 tbsps (36g) sugar
  • tbsps (12.5g) cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2-3 tbsps (30-45ml) heavy cream
  • 1-2 tsps sour cream
  • dash instant coffee, optional
  • 1 tbsp (14g) butter
  • tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a muffin tin with 8 paper or silicone liners.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In medium bowl, beat together the butter, oil, and sugars for 1-3 minutes until it is very creamy. Then beat in the egg and vanilla.
  • To the egg mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Stir until just combined, with some bits of flour remaining. Then stir in half the milk, once again whisking until “just” combined. Continue using this method, with another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the remaining half of the milk, and finally the last of the dry. Gently stir everything until no more flour remains, but be careful not to over-mix.
  • Scoop batter into muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Mine were done at exactly 15 minutes.
  • Cool cupcakes in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting. Cupcakes can be kept at room temperature for a few days, but make sure they’re properly sealed to retain moisture. I prefer keeping extras in the freezer, then thawing them the night before enjoying!

For the Frosting:

  • In a small bowl sift together the cocoa, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a measuring cup, whisk together the heavy cream, sour cream, and coffee. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat. Take off heat and whisk in a little of the cocoa mixture, then some of cream mixture, alternating between the two until they’re all combined.
  • Place the saucepan back on medium heat and whisk for 2-3 minutes. DO NOT BOIL. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir, cover, and cool 15-30 minutes or until set.

Notes

Heavy Cream: If you don’t have any cream or don’t want to buy a pint for just a few tablespoons for the recipe, milk can be used instead. The frosting may be looser and more runny. If you do choose to buy heavy cream, save extra in the freezer in an ice-cube tray for 1-2 tablespoon portions, or silicone cups for ¼ cup portions. 
Sour Cream: I always have sour cream on hand because it lasts a long time in the fridge even after opening and is great to add to many recipes. If you don’t have any or don’t want to buy it, simply increase the amount of heavy cream by a few teaspoons.
Keyword chocolate, cupcakes, frosting

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