Saturday, January 7, 2012

Black Velvet Cupcakes - Take 2

So, I've been wanting to try Black Velvet Cupcakes again to make up for the last terrible result I had baking them.  At that time I was happy with the deep black color of the cake but they had a horrible "black dye" aftertaste.  Yuck.  They looked pretty, but that's not really the point of a cupcake now, is it?

In the meantime of trying again I've done quite a bit of reading up on "velvet" cakes and there seems to be many schools of thought on their taste and texture.  Some say there should be a hint of chocolate, while others insist there should be an obvious chocolate taste.  As for me, I would like deep chocolate flavor.  I guess it's personal preference.  With this recipe was very, very happy with the deep black color of the cakes.  AND, they did not have that horrible black dye aftertaste. 

Also, there seems to be difference of opinion whether or not velvet cakes should be light and airy or more on the dense side.  This is a more dense cake.  As I said, I really liked it, but I would also like to try a version with a lighter crumb for comparison.  Okay, so enough with my comments, here is the recipe!

Black Velvet Cupcakes
Adapted from Java Cupcakes

Makes approximately 12 cupcakes

4 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons black food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On medium speed cream together butter and sugar for about 3 minutes.  Turn mixer to high and add the egg.  Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix together cocoa, vanilla and black food coloring until it forms a thick paste.  Add to the batter and mix until completely incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure it's completely combined.

Turn mixer to low and add half of the buttermilk.  Add half of the flour and mix.  Add the other half of the buttermilk while mixing on low.  Mix in remaining flour and beat on high until batter is smooth.

Turn mixer to low and add baking soda and white vinegar.  Mix on high for a few more minutes.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.

After cooling for 10 minutes in the pan, place cupcakes on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Since February will be here before we know it, I decided to dress up these cupcakes for Valentine's Day:

White Buttercream Icing with Edible Pink Hearts

Valentine's Day M&M's

Silver disco dust, very sparkly and pretty!

Pink and White Icing Swirl

Heart Cut-outs

I have shared this recipe with:

Days of Chalk and Chocolate

Cast Party Wednesday


  1. what recipe did you use for the pink and white buttercream icing swirl pictured above?

    1. Hi, I used the same recipe I used for the camouflage cupcake sandwiches. You can find it here:

    2. thank you! I can't wait to try this!

  2. I'm giving my daughter a graduation luau. Instead of a cake
    I'm making cupcakes representing her school colors which are red, white & black. Thank you for this recipe. I have been looking for black cupcake ideas that also look appealing. Will post outcome!

  3. These look devine! I also made ones that had a horrible aftertaste, and I could not seem to get rid of it. Thankyou for the recipe!

  4. Do these cupcakes turn your mouth a dark color??? I know most recipes for BLUE velvet cupcakes turn your mouth blue lol.

  5. Hi, I'd love to make these for Halloween this weekend but am british and have no idea what measurement a cup is, or what buttermilk is! Can any international bakers help?!

    1. granulated sugar: 1 cup = 200 grams
      cocoa: 1 cup = 125 grams
      flour: 1 cup = 125 grams

      Most supermarkets sell buttermilk, like Asda and Tesco, but a substitute is normal milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice.

  6. Here's another one to try. The coffee makes it dark, eliminating the need for food coloring. A great recipe! Very moist.