Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting
Here is an opinion I vehemently stand by: Everyone needs a great chocolate cupcake recipe in her or his arsenal.
Here is an additional opinion I strongly hold: This moist chocolate cupcake recipe can and should become that great chocolate cupcake recipe in your arsenal. Because they are. Great. More than that.
These chocolate cupcakes are soft and moist. And rich and chocolaty. And fluffy and tender. And the perfect balance between hefty and light.
Let’s just say they definitely fit the bill.
Now. Here’s a disclaimer: I’ve posted chocolate cupcakes on the blog in the past. Amazing ones. These.
And to be perfectly, 100% honest, I prefer those old chocolate cupcakes to these that I present to you today.
So why am I even posting this chocolate cupcake recipe? Because those cupcakes were dairy. They had butter and heavy cream in the cupcake batter and a rich chocolate buttercream frosting atop them.
But this chocolate cupcake recipe is completely dairy-free. And they’re the best dairy-free chocolate cupcakes I’ve had.
Those old cupcakes? Yes, they’re the best. For dairy cupcakes. But these cupcakes? They’re the best. If you’re after a non-dairy version.
Even the frosting here is dairy-free. Because today’s frosting is a meringue one. Which is a nice change from the traditional buttercream frosting, nay?
The meringue topping is sticky and sweet and light and delicate and airy and glossy and tastes like marshmallow cream. Only it’s better, and is homemade, and is made specifically to top your rich chocolate cupcakes. And it’s torched, to provide that beautiful color and toasty taste and all the cozy feelings.
And, meringue frosting is naturally dairy-free (it’s just egg whites, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract) and therefore doesn’t require the use of margarine or other artificial butters in order to keep the dairy out.
So, no heavy buttercream or cream cheese or chocolatey frostings here. Just a whipped-up, airy, and sticky marshmallow-like frosting that complements the rich chocolate cupcakes most wonderfully.
These moist chocolate cupcakes are moist thanks to oil. Which imparts that tender and soft and fluffy texture. And which also allows these cupcakes to retain that fresh taste and texture for dayyyyz.
There’s also some coffee added to this cupcake batter. Now, don’t fret. You don’t actually taste the coffee. It just works to magically make the chocolate flavor that much more intense and deep. It’s like salt, the coffee, bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients. So selfless, the coffee is here.
Since there’s no butter in these moist chocolate cupcakes, which means no creaming, you can make these cupcakes by hand. You will need a machine to whip up that meringue frosting tho.
So Idk what my point is. Maybe my point is that you won’t have to use your machine twice. Which means you don’t have to clean it out between making the batter and the frosting. Say, that’s a good point!
Moist. And tender. And fluffy. And soft. And rich. And chocolaty. And easy. And completely dairy-free. With a sticky and glossy and light and melt-in-your-mouth frosting.
Moist chocolate cupcakes with meringue frosting - you are, indeed, one for the recipe box arsenal.
Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting
Yield: 12 cupcakes
½ cup cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons instant coffee
½ cup boiling water
½ cup oil
1/3 cup milk (or non-dairy milk)
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup packed flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 large egg whites
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2. In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, baking soda, and coffee. Pour the boiling water on top and stir mixture until smooth. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add in the cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir mixture until just combined.
4. Fill cupcake liners ¾’s full. Bake cupcakes until they spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into one comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, 15 to 19 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
5. Prepare the meringue frosting: Place egg whites, sugar, and salt into the bowl of your electric stand mixer (or any heat-safe bowl) and place bowl over a pot of simmering water, creating a double boiler. Whisk mixture constantly for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (110°F).
6. Transfer bowl to a machine fitted with a whisk attachment and add in vanilla extract. Whip mixture, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to highest speed, for 6 to 9 minutes, until you have a stiff and glossy meringue.
7. Pipe or spread the meringue over the cooled cupcakes. Use a kitchen torch to brown the meringue, being careful to ensure the cupcake liners don’t catch on fire (if they do, quickly blow flame out). Alternatively, broil the cupcakes for about two minutes, until the meringue is browned.