Recipe Review

These Chocolate Cupcakes Are Extra Moist and Fluffy, Thanks to One Smart Ingredient

updated Feb 11, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

The best part about working on a team full of food fanatics is that you know their recipe recommendations are good. So when Kitchn’s Food Editor Meghan suggested The Stay at Home Chef’s “most amazing” chocolate cupcakes for our cupcake showdown, I was confident they’d be a strong contender.

I was immediately excited by the recipe’s use of buttermilk, which I’ve found makes baked goods extra light and tender (it’s part of why we love Ina’s chocolate cake so much). The recipe also calls for vegetable oil instead of butter, which made me hopeful that these cupcakes would be really moist. On top of an enticing ingredient list, these cupcakes have a 5-star rating and over 200 very glowing reviews. I couldn’t wait to give them a try.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make The Stay at Home Chef’s Chocolate Cupcakes

Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt with either a stand or hand mixer. Add the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, oil, and warm water and continue mixing for a couple of minutes at a medium speed until the batter is smooth. Fill lined muffin cups about 2/3 of the way, and then bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow them to cool.

For the frosting, beat the butter in a large bowl using a hand mixer until fluffy. Add cocoa powder and vanilla and continue mixing. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until combined. Once the cupcakes are cooled, using a piping bag to frost each one.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of The Stay at Home Chef’s Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes definitely lived up to my expectations. Thanks to the buttermilk, they were so soft and moist with a beautiful crumb; the texture was simply spot-on. This recipe was also so simple to make, and you only dirty one bowl in the process. Did I mention they tasted great, too?

Unfortunately there were also a few downsides to this recipe. The first is that filling the muffin cups 2/3 full proved to be too much, as I then only had enough batter for 18 cupcakes instead of 24. They also rose quite a bit in the oven and and were really dome-shaped, which wasn’t ideal when frosting. But the real miss for me was the chocolate buttercream frosting. I used 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (the recipe calls for 3 to 4) and it was far too much — my frosting was super dry. It either needed more butter or less powdered sugar.

Credit: Nicole Rufus

If You’re Making The Stay at Home Chef’s Chocolate Cupcakes, a Few Tips

  1. Fill each cup with less batter. The muffin cups only need to be filled halfway (and trust me — they’ll still rise significantly). This will help yield the full 24 cupcakes.
  2. Use less powdered sugar in the frosting. The frosting really only needs about 2 cups powdered sugar to achieve to a desirable consistency. Alternatively, you could increase the amount of softened butter.
  3. Don’t skip the vegetable oil. Don’t substitute butter for the vegetable oil in this recipe (although feel free to use canola oil); it’s a large part of why the texture came out so beautifully.

Rating: 9/10

Have you tried The Stay at Home Chef’s chocolate cupcake recipe? Tell us what you thought in the comments!