Yield: 6 chocolate raspberry cupcakes // Total Time: 45 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. // This post is sponsored by Papanicholas. All opinions are my own.
Why you’ll love these small batch chocolate raspberry cupcakes
These chocolate raspberry cupcakes are perfect for any time, but especially for Valentine’s Day. They’re rich, fudgy, and have a sweet, flavorful, naturally colored raspberry buttercream on top. The cocoa is bloomed with chocolate raspberry espresso, which not only brings out more chocolate-y flavor, but adds even more richness and raspberry flavor to the cupcakes themselves. These are super easy to make, are small batch, and are packed full of chocolate and raspberry flavor.
Why do you post small batch recipes?
I love making small batch bakes because they are the perfect size myself and others who don’t have a lot of people to bake for in their home. Small batch helps cut down on waste and eliminates the feeling that all that excess dessert MUST be eaten. Here on my blog I like to post a mix of small batch and “regular batch” recipes from time to time. All my recipes can easily be doubled or tripled to fit your need, so long as you use grams to measure!
I’ve partnered again with my all-time favorite coffee brand: papanicholas coffee for these chocolate raspberry cupcakes. I use their coffee beans every day and am so happy to be able to partner with them to spread the love of their coffee. In this recipe I used their chocolate raspberry espresso beans, which has flavor notes of sun-ripened raspberry and dark cocoa. I definitely highly recommend trying some of their coffee, they have so many delicious flavors and are always the coffee I use in my recipes (and for my daily caffeine dose!). You can find their website by clicking here. Also, if you do end up purchasing their coffee be sure to use code FRESH20 for 20% off your coffee order!
Weigh your ingredients
- Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient. In a small batch recipe it is especially important to get those correct measurements because there is less room for error. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Make your chocolate more chocolatey
- Did you know there’s a way to get even more chocolate flavor out of your cocoa powder? This little trick is my favorite way to add more flavor to my chocolate recipes! The trick is to “bloom” your cocoa. Blooming the cocoa means you mix it with a hot liquid and let it sit before adding it to your baked goods. Doing so releases the cocoa powder particles from a very thin membrane on them, exposing cocoa solids and bringing out more flavor.
Mix the batter carefully
- It is super important to not overmix the cupcake batter. Overmixing the batter leads to more gluten development which will make the cupcakes super tough and chewy. Only mix just until the last bit of flour is incorporated.
Room temperature ingredients
- You’ll want your cold ingredients at room temperature for this recipe so that they all come together to form a nice, cohesive batter. Take out the egg, sour cream, and butter at least 30 min. before starting the recipe. To bring an egg to room temperature quickly, you can place it under hot water for 1 minute. For sour cream, microwave it in 5-second intervals until it is room temperature (not hot!) And for butter, you can slice it into 1 tbsp. slices and microwave it in 5-second intervals until you can indent it easily by pushing on it.
Keep an eye on those cupcakes!
- Cupcakes like to go from under-baked to over-baked super quickly so it is important to keep a close eye on them. Start checking at 15 minutes with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out wet, check them again in 2 minutes and so on until only a few moist crumbs stick to the toothpick.
Ingredients and substitutions
For the chocolate cupcakes:
All purpose flour: the structure of the cupcakes
Baking powder: for leavening and giving that “cakey” texture
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness
Dutch process cocoa powder: gives the cupcakes a deep, rich chocolate flavor. You can use natural cocoa powder here as well, just note that the cupcakes will be much lighter in color.
Espresso: a shot of hot espresso poured over the cocoa helps bring out that ultra-chocolatey flavor. For these, I used papanicholas chocolate raspberry espresso beans which just brought even more delicious chocolate & raspberry flavor to the cupcakes. You can use freshly brewed espresso from a machine or instant espresso mixed with the appropriate amount of hot water. Hot coffee will also work well here too. If you are avoiding espresso or coffee, you can just use hot water in it’s place!
Vegetable oil: tenderizes the cupcakes. Any neutral oil, such as canola, will also work here.
Granulated sugar: sweetens the cupcakes and helps lock in the moisture.
Egg: contributes moisture to the cupcakes and helps bind the batter together
Sour cream: tenderizes and adds moisture to the cupcakes. I recommend using full-fat sour cream for the best texture.
For the raspberry buttercream:
Unsalted butter: the base of the buttercream. Feel free to use salted butter here, just be sure to omit the extra salt if using!
Freeze-dried raspberries: for flavor. There’s really no substitute for these since using regular raspberries would add too much moisture and create a wet buttercream.
Salt: helps balance and bring out the sweetness of the buttercream
Powdered sugar: sweetens and thickens up the buttercream. If you are looking for more of a melt-in-your-mouth texture, use organic powdered sugar!
Heavy cream: helps thin out the frosting to a pipeable consistency. Milk will also work well here!
How to make small batch chocolate raspberry cupcakes
Here are the steps to follow to make these cupcakes. You can find the complete recipe (which is printable!) at the end of this blog post.
1. Whisk the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
2. Bloom the cocoa. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot espresso, coffee, or water. Let it sit for 2 minutes to allow time for the flavor of the cocoa to come out.
3. Whisk the wet ingredients. Add in the vegetable oil, sugar, egg, and sour cream. Whisk the mixture together until well combined and smooth.
4. Add the dry ingredients. Add in the mixed dry ingredients, then lightly whisk the ingredients together *just* until no flour streaks remain, being careful to not overmix!
5. Bake. Distribute the batter evenly between 6 parchment liners, then bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of them comes out clean.
6. Make the buttercream. Start by beating together the the softened butter, dried raspberries and salt for 1 minute, then slowly beat in the powdered sugar until all of it has been incorporated. Beat in just enough heavy cream to get a pipeable consistency.
7. Frost and decorate. Frost each cupcake then (optional) garnish them with melted chocolate and raspberries.
8. Enjoy! Serve your cupcakes and enjoy!
Small batch chocolate cupcakes Q & A
Do I need to use espresso in these cupcakes?
- I highly recommend using espresso in these cupcakes (especially papanicholas!) If for any reason you don’t want to or can’t use espresso in these cupcakes, that is perfectly fine! Simply replace the hot espresso with an equal amount of hot water.
Can I double this recipe?
- Of course! Obviously they will not be small batch anymore but small batch isn’t always what we need! Simply double all of the ingredients in the recipe to make 12 delicious cupcakes. I even more strongly recommend measuring by weight if you are going to double the recipe for the best results.
Can I make these cupcakes ahead of time?
- Definitely! I would recommend making the cupcakes no more than two days ahead of time. Store the unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature. I’d recommend waiting to make the buttercream until the day you want to serve them.
How to store small batch chocolate raspberry cupcakes
Like most baked goods, these cupcakes will definitely taste the best on the day that they are baked. You can store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and Ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
Did you make these small batch chocolate raspberry cupcakes?
If you made these small batch black chocolate raspberry cupcakes I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Small Batch Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
- 90 g all purpose flour (¾ c.)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 32 g dutch process cocoa powder (⅓ c.)
- 60 g freshly brewed Papanicholas Chocolate Raspberry Espresso (2 oz.)
- 75 g vegetable oil (¼ c. + 2 tbsp.)
- 100 g granulated sugar (½ c.)
- 1 egg room temperature
- 75 g sour cream (⅓ c.) room temperature
- 170 g unsalted butter (¾ c.) room temperature
- 15 g freeze-dried raspberries (2 tbsp.) crushed
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 240 g powdered sugar (2 c.)
- 2 tbsp. heavy cream
- 45 g chocolate chips (¼ c.) melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line a muffin tin with 6 parchment liners.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and freshly brewed espresso.
- Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes, then whisk in the vegetable oil, sugar, egg, and sour cream until well combined.
- Add in the flour mixture, and whisk together just until no flour streaks remain.
- Distribute the cupcake batter evenly between the 6 liners. Bake for 15-20 minutes, oruntil a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, freeze dried raspberries, and salt until combined.
- Add in half of the powdered sugar and beat until combined. Then, beat in the rest of the powdered sugar.
- Slowly pour in the heavy cream while mixing the frosting, only using enough to achieve a pipeable frosting consistency.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled, transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with yourtip of choice. Frost the cupcakes, then garnish with a small amount of melted chocolate nd fresh raspberries if desired. Serve and enjoy!