Chocolate Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Frosting

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

Believe it or not, I’m actually not a girly girl. I wasn’t a little girl who grew up dreaming about getting married. In fact, I was the angst-y young adult who actually purchased a book entitled Marriage and How to Avoid It. But then, life throws you a curveball. A tall, handsome curveball who is your perfect match. A man who makes each day better just by being a part of it. A man who encourages you to start a food blog and eats everything you make.  A man who comments on posts that no one else does just for support and still loves the first food photo you ever took. Then one day, that man gets down on one knee with fireworks going off overhead and gives you the most gorgeous diamond ring you’ve ever seen.

diamond ring

Let me be the first to tell you, it turns out that diamond rings are incredibly distracting. They are so shiny and pretty, it becomes hard to get anything done because you are distracted by the sparkles. You begin to wonder why you haven’t been wearing diamonds like this your whole life. Suddenly your life is flipped upside down into Wedding World. All the time you used to spend on foodgawker staring at gooey cupcakes, is now being spent on weddingawker staring at big white dresses. You are worrying about flower colors and invitation printing … and suddenly you need chocolate, in a bad, bad way.


As someone who hadn’t already planned a dream wedding in my head, this whole wedding planning stuff became pretty overwhelming pretty quickly. There are all these etiquette rules and traditions to sidestep. Just picking a date that wont offend an entire faction is a like dancing thru a minefield. Throw in the added element of planning the whole thing from halfway across the country and you’ll have a rough idea of what I’m working with.

But, we nailed down most of the major stuff — date, place, photographer — which I consider a major victory. A victory deserving cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes. But let’s not get carried away. I simply don’t have all day to futz over a tedious recipe with seven thousand ingredients. I still have to find a wedding dress for crying out loud! Enter: Super, Simple, Incredibly Forgiving One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes.

baked chocolate cupcakes

This is the kind of simple one-bowl cupcake recipe that everyone needs to have on stand-by. You probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen. The recipe isn’t fussy or demanding. In fact, its extremely forgiving. A few lumps in your batter because even though you know that you need to start working on your triceps to prepare for a strapless dress your arm is tired of stirring? No big deal. Forgot to fully preheat the oven when you put them in? Eh, it’s cool. They will still taste just fine. Throw some light, fluffy frosting on top and no one is the wiser.


I also have to give a shout-out to Purr Design and the amazing job they did giving this site a much needed facelift! Don’t we look 5 years younger now? While I was busy getting Wedding Head, they were nipping and tucking all over the place! Check out the fabulous new Recipe Index where you can browse by ingredient. While I’m going to try my best not to, if I go missing for another few months, don’t worry, just know that I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of tulle and lace!

solo cupcake


Chocolate Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Frosting

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


For the cupcakes:
1 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs plus one yolk (save the extra white for the frosting!)
1 1/4 cup hot water (or hot coffee)
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (or whole milk with 1 tablespoon white vinegar allowed to sit for 5 minutes)
1 1/4 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Swiss meringue frosting:
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg whites
26 tablespoons butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, powder and salt). If you are feeling particularly ambitious, go ahead and sift it all together to remove an lumps.
- Whisk in the wet ingredients (eggs, water, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla). Whisk until smooth, approximately 3 minutes.
- Pour batter into the prepared, lined pans until each cup is about halfway filled. Bake for 20-25 minute or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove to wire cooling racks. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before attempting to frost.
- While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, prepare the frosting. Place a large metal mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. In the bowl whisk together the sugar and egg whites. Whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved in the egg white mixture. Transfer the bowl to an electric mixer and beat on medium until the mixture doubles in size. Add vanilla extract. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, continuing to beat until fully incorporated. It will get lumpy before it all comes together. This is normal! Just keep beating. (Depending on how heavy you like to frost your cupcakes, you may want to make a double batch. These amounts are enough for a light frosting on two dozen cupcakes, but if you like a heavier frosting or want to do lots of piping, go for a double batch.)
- Once the frosting comes together and the cupcakes are cooled, frost and decorate!

Adapted from Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes and Smitten Kitchen's Swiss Buttercream Frosting

  Pin It

14 Responses to “Chocolate Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Frosting”

  1. 1
    Jessica Bell — May 11, 2012 11:05 am

    Congratulations on your engagement! Enjoy every moment of the planning, you’ll be sad when it’s over. And the new site looks great :) Oh, and although I never commented on the refried beans, I do make them often, and their fabulous!

    • adashofsass replied: — May 12th, 2012 12:11 am

      Thank you! I am SO glad to hear that someone else makes the refried beans!!

  2. 2
    Katie @ OhShineOn — May 11, 2012 11:36 am

    Gorgeous post! These cupcakes came out absolutely perfect.. PERFECT! Just look at those gals, how on earth did each one bake to the perfect size? Oh, and that frosting… Ohhhhh!

  3. 3
    Mary Lynne — May 11, 2012 1:29 pm

    Can we make these Monday afternoon for our birthday party? I was thinking of ordering cupcakes but this would be better don’t you think? We should have time right? They look so yummy!!!

  4. 4
    cindy — May 11, 2012 1:31 pm

    love this sweet post your new web look !

  5. 5
    Shelley Ford — May 11, 2012 2:48 pm

    Congratulations! I’m so excited for the both of you! I love the new site and this recipe and photos look fabulous! Hope I get to see you one day if you’re close to Arizona! Love and hugs, Shelley

  6. 6
    Cheryl — May 11, 2012 3:34 pm

    Cupcakes look great…engagement ring is gorgeous. Can’t wait to see it in person!

  7. 7
    Tory — May 11, 2012 6:48 pm

    Congratulations!!! And thanks for his awesome and perfect “little black dress” recipe!

  8. 8
    Jennifer — May 11, 2012 10:09 pm

    Congratulations on your engagement! I don’t think I’ve commented on any of your recipes, but I am a big fan and many of your concoctions are favorites in my home. Can’t wait to make these cupcakes.

  9. 9
    katy — May 12, 2012 5:38 am

    These sound scrumptious. I don’t know you, but your happiness is oozing through your posts! Congrats. Your blog is one of my favs…first time commenting, many a time inspired by your recipes…thanks!!

  10. 10
    Carol — May 12, 2012 4:42 pm

    I am so happy I found your website and blog!!! I love all your comments on wedding planning!! Congratulations.

  11. 11
    Suzy — May 13, 2012 3:26 am

    Congratulations!!! I love your blog, and these cupcakes look divine. =)

  12. 12
    Mumzy — May 16, 2012 6:53 am

    Your ring in the cupcake picture was truly amazing! It’s so bright and sparkly, just like its owner! That man of yours has GOOD TASTE!!!!! :o )

  13. 13
    Mallory — April 15, 2014 1:34 am

    I have used this recipe twice to make a cake for my son’s birthday. It turned out fabulous both times!

Leave a Comment