Expect rave reviews for double-chocolate cupcakes topped with double-chocolate buttercream. A hint of spice adds subtle warmth to a perfect fall dessert.

Chocolate-Spice Cupcakes with Buttercream

To pipe a pretty swirl, squeeze a dab of frosting from a pastry bag onto a cupcake center, then circle around it toward the edge of the cupcake. Then start moving the circular motion back toward the center, piling frosting as high as you like and ending with a center point.

Makes 8 servings


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 recipe Chocolate Buttercream, recipe below


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line eight 2½-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, soda, salt and allspice; set aside. In a large bowl, beat together egg, sugars, oil and vanilla with an electric mixer on low for 10 seconds or until combined. Beat on medium for 1 minute. Beat in cooled, melted chocolate. Add flour mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition. Thoroughly mix in sour cream. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each half full. 

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups; cool completely. Spoon buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe on cupcakes as desired.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

In a small mixing bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, melted chocolate and cocoa powder with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 1 minute more or until smooth and creamy.