Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
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What does “Death by Chocolate” mean?

The term “Death by Chocolate” just signifies chocolate overload, in the best way!! It means that a recipe is going to give you the best type of sugar rush, from multiple forms of chocolate! Chocolate frosting on top of chocolate cake with salted chocolate fudge sauce, sprinkled with more chocolatey goodness! I’m warning you, this recipe isn’t for the fainthearted, that’s why I think its perfect for a valentines treat!

WHy these cupcakes are amazing

Flavour & texture: These cupcakes include a moist yet fluffy chocolate cupcake with a gooey salted chocolate fudge centre and topped with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting.

Difficulty & Time: Pretty dang easy but recipe contains a few steps so allow time. The caramel for the fudge may be the trickiest part but see notes for tips.

Three chocolate cupcakes with red liners and sprinkles.

What ingredients are needed

  • Plain flour: Nothing fancy here, just your good ole all-purpose/plain flour. Weighing your flour is a preference to ensure you do not add too much flour. If you choose to use cups please ensure you do not pressurise the flour in the measuring cup and add too much.
  • White sugar: I prefer to use fine caster/bakers sugar as it dissolves quicker and its what i stock in my house. Yes, you can add granulated sugar as it is exactly the same, just small, finer granules. You can also make your own caster sugar! Simply add to a blender and… blend! The smaller the granule size means its quicker to dissolve.
  • Cocoa powder: I recommend using good quality cocoa powder to achieve a deep, richer chocolate flavour. Dutch-processed cocoa can be used here to give you a dark colour and less bitterness. Avoid sweetened cocoa so that you do not have to tweak the sugar quantity as it will be too sweet.
  • Baking soda + Powder: The classic leaveners that you’ll need when it comes to most cakes, cupcakes and muffins. The recipe has baking soda that will react with the acid in the cocoa powder and lemon juice but it needs a little extra lift which is where the baking powder comes in. Baking powder reacts with itself when mixed with a liquid. Both Baking powder and soda allow a light, fluffy cake.
  • Salt: A huge part of bread baking but all cooking needs SALT! it helps to enhance the flavours of all ingredients in the recipe.
  • Large eggs: Large eggs are always recommended when baking so that they give consistent results every time and you avoid having an ‘eggy’ taste. Use eggs in cartons labelled “large eggs” which are 55 – 60g / 2 oz each. This is an industry standard and most international bakers’ recipes use this size. In a pinch and have larger eggs? Crack egg into a bowl, whisk then measure out 50 ml / 48-50 grams. Ta-dah!
  • Milk + Lemon juice: We are creating a pseudo-buttermilk to add richness and tang to the cake. The lemon juice will also react with the baking soda to create leavening (air bubbles) and help the cake rise.
  • Instant espresso coffee powder: Coffee is often added to recipes to intensify the rich chocolate flavour. Cocoa and coffee have similar flavours and bitterness but when paired together, they enhance each other. In this recipe, you don’t taste the coffee flavour but it works magic to enhance the boldness of the chocolate. You can use a little coffee grounds if you like also but the instant powder is easiest.
  • Neutral flavoured oil: Rice bran oil, canola oil or peanut oil is great for this recipe. You need something that is relatively bland that will add moisture to the cake but not overwhelm the other chocolate flavours. I personally like to use olive oil as it adds a fruity, peppery flavour but its not for everyone.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract is not necessary for the structure of this or any baking recipe. However, leaving it out will change the flavour, some recipes more than others. Vanilla in baking is like adding salt to savoury foods, it enhances all the other flavours in the recipe. Without it, cookies and cakes don’t have the richness that we know and love.
  • Buttercream: A simple and delicious American buttercream. Basically powdered icing sugar, cocoa, butter and cream. It is very sweet so either use a little on each cupcake or look for a swiss meringue buttercream as an alternative.
  • Salted Chocolate Fudge: For chocolate lovers eyes only! Indulge in this luxuriously gooey sauce. It’s perfect on ice cream, filled inside cakes or just on a spoon.
Chocolate cupcake with gooey fudge filling oozing out and chocolate frosting cut in half sitting on light grey plate next to another cupcake and other cupcake half.

THE SALTED CHOCOLATE FUDGE filling

These cupcakes use will need 1/2 batch of my Salted Chocolate Fudge Sauce. Make it on the day or ahead of time. It lasts in the fridge so a long time and has so many other uses!

Salted Chocolate Fudge Sauce
For chocolate lovers eyes only! Indulge in this luxuriously gooey sauce. Its perfect on ice-cream, filled inside cakes or just on a spoon.
Check out this recipe
Jar of chocolate fudge

How to make Death By Chocolate Cupcakes

  • For the chocolate cake
    • Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F. Prepare a cupcake tin with 12 cupcakes liners and set aside.
    • In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder; mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
    • In another bowl combine eggs, milk, coffee, oil, vanilla and lemon juice. Whisk until combined
    • Pour half the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated and no lumps before adding the rest of the wet mixture. The batter will be quite thin, it just means that the cake will be super moist once baked.
    • Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 18-25 mins or until it springs back in the centre when gently pressed
    • Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to sit for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and cooling them completely.
  • For the fudge
    • While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the fudge as per the recipe and allow it to cool completely in the fridge. You’ll want it to be cool/cold so that it stays firm inside the cake without absorbing into it.
    • For the buttercream
    • In a large bowl, using an electric hand/stand mixer, beat all the ingredients until thick, fluffy and become pale. If the buttercream appears too thin, add a little more icing sugar. If it needs to be thinner, add a touch more cream.
    • Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag or ziplock bag fitted with a star tip. Set aside
  • Bring it all together
    • Working with one cupcake at a time, cut a small section from the centre and fill it with caramel. Now, pipe buttercream over the top. Starting at the centre of the cake, swirl the icing out and around in one smooth circular motion. Overlap slightly as you gradually pipe towards the centre, forming a peak.
    • Add desired sprinkles and serve!
Half unwrapped cupcake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles sitting on light grey plate with 3 cupcakes in background.

Setting you up for success – Tips & Tricks

  • Use room temperature ingredients: Make sure all your ingredients, including eggs, milk and butter are at room temperature. This helps to ensure that they combine well and create a smooth batter and buttercream.
  • Measure ingredients accurately: Do you know that scooping flour out of the container can actually compress the flour and you’ll possibly end up with ~50% extra? Compressed flour = Over-measuring = dry, dense and cakey baked products. Weighing is ALWAYS recommended. Grab kitchen scales and you’ll get much more consistent results. If you don’t have scales, you have two options. 1. spoon flour into the measuring cup or 2. use the cup to stir and ‘fluff up’ the flour before scooping and measuring, so that it isn’t packed.
  • Sift it: Cocoa powder is naturally hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs moisture from the air and clumps up. We all hate clumps and you’d rather not bite into bitter cocoa in a baked cupcake. Sifting the dry ingredients will remove clumps but also helps distribute the baking powder & soda throughout and mix the dry ingredients.
  • Yes, the batter is supposed to be thin: The thin consistency means the batter contains a lot of liquid that will create a fluffy, moist cake. Be sure to cook the cake at a little lower temp for a longer time so that it is cooked all the way through. If your oven is a little hot, turn it down and remove the fan setting.
  • Fill the cupcake liners correctly: Fill each liner about two-thirds full to ensure the cupcakes rise and don’t overflow.
  • Bake at the right temperature: Preheat your oven and bake the cupcakes at the temperature recommended in the recipe. Overbaking can lead to dry cupcakes, while under-baking can result in a dense, undercooked centre.
  • Cool before frosting: Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them. If you frost them while they’re still warm, the buttercream can melt and slide off.
  • Use a piping bag for frosting: A piping bag and tip can give your cupcakes a professional look. Use a star tip for a swirl or a round tip for a smooth finish.
  • Decorate with toppings: Add a fun touch to your cupcakes by decorating them with toppings like sprinkles, chopped nuts, or fruit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there coffee in this chocolate cake?

Coffee is often added to recipes to intensify the rich chocolate flavour. Cocoa and coffee have similar flavours and bitterness but when paired together, they enhance each other. In this recipe, you don’t taste the coffee flavour but it works magic to enhance the boldness of the chocolate. If coffee isn’t for you, leave out the coffee and use water.

Do I have to use the salted chocolate fudge?

No, If you’d prefer to make simple chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream, simply leave out the fudge. It is delicious though so I do recommend coming back and trying it!

How do you store cupcakes?

Place the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. See the freezing info below.

Can you freeze these cupcakes?

Freeze either unfrosted or frosted for up to 3 months. Note that frozen buttercream may split and not have the same texture. It’s recommended to freeze unfrosted cupcakes and frost them fresh when needed. You can prepare the chocolate buttercream 1-2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before re-beating and frosting.

Half unwrapped cupcake with chocolate frosting cut in half sitting on light grey plate with 3 cupcakes in background.

Did you make this recipe?

Let us know how it turned out for you! Comment below, tag @missmolly_makes on Instagram using #missmollymakes or visit us LIVE at twitch.tv/missmollymakes.com

Cupcake with red wrapper on white plate

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

Servings 12
Chocolate lovers only! An indulgently moist yet fluffy chocolate cupcake with a gooey salted chocolate fudge centre and topped with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting.
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 cupcake tin with liners
  • 2 large bowls
  • hand/stand mixer

Ingredients
 

Chocolate Cake

  • 120 g (¾ cups + 2 tbsp) plain flour
  • 115 g (½ cup) white sugar
  • 50 g (½ cup) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 large eggs
  • 125 mls (½ cups) milk
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 125 mls (½ cups) strong black coffee cooled
  • 62 mls (¼ cup) neutral flavoured oil rice bran or canola
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Salted chocolate fudge

  • ⅓-½ cup (2 tsp) Salted chocolate fudge

Chocolate buttercream

  • 170 g (¾ cups) butter softened
  • 300 g (2-3 cups) powdered icing sugar
  • 35 g ( cup) cocoa powder sifted
  • 60 g (2 tbsp) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Extras

  • Sprinkles

Instructions

For the chocolate cake

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F. Prepare a cupcake tin with 12 cupcakes liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder; mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • In another bowl combine eggs, milk, coffee, oil, vanilla and lemon juice. Whisk until combined
  • Pour half the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated and no lumps before adding the rest of the wet mixture. The batter will be quite thin, it just means that the cake will be super moist once baked.
  • Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 18-25 mins or until it springs back in the centre when gently pressed
  • Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and cooling completely.

For the fudge

  • While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the fudge as per recipe and allow to cool completely in the fridge. You'll want it to be cool/cold so that it says firm inside the cake without absorbing into it.

For the buttercream

  • In a large bowl, using an electric hand/stand mixer, beat all the ingredients until thick, fluffy and become pale.
    If buttercream appears a too thin, add a little more icing sugar. If it needs to be thinner, add a touch more cream.
  • Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag or ziplock bag fitted with a star tip. Set aside

Bring it all together

  • Working with one cupcake at a time, cut a small section from the centre and fill with caramel. Now, pipe buttercream over the top. Starting at the centre of the cake, swirl the icing out and around in one smooth circular motion. Overlap slightly as you gradually pipe towards the centre, forming a peak.
  • Add desired sprinkles and serve!

Notes

Leftover fudge can last in fridge for up to a week. Keep in a airtight jar.

Nutrition

Calories: 661kcal | Carbohydrates: 98g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 478mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 73g | Vitamin A: 573IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Recipe Published: February 13, 2023 Last Updated: April 4, 2023

Did you make this recipe?

Please let us know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @missmollymakes on Instagram and hashtag it #missmollymakes.

Lauren and Troy George, Creators of MissMollyMakes smiling to camera.

Hiya, I’m Lauren but you can call me Molly!

Former OR Nurse and self-taught home cook passionate about Approachable, No-Nonsense recipes to help you level up in the kitchen. Together with my husband Troy, we create simplified dishes for busy people with easy-to-find ingredients!
To learn more about us, our cooking show and more, click here!

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Leave a Comment

  1. Crystal Russom says:

    5 stars
    Oh my GOD these are so good I cannot believe I – with my limited baking skills – cooked them! When I initially saw Molly makes these on Twitch, I was sceptical as I am a huge sweet tooth with high eating standards and average cooking ability. Being lazy, I made them without the fudge or buttercream as I didn’t have all of the ingredients and couldn’t be bothered to get them. But you know what? They were still HEAVENLY. The most lightest, fluffiest, moist cupcakes I’ve ever made and ever eaten, without being crumbly or falling apart. The coffee makes such a difference to the texture and makes the cocoa powder pop. I ate them both by themselves and with vanilla ice cream, and will defs be making these again with the buttercream and fudge. So impressed, thank you Molly!

    1. Miss Molly Author says:

      This makes me smile every time i read it! I’m so so happy you loved them 🙂 Thanks for sharing your feedback xx

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