Small batch desserts are adorable and fit a lovely niche. There are just days in life when you want (need?) something sweet, but also want to keep it simple. Not to mention, the prospect of a dozen-plus cupcakes leftover on your counter is a recipe for regret and bad feelings. That’s where these small batch chocolate cupcakes come in!
The concept of small batch baking is beautiful. Take this recipe, for example; it only requires a little over 1/4 cup of flour, no eggs (yeah, you read that right), and yields four perfect lil cupcakes. The cupcakes are moist and light with a mild chocolate flavor and topped with a peanut butter buttercream frosting because hello, who doesn’t love that combo?
The cupcake itself is actually (without meaning to be-) vegan- so you can substitute shortening or another dairy-free sub for butter in the frosting, and you’ll have Vegan Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes! Ok- now go make yourself very happy and whip up a batch stat!
Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes Notes
- This recipe calls for unsweetened natural cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa is neutral, so if you use it, it won’t react with the baking soda, and your cupcakes won’t rise!
- I used a Wilton 1M piping tip to frost swirls on these cupcakes. If you plan on just spreading frosting over the top with a knife, I would cut the frosting recipe in half!
Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup milk
- ⅛ tsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter *
- 2 tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a cupcake/muffin tin with 4 liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. (If looking for dark cupcakes like pictured above, add ½ tsp of black cocoa, otherwise leave it out!)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, vinegar, oil, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the center of your flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. Careful not to overmix!
- Divide the batter among the 4 cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.
- To make the frosting, beat softened butter until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, peanut butter, and milk and beat until combined. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more milk if mixture is too thick. Add salt if frosting is too sweet (1/4 teaspoon). Frost cooled cupcakes (I used Wilton 1M piping tip). There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake.
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