Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream from Cath's Cookery Creations! @CathsCookeryHi.  My name is Cath, and I am a cupcake-a-holic.

As you may have gathered, I love to cook, and especially bake.  I do love all kinds of baking, but at the end of the day, as much as I love macarons, cakes, biscuits and brownies, my true love is cupcakes.  They are cute little packages of delight, sure to bring a smile to anyone’s dial.  For years and years and years and years they have been my go to treat and a few of the many varieties I have made are lemon and lime, red velvet (it started the whole red velvet craze in my world), chocolate, lemon meringue and the trusty old vanilla.  I love cupcakes that much that I have cupcakes on my dressing gown, apron, two bags, a tea towel and a cupcake shaped plate.  I am also going to be getting a vinyl sticker for a wall in my kitchen that reads “love and cupcakes are all you need” after seeing a print that Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction received.  So yes, a little obsessed over here.

So for my first foray back into the cupcake world after a long hiatus, I asked my friend C what her favourite chocolate bar was to inspire a cupcake for her birthday.  Originally I was going to call these Turkish Delight cupcakes (as that was the answer to my question), and I guess I sort of can because the flavour is essentially there.  But when you search for Turkish Delight cupcakes on the interweb, there usually is Turkish Delight in/on them.  So I am going to go with the much longer name of Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream.  Phew!

I couldn’t find my chocolate cupcake recipe so I searched for the “Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake” and certainly got a few hits.  The one I finally chose is actually the ultimate in my opinion from Cook’s Illustrated and I found the recipe on the Pink Parsley website.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream from Cath's Cookery Creations! @CathsCookery

There is no beating butter and sugar until light and fluffy with this one as it is quite a liquid batter.  The first step is to place the cocoa and chocolate in a bowl and pour over the boiling coffee or water (I hate coffee so used hot water instead, but apparently the coffee brings out the flavour a little bit more and you can’t taste the coffee-ness… I’ll still stick with the hot water).  I let it sit for a minute before I whisk as I find it easier to let the hot liquid to most of the hard work (I do the same when making ganache).

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Once the chocolate has melted, whisk until smooth and set aside to cool slightly.  The recipe says 30 minutes, but I have little patience so I put the bowl in the fridge to speed up the process.  It is important to cool the chocolate mixture, otherwise there is the risk of scrambling the eggs.

In a separate bowl, I whisk together the eggs, oil, vanilla paste and vinegar to ensure that I distribute the vanilla paste thoroughly and not leave any clumps behind.  Then I add the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream from Cath's Cookery Creations! @CathsCookery

In another bowl, the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt and bicarb soda) are whisked together and then the chocolate mixture is added and whisked until smooth.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream from Cath's Cookery Creations! @CathsCookery

Done!  Super simple and takes very little time.  This batter makes at least 12 cupcakes (I got 12 plus one slightly larger cupcake) so fill your cupcake liners until they are 3/4 full, one large ice cream scoop full of batter does the trick for me and helps make them all the same size.  I never used to use an ice cream scoop to measure out cupcake batter until I started watching The Cupcake Show podcast many moons ago and that is what Cindy used and I thought it was genius.  I now have four ice cream scoops of various sizes and use them for biscuits as well.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream from Cath's Cookery Creations! @CathsCookery

In my oven at 165°C fan forced these took 20 minutes to cook.

I slightly adapted the swiss meringue buttercream recipe from this recipe and although I had grand visions of big cupcakes swirls, I only had enough for a rose swirl on top of each cupcake, but they looked super cute in the end so I am not going to complain.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream from Cath's Cookery Creations! @CathsCookery

I have explained before about making Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB) so won’t rehash it all again, but I obviously omitted the chocolate and replaced it with rosewater and pink food colouring.  I forgot to omit the salt, which is probably used to bring out the flavour of the chocolate, but it was no drama.

I add the food colouring when whisking the egg whites and then add the butter.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream from Cath's Cookery Creations! @CathsCookery

You can always tweak the colour if you are not happy with it after adding the butter.

Pipe the SMB onto the top of each cupcake in whatever pattern you like.  As mentioned, I piped a rose on top of each cupcake (the same as on the wedding cake) and left a little of the cupcake showing.

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream from Cath's Cookery Creations! @CathsCookery

These cupcakes were delicious.  The chocolate cupcake itself was quite chocolate-y in flavour with the SMB not overpowering it at all and stayed nice and moist for days.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream from Cath's Cookery Creations! @CathsCookery

This cake recipe is definitely the ultimate in my opinion, and I also used it for the 40th birthday cake I made for one of the hubby’s friends which was layered with Creme de Menthe SMB and shaped as a purple corset (post will be coming).

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12-15 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream

Adapted from Pink Parsley.


    For the Cupcakes
  • 85g chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 3/4 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee (or hot water)
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/paste
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking/bicarb soda
  • For the Rose Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 170g unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp rose water (add more or less according to your taste)
  • Electric Pink food colouring


    For the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (165°C fan forced) and place cupcake liners in cupcake pan.
  2. In a heat proof bowl, place the chocolate and cocoa then pour over the hot coffee/water and let it stand for 1-2 minutes. Once the chocolate has melted slightly, whisk until it is smooth then set aside to cool (can be placed in the fridge to speed up the cooling process).
  3. Whisk together the vegetable oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla extract/paste to ensure the vanilla paste is evenly distributed through the mixture. Add this to the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt and baking/bicarb soda and whisk together.
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners until they are 3/4 full and place in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes until cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. For the Rose Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  8. Heat the egg whites and sugar over a pot of simmering water in a heat proof bowl until they reach 65°C on an instant read thermometer.
  9. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high until you have stiff glossy peaks and the mixture has cooled, adding the food colouring towards the end of whisking.
  10. Slowly add the butter, one piece at a time, while mixing at a medium speed (don't worry when the mixture curdles as this is normal).
  11. Mix the vanilla and rosewater in and switch to the paddle attachment and stir on low speed for 5 minutes to remove the air bubbles and make a silky smooth texture.
  12. Pipe onto the cupcakes as desired.
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