Dark Chocolate Cupcakes/Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I’m always looking for new recipes to have on hand for my go-to recipes, this includes many flavors, so when I came across this rich dark chocolate cake I had to put it among  my top cake recipes, especially my go-to chocolate cake recipes.  I’m not a coffee drinker, but this cake may change my mind…well, I may add some sugar (trivia) and lite cream…well, maybe! lol  Hey, coffee smells great, but not sure if adding things to coffee is the answer…but, may give it a try.  After 60 years, you think I should forget it?  Anyway, you will enjoy this cake, it’s that good. 

The Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing is also one of my favorite icing recipes.  Trust me, you will not be disappointed in this recipe either. It’s an icing that’s sweet, but not too sweet, it’s rich, but not too rich, it’s smooth…did I say smooth?  Okay, again, it’s soooo smooth and creamy.  One of my favorites!

I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do.


Happy Cupcake/Cake Baking!






1 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 cups granulated sugar

¾ cup Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder (extra dark)  (I used Hershey’s Dark Cocoa)

1 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten

1 cup strong, hot black coffee or espresso

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

½ cup vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract




Preheat oven to 350F.  For cupcakes: fill each cupcake paper 2/3 full.

 For cake:   Prepare 2 x 9” (or 3 x 8” for slightly shorter layers) cake pans with butter and flour, or parchment paper.

In a bowl of electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, sift all dry ingredients.  Add remaining ingredients to mixture and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Batter will be very thin so being careful, batter will be thin.

Divide batter among cupcake papers or cake pans.

For cupcakes:  bake between 17 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For cake: Bake for 20 minutes and then rotate pans in oven.  Test to see if cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Try to not over bake.

Cool cupcakes on a wire rack. 

Cool cake in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes, and then gently invert cakes onto racks until completely cool.


Swiss Meringue Buttercream




5 large egg whites

1 and ¼ cups granulated sugar

1 pound (4-sticks) UN-salted butter, softened, cut into cubes

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt




Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with a paper towel and vinegar to remove any trace of grease.  Add egg whites and sugar and simmer over a pot of hot water (not boiling), whisking constantly until temperature reaches 140F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.

With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy and cool.  Switch over to the paddle attachment and, while mixing on medium speed, gradually add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and then mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if it curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).

Keep in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes.  Can freeze for up to 6 to 8 weeks.


 If making cake:  This cake is sturdy enough to be used under fondant, stacked, etc, but also moist and tasty enough to go on its own and almost with any type of frosting, glazes, etc.

*I sprinkled on powdered sugar on top of cupcakes.



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