Devil's Food Cupcakes

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I know I already have a Devil's Food recipe on my site, but this recipe is actually a different one. When I first started my blog, the Devil's Food Cake that I made for my friend's birthday was actually the first post I ever put up and I made it straight out of a recipe book.

As I've gotten into baking and blogging, I now choose recipes differently. I no longer just take them out of a book and leave it at that. Now I enjoy the process of doing research. I go to different blogs and recipe sites and see what the common elements of a particular recipe is. Sometimes even looking up the history. I really enjoy this process and am always learning new things.

Batter and baked. perfect baked domes that don't shrink and collapse but lovely and moist

Batter and baked. perfect baked domes that don't shrink and collapse but lovely and moist

For this cupcake recipe, I did my usual process and started looking at other recipes to see if the one that I'd used out of a recipe book was a common one or something different.

It was a little confusing, some used real chocolate, some used cocoa, some had a mixture. Some recipes used sour cream, others used buttermilk. So I had a look at Wiki's definition of Devil's Food and it really helped with choosing a recipe for these cupcakes.

Cooled and filled with dreamy nutella

Cooled and filled with dreamy nutella

It seems the important elements of a Devil's Food recipe is the addition of coffee, using cocoa and boiling or hot water instead of milk.

I wasn't sure if I should use sour cream or buttermilk, but Wiki mentioned that Devil's Food is a close relative to Red Velvet cake, and so I opted for buttermilk.

The reason I decided to make Devil's Food cupcakes was to match them up with Angel's Food cupcakes for Halloween. They make a really great pair, naughty and good, both in appearance and in calories ;)

Topped with chocolate swiss buttercream and filled with delicious nutella

Topped with chocolate swiss buttercream and filled with delicious nutella

I made these even naughtier by filling them with a generous filling of Nutella. I used one of my favourite frostings, Swiss Meringue Buttercream, to top them off. Creamy, silky and oh so good!

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Dressed up for halloween

Dressed up for halloween

Dressed with glittered horns and tails, they're devilishly good!

This recipe is now my favourite for chocolate cupcakes. They're moist and perfectly dense, which makes them really great for filling and they hold their shape beautifully once baked. This is definitely my new go-to chocolate sponge recipe. Oh, and you don't actually taste the coffee, it just adds a lovely richness. Give them a try!

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Makes 24 cupcakes

3/4 cup Strong Hot Coffee (brewed or instant)

3/4 cup Cocoa

170g Unsalted Butter, room temperature

2 cups Brown Sugar

3 Large Eggs, room temperature

2 1/2 cups Plain Flour

1 cup Buttermilk

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Vanilla Extract



  • Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted)
  • Line cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners
  • Whisk together coffee and cocoa and a small bowl, cover bowl with clingfilm and set aside
  • Sift together flour, bicarb and baking powder, set aside
  • Measure out buttermilk and mix with vanilla extract, set aside
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and salt
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating each egg in thoroughly and scraping the side of the bowl before adding the next egg
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined
  • Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix until combined
  • Repeat, ending with the last of the flour mixture
  • Add the cocoa and coffee mixture and mix until thoroughly combined
  • Divide equally into prepared cupcake liners
  • Bake for 20-25mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Allow to cool thoroughly on wire racks before filling and frosting
  • Once cooled, use an apple corer to make a hole in each cupcake
  • Pipe or spoon Nutella into each cupcake hole
  • Top off with generous swirls of chocolate Swiss Buttercream and decorate as desired




Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream


Enough for a generous swirl of frosting on 24 cupcakes

4 Large Egg Whites, room temperature

200g Granulated White Sugar

350g Unsalted Butter, room temperature

200g 75%-85% Good Quality Dark Chocolate

1 tsp Vanilla Extract



  • Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave, set aside to cool
  • Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl
  • Put the bowl over a pot of simmering water
  • Whisk over heat until all the sugar is dissolved and it resembles marshmallow fluff, about 3 mins
  • Pour the mixture into a large bowl and beat until the mixture is cool and you have a glossy meringue
  • Beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time, making sure it's completely mixed in before adding more
  • Tip: At some point it will look curdled, DON'T WORRY! Once you've added all of the butter, just keep beating and it will come together to form a smooth, creamy buttercream
  • Beat in the vanilla extract and then mix in the cooled and melted chocolate



To Make Chocolate Horns and Tails

  • Temper your chocolate and cool until it's a suitable piping consistency, you don't want it too thin or thick
  • Fill a piping bag or parchment cone and pipe the chocolate into the shapes of horns or tails
  • Tip: You can draw the shapes before hand on a piece of paper then place the paper under the parchment or acetate to trace over
  • While the chocolate is still a little bit tacky, sprinkle with red edible glitter or brush with lustre dust
  • Allow to set completely before removing carefully and decorating your cupcakes. If possible, wear cotton gloves to reduce the heat from your hands

Recipe Adapted from Food Network

Posted on October 24, 2010 and filed under Baked, Sweet.