Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

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Devil's Food Cupcakes
Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Mmmm… Devil’s Food Cupcakes! Always a family favorite and particularly mine on my birthday!

Devil’s food cake goes back to the turn of the century, that’s the turn of the 20th century. If you want to read about the origin of the name, click the link below the recipe.

This recipe for Devil’s Food Cake is from my grandmother, of course! It is a rich chocolate cake with coffee to give it depth. It uses cocoa powder for the chocolate flavor, my grandmother insists on the Dutch Process. I use Ghiradelli, it’s easy to find not too expense and lasts a while.

Also, the coffee needs to be hot, just brewed hot coffee. This makes the chocolate “Bloom” according to my Grandma!

Grandma Lillian
Grandma Lillian with my mother and grandfather

The frosting for these goes back and forth between buttercream and a rich fudge frosting. I used the buttercream this time because it ties into a story about Cake Murderers!

As always I hope that you enjoy our families recipe for Devil’s Food Cupcakes as much as we do!

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Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes


This is a rich chocolate cake with coffee to give it a depth of flavor, and a silky delicious buttercream frosting!


For the cake:

2 1/4 Cups of Flour

1 Cup of Cocoa Powder – Dutch Processed

2 teaspoons of Baking Soda

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 teaspoon salt

8 Tablespoons Butter, 1 stick, softened

2 Cups Sugar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, I’ve used both light and dark, both are good

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 Cup HOT coffee

For the Frosting:

4 Cups Powdered Sugar

1 Cup – 2 sticks Butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons Vanilla

1 – 2 Tablespoons Milk


Preheat the oven to 350

Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan

Beat the butter with a hand or stand mixer until smooth about 1 minute. 

Add the sugars, granulated and brown alternately until they are well mixed into the butter.

Add the vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.

Add the sour cream and the vegetable oil.

In a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking powder.

Add the dry ingredients beating on a slow speed in two or three batches.  Mix just until incorporated.

Pour the hot coffee into the batter and let sit for about a minute.  Then gently fold the coffee into the batter.

Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let sit about 10-15 minutes before removing them from the pan.

For the frosting:

With a hand or stand mixer, combine butter, vanilla and salt  until completely incorporated.

Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until all thoroughly mixed.  When all the powdered sugar is mixed in adjust speed to Medium High – High beat until fluffy adding milk a tablespoon at a time if it appears too dry.  

When cupcakes are completely cooled, frost them with either a spatula or a large piping tip.





The frosting can be very sweet!  If I’m using sea salt or pink Himalayan salt I use two teaspoons as these aren’t as “salty” as kosher salt.

You can use food coloring in the frosting if you want, use the mixer for a solid color and do it by hand  if you want a marbleized effect.

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