Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

I’m on a Valentine’s Day kick.  The next few posts are going to be all about one of my favorite things: baking.  And this post?  Baking with chocolate.

I don’t know what it is: I equate Valentine’s Day with chocolate.  Not with fancy dinners, not with flowers, not with jewelry.  For me, it’s all about the chocolate.  When I was a little kid, my dad would always bring home a tiny red heart-shaped box full of chocolates-one for my older sister, Sara, and one for me.  Valentine’s Day has always had a special place in my heart-but not for the romantic association.  It’s more of a nostalgic thing for me as a kid-knowing that my dad would give my mom a big box of chocolates, and then always take care of his two “little valentines”.  Love it.

I recently went through a 10 year hiatus where Valentine’s Day was never celebrated.  A holiday made up by Hallmark?  A racket for upscale restaurants and wine sales?  How about florists?  Whatever opinion you may have, I think Valentine’s Day is just another day to truly tell those around you how much they mean to you-regardless of the gifts given or received, big night out plans, or mushy sentiments.  I don’t know.  I still do (and always have) had a little love for the day proclaiming to celebrate love.  And this year I am celebrating.

So, I’m foregoing the entrees, appetizers, and side dishes for the next few posts.  This is your fair warning.  These next few posts are celebrating some of MY loves-desserts.

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Servings: approximately 36 mini cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder***I used the “extra-dark” kind, and I loved the results!

2 teaspoons instant coffee powder

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk***I used 2% because that’s what I had on hand.

1/2 cup oil**I used peanut oil because I also had that on hand-it was an experiment. (and, in my opinion, an experiment with good results)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

For the frosting: (You probably will not use all of this frosting-so please feel free to divide it in half, if necessary)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

4 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Rose or pink gel food coloring, to desired tint

Sprinkles, optional


1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line your mini muffin pans with your desired paper liners (or alternatively, just spray generously with cooking spray)

3. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda , and salt.  Mix well and set aside.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, oil, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar, mixing well.

5. With the mixer running, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.

6. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared mini muffin pan.

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

8.  Remove cupcakes and let cool for about 10 minutes.  Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to let cool to room temperature before frosting.

9. For the cream cheese frosting: With a standing mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

10. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the sugar gradually, and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

11. Add vanilla and mix well.

12.  Add desired food color gel and mix to desired tint.  Set aside.  ***The frosting and cake can be made ahead of time and refrigerated up to 3 days ahead of time.

Source:  Cupcakes directly from Baking Bites, Frosting from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes.

February 10, 2011 - 6:57 am

Lauren at KeepItSweet - I am in full support of chocolate for valentine’s day. I am in love with that hot pink frosting!

February 10, 2011 - 11:10 am

Blog is the New Black - So pretty and I love anything mini!

February 10, 2011 - 4:05 pm

natalie (the sweets life) - just bookmarked these! love the bright pink frosting!!!!

February 10, 2011 - 7:23 pm

Patty - I agree, it’s all about the chocolate. 😉
These are so stylie and cute!

February 10, 2011 - 8:40 pm

Christina - I love Valentine’s Day treats. Love the contrast between the hot pink and chocolate! Too cute.

February 10, 2011 - 8:58 pm

Y - Hi! I LOVE all your recipes. I was wondering if there’s a specific reason for adding the apple cider vinegar?

February 10, 2011 - 9:23 pm

srlacy - Hi Y!

Thanks for visiting the blog!
Actually, I had intended for these cupcakes to be vegan (obviously that thought was thrown out of the window when I added the cream cheese buttercream frosting.) This was a vegan recipe that I had bookmarked.

Apple cider vinegar can be used in the place of eggs-oddly enough. And, sometimes you have to be very careful with what kind of granulated sugar you are using (if you want to stay vegan!)-some companies use a filter material in the processing of their sugar that contains animal bones.

You could, if you wanted to avoid using the apple cider vinegar, use eggs.

Here is a link with a substitution guide that I found:

February 11, 2011 - 1:59 am

Tweets that mention The Curvy Carrot » Mini Chocolate Cupcakes -- - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Manuela Durson, Shanon Lacy. Shanon Lacy said: Mini Chocolate Cupcakes. I'm on a Valentine's Day dessert kick. This is your fair warning. 🙂 […]

February 11, 2011 - 4:57 am

Medeja - How cute and how bright 🙂 I love that nice cute frosting 🙂

February 11, 2011 - 11:26 am

Lacey @ - These look amazing! Great photos! We’d love for you to share your recipe at!

February 11, 2011 - 5:33 pm

Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking - Shanon, these cupcakes are adorable and your piping is just perfect. Great job! I’ll have to try these sometime with the Valrhona cocoa powder I was given recently. Thanks so much for sharing!

February 12, 2011 - 10:08 am

Lisa (Dishes of Mrs. Fish) - I love the idea of mini cupcakes! Perfect bite sized treats! 🙂

February 12, 2011 - 11:54 am

Kelsey{itsybitsyfoodies} - Congrats on Foodbuzz Top 9! I love the hot pink frosting!

February 12, 2011 - 2:39 pm

The Farmers Wife - Love these, such adorable little treats! If only I could find a mini muffin pan somewhere in my state to buy… Congrats on the Top 9!

February 13, 2011 - 11:19 pm

Jenn@eatcakefordinner - These look so yummy.

September 5, 2011 - 9:32 am

natalie (the sweets life) - okay I want to make these this week and you mention they can be made 3 days ahead of time…can they be frosted and made ahead of time or just the 2 components made and refrigerated separately? don’t want to screw them up 🙂 plan to make Wednesday to serve Friday!

September 5, 2011 - 11:59 am

srlacy - Hey Natalie! How are you?
I would definitely make the cupcakes before hand and chill. I have never frosted them three days before, so I think when I originally posted, I was talking more about the actual cupcakes. I usually make my frostings the night before and then chill overnight. You could probably frost them ahead of time-I would just cover them really well so that the cool air doesn’t dry them out. 🙂

September 12, 2011 - 11:51 am

Sammy - I love these! I’m making them vegan buy using a different frosting but I’m going to make the cake this way! When you say instant coffee, what kind of coffee did you use? Is it just normal Folgers/DD/Starbucks or is it the instant like Via Starbucks that you pour in a cup and it makes coffee?

September 12, 2011 - 12:45 pm

srlacy - Hi Sammy!

I just used the instant Folgers coffee-the kind where you add a teaspoon or so to hot water. Hope they come
Out well for you!

September 12, 2011 - 2:32 pm

Sammy - not the kind you have to put through a coffee machine though right? would the starbucks via workout the same? sorry to be a pain haha they just look so good i want them to come out perfect!

September 12, 2011 - 2:50 pm

srlacy - Hey Sammy-no worries. It’s not the same kind that you would put through the coffee machine. You can find it in the coffee aisle-they are usually in smaller jars. Hope this helps!

November 18, 2011 - 2:30 pm

Giota - Hi, excellent recipe, I would like to ask, can you make this recipe ordinary cupcakes?

November 18, 2011 - 4:59 pm

srlacy - Hi Giota-
Sure! Just increase the baking time a little (maybe 20 minutes or so)-be sure to check them

January 20, 2012 - 11:27 pm

Malinda - I was just browsing and found these cupcakes! They’re so adorable. How did you do the piping?

January 21, 2012 - 12:28 am

srlacy - Hi Malinda-

My favorite piping tip is a Wilton 1M. I’m pretty sure that’s the tip I used. 🙂

February 9, 2012 - 10:00 am

Sweetheart Desserts | Vegan Hostess - […] Almond Tartlettes  .  Vegan Sugar Cookies Chocolate & Cherries Cake  .  Mini Chocolate Cupcakes Chocolate Cranberry Truffles  .  Peanut Butter Pillows Cut-Out Sugar Cookies  .  Fudgey […]

July 28, 2012 - 11:08 am

sweetheart desserts | The Vegan Lifestyle Guide - […] Almond Tartlettes  .  Vegan Sugar Cookies Chocolate & Cherries Cake  .  Mini Chocolate Cupcakes Chocolate Cranberry Truffles  .  Peanut Butter Pillows Cut-Out Sugar Cookies  .  Fudgey […]

February 7, 2014 - 7:05 am

Daniela - Hey,
I want to try to make the mini muffins. But what that mean these “cups”. how much is a cup? each 200 grams? (I read in some English recipes “cups”. Does this always the same quantity meant?)

baking powder and baking soda –> the ingredients are not the same?

I would be grateful for your help. =)

I hope you understand my bad english.


love greetings


February 7, 2014 - 12:10 pm

srlacy - Hi Daniela-

Cups are measured in ounces in the US. 1 cup=8 ounces.
Baking soda and baking powder are two different things.