Chocolate Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

We all have someone in our lives — or many someones — who can never eat too much chocolate. And we all seem to know one (seriously deranged) person who, dare I say it, prefers…unchocolate-y things. Enter the chocolate/lemon flavour combo. These turned out LIGHT, FLUFFY, and CHOCOLATEY. A perfect classic chocolate cupcake recipe.


As per, I’ve swiped both recipes from somewhere in the ether and changed them up to please me. Feel free to do the same. No need to reveal your source 😉

Pre-heat the oven to 160 C fan (180 C non-fan)

100 g butter, salted (at room temperature)
280 g caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
60 g cocoa powder (for baking)
1 tbsp instant coffee (heaping)
120 ml boiling water
120 ml water
225 g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

In a bowl, briefly cream your butter (100g), then add half of the sugar and beat for a minute. Add the rest of the sugar (280 g total) and beat for another minute until light and fluffy.

Creaming butter and sugar

Add one of the eggs and beat for a minute.


Add the second egg and the vanilla (2 tsp) and beat for a final minute until nice and smooth.


In a separate bowl (or measuring cup!) whisk together cocoa powder (60 g) and instant coffee (1 heaping tbsp) into the boiling water (120 ml) until lump free.


Add the cold water (120 ml) and mix well.


In a third bowl, sift together your flour (225 g), baking soda (1 tsp), and baking powder (1/2 tsp).

Take your creamed butter and add half of your flour mixture and half of your chocolate mixture.


Beat together on low. Add the rest of the flour and chocolate mixtures and beat until just blended. Too much blending makes for tough cupcakes.

(If you are lucky enough to have a lovely stand mixer or good quality hand mixer, beat on low. If, like me, you have a cheap one with no proper low setting, I suggest just using a whisk. To eliminate risk….of over beating… I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist the rhyme.)


If you are making the chocolate caramel mini cupcakes, jump back to that post now.

I divided the batter evenly in a 12 hole muffin pan that I lined with cupcake liners, but it could easily be spread between more, as I had to saw off the tops to get a nicer surface for icing (I’m thinking they’ll be used in a Chocolate Bailey’s Trifle…wouldn’t want to waste all those cupcake tops!)

Cook for 25 minutes (possibly less if you are dividing the batter between more muffin holes) and let them cool completely on a wire rack before you ice them.



For this recipe, I had to borrow a friend’s standmixer — my wee handheld mixer just can’t handle buttercream. I actually made the icing three months ago for a flatmate’s birthday cake, so there are no photos of the process. But, I can tell you that it freezes like an absolute dream! Make it now, wrap it tightly in cling film and seal it in a plastic container, and you’ll have icing that is good for months.

230 g butter (room temperature)
500 g icing sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tbsp milk (or cream)

Cream your butter (230 g), just like you did for the cakes. Then slowly add you icing sugar (500 g total). I did it one cup at a time. Add in the lemon zest and juice and blend thoroughly. I wanted my buttercream to be a bit more spreadable, so I added 2 tbsp of milk and blended — but you can play around with that as you like. Remember, with icing sugar, a little liquid goes a long way!

Raspberries go well with both lemon and chocolate, so it just makes sense that the three together are delicious. Thus, on a whim, some raspberries made it into my decorating stage.

Et voilĂ !




3 thoughts on “Chocolate Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

  1. Pingback: Chocolate Irish Cream Trifle | The Culinary Klepto

  2. Pingback: Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes | The Culinary Klepto

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