A little indulgence here before Lent begins.....super chocolaty, super-moist, melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes. You don't need frosting for these, trust me. When you look at the recipe, you'll notice a lot of coffee goes into the batter. Don't be put off by that - you don't taste the coffee. It only brings out the intense chocolate flavor. A good quality cocoa powder helps too. And of course, the chocolate chips just put this cupcake over the top.
Here's what you need:
- 1-1/2 c. PLUS 1/3 c. sugar, divided
- 2/3 c. canola oil
- 2 tbsp. white vinegar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. espresso powder (optional)
- 2 c. brewed coffee, brought to room temperature
- 1 c. semi-sweet, mini chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard-sized muffin tins with cupcake papers.
In a large bowl, beat 1-1/2 c. sugar, oil, vinegar, and vanilla until well blended.
In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder (if using).
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet sugar mixture. Stir in the coffee until well blended and smooth. Then add in the chocolate chips.
Fill the paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. (Be sure to stir the batter every now and then to make sure the chocolate chips don't sink to the bottom of the bowl.) Then sprinkle half of the 1/3 c. of sugar over the tops of the batter. (This will create a very light sugary crust when it bakes.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in one of the cakes comes out clean. Immediately after you take them out of the oven, sprinkle the remaining sugar over the tops. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the pans.
This recipe should yield about 2 dozen cupcakes. Here is a close-up of one I broke open with a fork..... enjoy!