Better Chocolate Cupcakes

Better Chocolate Cupcakes

I’ve been taking Wilton’s Course 1 – Decorating Basics at Michaels for the past three weeks now. I’m really enjoying this class, and am surprised at how much I’ve learned so far. I’m not sure I’ll ever use some of the techniques I’ve learned, but getting familiar with which tools can be used for what effect will surely come in handy at some point in my baking. The major issue I’ve experienced so far with this class is the requirement to use “Class Buttercream Icing.” Don’t be fooled by the title, there’s no actual butter to be found in this recipe! Instead the recipe calls for Crisco, which makes just about the most disgusting icing I think I’ve ever tasted. I’m not a fan of icing to begin with, but this unnaturally white sugar goop is nasty! So here comes my next dilemma.  Why should I spend time making a cake from scratch, only to slather it with the foulest substance on Earth? For my previous class, I just used a boxed yellow cake mix, but this time around I wanted to play around a bit. I own two entire cookbooks on how to improve upon cake mixes, but did I even bother to look at them? (The Cake Mix Doctor and Cupcakes!: From the Cake Mix Doctor) Of course not, that would be too easy. Instead I searched Pinterest and found this recipe for “The Best Chocolate Cupcakes Ever!” from I Heart Nap Time. This recipe calls for a devil’s food cake mix, as well as a large box of chocolate pudding, and a cup of sour cream. Throwing in a bunch of chocolate chips makes the recipe even more decadent. I added more vanilla to the cupcake batter, because I almost always double the vanilla in every recipe. I also dissolved salt and instant espresso coffee into the hot water to bump up the flavor. The result was a cupcake that was still simple to make, but not bland like usual cupcakes made from a boxed cake mix. I ate one for breakfast right before my class, just to make sure they were edible, and also to enjoy one before it came into contact with the unnaturally white sugar goop. If I had my way, these cupcakes would never be touched with icing, because they’re just that good that they don’t require any “window dressing.”

Better Chocolate Cupcakes


Better Chocolate Cupcakes


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside.
  3. Combine cake mix, chocolate pudding, and chocolate chips in a large combine; stir until combined.
  4. Dissolve salt and espresso powder in the hot water.
  5. Add the water mixture, vanilla, eggs, and canola oil into the dry ingredients; stir until well combined.
  6. Add the sour cream; stir until well combined.
  7. Fill each paper cupcake liner 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when touched.
  9. Allow cupcakes to cool on a rack.

Better Chocolate Cupcakes


  • This recipe will yield approximately 24 cupcakes.
  • Make sure to buy the large 5.9-oz. box of instant chocolate pudding and pie filling mix.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to evenly measure out the amount of batter for each cupcake liner.
  • If you’ve got your heart set on icing the cupcakes, here are a few that I recommend.

Best Buttercream Icing by The Kitchen Magpie

Nutella Buttercream Icing by Just Easy Recipes

Oreo Buttercream Icing by Always with Butter

Hot Chocolate Buttercream Icing by What Megan’s Making

Better Chocolate Cupcakes


  • Use peanut butter chips in place of chocolate chips.

Technique Sample Cupcakes:

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: The Best Chocolate Cupcakes Ever! by I Heart Nap Time

Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck


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