easy chocolate cupcakes with simple chocolate frosting and fondant hearts | movita beaucoup

These are my go-to chocolate cupcakes. Rich, tender and chocolatey. A classic cupcake that never lets me down. And though I should probably keep ’em top secret, I’m not going to. Because I want you to succeed. I want you to win at baking. I want you to feel like you can be almost nearly as great as I am.

easy chocolate cupcakes with simple chocolate frosting and fondant hearts | movita beaucoup

These cupcakes take only minutes to throw together and no stand mixer is required. Got a whisk? That’s all you need. Heck, you could use a spoon in a pinch. This recipe is easily doubled if you need extras, and you can top ’em with whatever sort of frosting you might like. So when you’re going through your kid’s backpack at 10 pm, and find that note requesting a buttload of cupcakes by 8 am tomorrow? MAKE THESE.

easy chocolate cupcakes with simple chocolate frosting and fondant hearts | movita beaucoup

easy chocolate cupcakes with simple chocolate frosting and fondant hearts | movita beaucoup

Need a frosting recipe? Don’t fret. I’ve got you covered. Hows about a soft, sweet, chocolatey number? It’s got a little gloss to it, and though it’s not suitable for piping, it is easily spread over the cupcakes with a palette knife or spoon. It, too, is extremely easy to throw together, making it a great last minute option. (Got a large pan of brownies that needs dressing up? This will work!) I’d recommend using a hand mixer to whip this frosting into a smooth, spreadable topping, but if you’ve got arms like Hulk Hogan? You could probably do it by hand.

easy chocolate cupcakes with simple chocolate frosting and fondant hearts | movita beaucoup

Some of you keeners will be wondering about the fondant hearts. Well, they aren’t an exact science. You’ll have to play around a bit, and you’ll get different results every time. I’ll give you an idea of what I did below. I made the hearts two days ahead of time so they’d be nice and hard for standing up in the cupcakes. Buy some fondant if you don’t want to make it. (Seriously. Don’t be a hero. Just buy it.)

To make the striped hearts (this is merely a guideline):

fondant hearts | movita beaucoup - easy to make!

1. Knead and dye some fondant with gel paste food colouring. Any colours you like. I’d recommend making four complimentary colours, but go ahead with that sports team tribute if you like. I don’t have quantities for you – it depends on how many hearts you need. You’ll be rolling the fondant out thin, so don’t make a pound of the stuff – a large handful of fondant will probably be enough – make a little extra if you’re unsure. I use shortening on my hands and counter to prevent sticking – just a thin coating.

2. Work quickly, as this stuff has a tendency to dry out – keep the portions you aren’t working with tightly wrapped until you need them. Roll a small portion of each colour into strips/snakes, each about the same length – 5-6 inches long. If you want one colour to be more dominant, use a larger portion of that.

3. Lay the strips beside each other, nice and snug, and pinch the ends together.

4. Twist a few times up the length of the rope.

fondant hearts | movita beaucoup5. Fold in half.

6. Twist again. Don’t worry if some of the strips break. You’ll be rolling it all out.

7. Roll out. Work from the centre out. Small cracks can be smoothed with your fingers. Roll to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut in desired shapes. (Again, I use a thin coating of shortening on my counter to prevent sticking.)

To make the tie-dyed hearts:

fondant hearts | movita beaucoup

8. Use the scraps from the striped hearts. Gather the scraps into a ball.

9. Squeeze gently together (I only squeezed twice).

10. Roll and cut out.

If you want to skip the striped hearts – making only the tie-dyed – you could follow steps 1-6 from above, and then gently squeeze a few times before rolling/cutting.

easy chocolate cupcakes with simple chocolate frosting and fondant hearts | movita beaucoup

2.0 and I don’t really believe in Valentine’s Day (we know it exists, we just think it’s dumb), so we’d like to suggest that you make these for Saint Patrick’s Day to throw people off.

. . .

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes.

print and bake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mise en place – start by getting organized. Read through the entire recipe before beginning. Measure out all of your ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners – paper or foil.

Place the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, instant espresso (if using) and salt in a bowl, and whisk well to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sugar, canola oil and vanilla extract until well combined. Add the flour mixture and whisk until well combined and no large lumps remain. (Tiny lumps are fine.)

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cupcake wells. An ice cream scoop makes this easier. Don’t fill more than 3/4 full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

. . .

Simple Chocolate Frosting

Yields enough to frost 12 cupcakes – this is a soft, spreadable frosting, not suitable for piping.

print and cover stuff with frosting

  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (you can use chocolate chips)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mise en place – start by getting organized. Read through the entire recipe before beginning. Measure out all of your ingredients. This frosting can be made with a stand or hand mixer.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a stainless steel bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, stirring until completely melted and smooth. You can also do this in the microwave – use a low power setting, and heat gently to melt.

Place the sifted icing sugar, salt, heavy cream and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the melted chocolate and butter and mix with an handheld mixer (you can do this in a stand mixer as well). Mix on low speed at first, and then increase speed to medium and beat until well combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl at least once during mixing to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Use a palette knife or spoon to spread the frosting onto cupcakes.


  1. Margaret Field on February 13, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    I’m making instead of sending dumb valentine cards. I may or may not eat them myself. ❤️

    • movita beaucoup on February 13, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      These are definitely best when consumed solo. (That’s why there’s only 12!)

  2. Eggton on February 13, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    It goes without saying, but this post would have been worth reading even JUST for the last line alone.

    • movita beaucoup on February 13, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      I’m going to be so good at giving life advice to your baby.

  3. ibreatheimhungry on February 14, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Impressive – can’t believe there are no eggs in these! They look delicious and that heart tutorial is super cute – I can imagine all kinds of uses for this in different color schemes and shapes! Totally turning this into a Minecraft project with my 7 year old – he’s going to love it!

    • movita beaucoup on February 16, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Minecraft cupcakes would be THE BEST!

  4. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef on February 15, 2015 at 4:26 am

    I don’t have a go-to cupcake recipe as I rarely make them. Now with the olds in the nursing home, I need to start baking more. .They love it when I bring homemade treats and chocolate cupcakes were a real hit last time.

    I love the hearts!

    • movita beaucoup on February 16, 2015 at 9:30 am

      I sincerely hope that when I’m in a nursing home, people will commit to bringing me treats on a regular basis. Actually, there are a couple of very hip sounding retirement homes in the city, and I’m considering moving in next year. Movie night? Shuffle board? Dances? I’M IN.

  5. thekalechronicles on February 17, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    The fondant hearts are very cool and you are very cool, Ms. B.

  6. shannon on February 17, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Double thank you: first, i needed a chocolate cupcake recipe: i don’t have one, and i always manage to screw up whatever favorite chocolate cake recipe i try to convert into cupcakes (i know, i’m TALENTED). second, this fondant project screams Wee One: she would spazz OUT if i were to let her do all that twirling and whirling to make pink hearts.
    I’m gonna steal this to do easter cupcakes, i imagine. because swirl easter egg fondant cutouts, right?

  7. Heena on March 31, 2016 at 2:22 am

    I have tried this recipe, and it turned out amazingly moist & fluffy…it was a hit! I instantly thought this recipe was a keeper!
    However, when I tried it for the second time, it just didn’t work 🙁
    I had to dump everything..I tried again for the third time…and the cake just sinks in the middle, the bottom is tooo hard, but the center is still moist though..I am still trying to figure out what could have gone wrong..
    does it make a difference if I beat the batter with an electric beater instead of whisking?

    • movita beaucoup on March 31, 2016 at 6:15 am

      I’m not sure Heena. I’ve never used an electric beater for this recipe – just a light whisking, so it’s possible that the batter is getting overworked (over-beating will create tough batter). It sounds more like the cupcakes are under-baked. Are you using a standard size cupcake tin? And are you testing with a toothpick before removing them from the oven? Bake times are merely a guideline, of course.

      • Heena on March 31, 2016 at 6:22 am

        oops I am sorry..I didn’t realize I posted the comment on the cupcake page…I actually tried making 2 6-inch cakes with this recipe…I guess you are right about the over beating part..recalling how I had done it for the first time, I realized I had whisked it in my first attempt..and this time I forgot about that part and used the electric beater 🙁
        will definitely try again…hoping for the best!

        • movita beaucoup on March 31, 2016 at 6:29 am

          Well, I hope it works out for you! I have found that the whisking works very well – just whisk until the ingredients are incorporated (some tiny lumps are fine). I always bake my cakes with my oven racks in the centre of the oven – this prevents over-baking of the bottom with a raw centre. (My oven is ANCIENT, so I also use an oven thermometer to make sure my temp is accurate. It’s never what the dial says!) Good luck!

  8. movita beaucoup on June 27, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Comments on this post are closed as it was published in February 2015.