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Black Velvet Cupcakes

  • Author: Elise
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Cupcakes, Black Velvet, Chocolate, Halloween
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


These Black Velvet Cupcakes are a fun spin on the classic red velvet flavor! They are moist, made in one bowl with a whisk, topped with the silkiest and smoothest black cocoa buttercream frosting, and do not require dye!



For the Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup (50g) vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup (160g) light brown sugar
  • 1/3 (70g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100g), room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (85g) sour cream or greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup (105g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (40g) black cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cup (325g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (54g) black cocoa powder
  • 3 cups (360g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) milk, room temperature


For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12 count muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk granulated sugar, vegetable oil, room temperature eggs, vanilla extract, room temperature sour cream, room temperature buttermilk, and white vinegar together with a whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour properly-measured flour, black cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl and whisk. Mix only until you see the dry ingredients disappear into the batter, as overmixing could lead to dense cupcakes.
  4. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin liners, adding about 1/4-1/3 cup of batter to each liner. The liners should be about 3/4 full.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes look slightly shiny, the centers look set, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out with moist crumbs. Allow the cupcakes to fully cool before decorating.

For the Frosting and Decorating

  1. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat room temperature butter until smooth. This should be about 2 minutes of mixing.
  2. Slowly, add powdered sugar and cocoa powder into the butter. Beat on low speed, adding the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in small increments to avoid spilling.
  3. Pour milk into the frosting and beat on high speed for at least 3 minutes. This creates a light, velvety frosting. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure the frosting is even throughout.
  4. If desired, transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with your desired tip or a zippable plastic bag with the corner snipped off for greater control when frosting.
  5. Decorate cupcakes with frosting as desired and top with sprinkles or other festive candies.


Homemade Buttermilk: Regular milk will not substitute buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, fill a measuring cup with 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice or distilled vinegar. Next, add room temperature milk to reach the 1/2 cup (120g) mark. Stir the two together before letting it sit for 5-10 minutes before using.

Measuring Flour: To avoid dry and dense cupcakes, measure flour with a kitchen scale to 105g exactly or use a spoon to transfer flour from your container to your measuring cups before using a knife to level.

Keywords: Black Velvet Cupcakes, Black Velvet, Halloween Cupcakes