Get ready for the spooky season with these moist black velvet cupcakes!
These cupcakes are naturally dyed with black cocoa powder, giving you this intense black colour and delicious chocolate taste. It’s frosted with a creamy black cocoa buttercream. Plus – the whole recipe only takes 20 minutes to prep!
These cupcakes are very similar to red velvet cupcakes, they’re made with buttermilk and vinegar which gives you a fluffy texture. Instead of being dyed with red food coloring, they’re naturally dyed with black cocoa powder.
I topped my cupcakes with Sweetapolita sprinkles for Halloween.
Tell me about this recipe!
- These black velvet cupcakes take under 20 minutes to prep, so it is the perfect recipe if you need to bake something quickly for a party or event.
- This is an oil based recipe, meaning no butter in the cupcakes! This will give you a deliciously moist and fluffy cupcake.
- They’re topped with a very simple American buttercream recipe, flavored with black cocoa powder.
The printable recipe card with the full list of ingredients and instructions can be found at the bottom of this post.
- Black Cocoa Powder: black cocoa powder is ultra-dutch processed, making it extra dark and smooth. It almost tastes like an Oreo cookie. If you can’t find black cocoa powder, substitute an equal amount of dutch-processed cocoa powder. Just note if you do this, the frosting and cupcake won’t be black. These mocha cupcakes use dutch-process cocoa powder, just to give you an idea of what it would look like.
- Oil: make sure to use a neutral oil like vegetable oil, rapeseed oil or canola oil. This will make your black velvet cupcakes extra moist!
- Vinegar: don’t miss this out! Vinegar reacts with the baking soda and gives you an extra fluffy cake.
How to make this recipe
Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Step 2: In a large jug, whisk the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar and two sugars until smooth
Step 3: Pour the wet mixture into the flour, stirring until it is just about smooth – be careful not to overmix the batter
Step 4: Fill your cupcake liners half way and bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees. A toothpick inserted will come out with just a few crumbs.
Step 5: In your stand mixer, slowly beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together until fully mixed. Increase the speed to medium and beat for another 2 minutes.
Step 6: Stop your mixer and add your vanilla, salt and cocoa powder. Start by beating slowly so the cocoa powder doesn’t fly everywhere! Once it’s combined, increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. Turn the speed to low and slowly pour in your heavy cream. Beat until it is creamy and spreadable.
- I highly recommend using a weighing scale and measuring out your ingredients the metric way. It makes a huge difference to your baking and is the most accurate way to bake!
- I make sure that all of my ingredients are at room temperature before I start the recipe, so pull out all of the ingredients about 2 hours before you start baking.
- Only fill up your cupcake liners to half of the way, if you fill it up any further they will overflow in the oven!
- I used a Wilton 1M tip to frost my cupcakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Black velvet is really similar to red velvet, combining buttermilk with vinegar. Black velvet cupcakes though are made with black cocoa powder instead of regular cocoa powder.
Once you’ve filled the 12 liners, keep the rest of the batter at room temperature while the first 12 are baking. Once you’ve taken them out of the oven, let them cool for 5-10 minutes. Take them out to cool on a cooling rack, then bake the remaining 2 cupcakes.
Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating.
Most stores won’t stock black cocoa powder, so you’ll have to find it online! I bought the brand De Zaan, but King Arthur and Van Houten also make it.
More chocolate recipes to try
Have you made this recipe? Make sure to tag me on Instagram @alpineella and leave a review below if you have! If you want more baking ideas, you can follow me on Pinterest.
Moist Black Velvet Cupcakes
- 12 cup muffin tray
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup black cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup black cocoa powder
- Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C and place 12 cupcake liners in your muffin tray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, black cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large jug, whisk the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar and sugar until smooth
- Pour the wet mixture into the flour, stirring until it is just about smooth – we don't want to over mix the batter!
- Fill the cupcake liners half of the way and bake for 18-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool for 15 minutes in the tray, then take them out and place on a cooling rack. Bake the last two cupcakes.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together on low speed until well combined.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for a 2 minutes until it becomes very thick.
- Stop the mixer and add the salt, vanilla, and cocoa powder into the bowl. Begin by beating slowly, then increase to medium-high speed for another 2 minutes
- Turn the mixer to your lowest speed and pour in the heavy cream. Beat until it becomes very creamy and spreadable.
- I used a Wilton 1M piping tip to frost my cupcakes.
I made these cupcakes for my mom and paired them with a marshmallow fluff buttercream frosting, crumbled oreo on top and they were absolutely amazing! I made sure all of my ingredients were room temperature, followed the recipe exactly and they came out so moist and delicious! I turn the cupcakes on the side while cooling to help keep them from caving in in the middle and they were perfectly flat and ready to be topped with frosting. Thanks for a Fred recipe.
I made these for a friend’s Birthday party today. I was so disappointed! Every single one of them fell in the middle! I had no choice but to frost and take them anyway. Also, the actual cupcakes were not that sweet. Will use a different recipe next time for sure. Sorry. I would send a picture but don’t see an option for that.
Hi there, I’m so sorry about that! I’ve gone and retested the recipe and made a few changes to it, thank you for bringing it to my attention.
I used “muffin” tins. No way it would make 14. It barely made 9 half-filled. You must have meant “cupcake” tin. Smaller than muffins.
Hi there, where I live muffin pans and cupcake tins are the same size. Maybe you used a jumbo muffin pan?
I followed the recipe to the letter (frosting) and it has a salty taste ?
Oh no, I’m sorry it ended up salty! It definitely should not be salty whatsoever – what kind of salt did you use?
I used the Kosher salt as called for
I used the coarse kosher salt, would that make a difference?
Hi Sandra, I’m afraid it would make a difference! Coarse kosher salt, like Morton Coarse Salt, is saltier than Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (which is what I used here!). So if you used coarse kosher salt it would make the frosting pretty salty!
Oh. My. GOSH!!! These are freaking phenomenal!! I don’t want to use the word but I’m going to anyway. These are SO STINKING MOIST!! I cored them and added a bright green and bright purple filling. Going to frost with your black velvet buttercream, which I can only imagine is also spectacular. My sister’s Halloween themed gender reveal is going to be amazing!! Thank you for this awesome recipe! It’s forever my go to! P.s. these taste like Oreos! I guess Oreos secret is out! Black cocoa!
Thanks so much for your review! 🙂
Can I make batter/frosting a day ahead? Thanks!
Hi! You could bake the cupcakes the day before and also make the frosting a day ahead. If you make the frosting the day before you might just have to beat it again before frosting the cupcakes!