Primrose Bakery’s chocolate cupcakes recipe

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makes: 16
Skill: medium
Prep: 50 min
Cooking: 20 min
(may need an extra 5 mins)
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  • This chocolate cupcake recipe from the Primrose Bakery in Covent Garden makes 16 regular-sized cupcakes or 48 mini-mouthfuls if you want to use them as treats for friends or guests – although we could probably manage 48 mini cakes by ourselves because they are so delicious!

    These moist chocolate cupcakes are made with real dark chocolate (use the best quality for the tastiest results) and are frosted with chocolate buttercream icing.

    Primrose Bakery decorate them with a glossy chocolate top and white chocolate curls, but you can decorate them however you like but we recommend little chocolate curls or sprinkles.


    • For the
    • chocolate cupcakes
    • :
    • 115g good quality dark chocolate, 70% cocoa if possible
    • 85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 175g soft brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs, separated
    • 185g plain flour
    • 3/4tsp baking powder
    • 3/4tsp baking soda
    • Pinch of salt
    • 250ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • For the
    • chocolate buttercream icing
    • :
    • 350g 70% dark chocolate
    • 225g unsalted butter, at room temp
    • 1tbsp semi-skimmed milk
    • 1tsp vanilla extract, good quality
    • 250g icing sugar, sifted


    • Preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan)/190ºC/375ºF/gas mark 5.

    • Line either a muffin tin (for regular-sized cupcakes) or a mini cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

    • Melt the chocolate (the easiest way is in a microwave on a medium heat for 1 min stir and then microwave again for a further min, but be very careful not to burn the chocolate!) Leave to cool slightly.

    • Cream the butter and sugar together using an electric hand beater until pale and smooth. In a separate bowl and with clean beaters beat the egg yolks for several mins. Slowly add the egg yolks to the creamed butter and sugar and beat well. Next, add the chocolate to this mixture and beat well.

    • Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Combine the milk and vanilla in a jug. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate, butter and sugar, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Beat very well after each addition.

    • In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Carefully fold the eggs whites into the main batter using a metal spoon. Do not beat or you will take all the air out of the cake.

    • Spoon the mixture out equally into the tins depending on the preferred size. You do not need to fill the cases with mixture, about two-thirds full will work best as the cakes will rise considerably in the oven. The batter will be of a fairly liquid consistency so take care when spooning out as it can end up being very messy! You could even use a jug to pour the batter into the cupcake cases if it gets too difficult to spoon.

    • Place the trays in the oven and bake for between 20-25 mins for the regular size cupcakes or approx 15 mins for the mini cupcakes. Leave in their tins for 10 mins or so before placing on a wire rack to cool.

    • For the chocolate buttercream icing: melt the chocolate in a bowl or plastic jug in the microwave until smooth and a thick pouring consistency. A general guide would be to heat at 30 secs intervals on medium, stirring in between, to avoid burning the chocolate. Leave to cool slightly.

    • Beat the butter, sugar, milk and vanilla with an electric hand beater in a bowl until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat until thick and creamy. If it looks too runny to use when trying to ice cupcakes or cakes, simply keep beating, this will thicken the icing and improve its consistency. Then ice the cupcakes.

    Top tip for making Primrose Bakery’s chocolate cupcakes

    The icing can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Remember to beat well before re-using. You can buy cat cake toppers at

    You might also like…
    Classic chocolate cupcake recipe
    Basic cupcake recipe
    The Hummingbird Bakery's vanilla cupcakes recipe

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